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PAUL IS LIVE
Paul McCartney in Concert on the New World Tour

Review by Mark Wiechman

Stars:  Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Hamish Stuart, Robbie MacIntosh, Wix Wickens, Blair Cunningham
Director:  Aubrey Powell
Audio:  Dolby Digital 5.1
Video:  Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio:  Rounder Records
Features:  Photo Gallery, Biography
Length: 82 Minutes
Release date:  August 12, 2003

Film **1/2

It pains me to say that any concert with Sir McCartney, my favorite Beatle, is less than fab, but this one is.  But at only 82 minutes, this brief concert of mostly Beatles songs and solo hits that never were is only going to elicit interest from serious McCartney devotees, and they might only watch it once and put it away.   For some reason film has always been bad to Paul if he is involved in its production in any way.  You would think he would have learned from Magical Mystery Tour, but even in many of his concert films, there are problems.  In this case, instead of just normal filming, the picture shakes in an MTV way that was only cool for brief moments in the 1980s and just does not work for a whole concert.   The sound is good but not as good as the more recent Back in the US concert, which also has much better features.  This disc is partly the victim of bad timing since it came out after that concert.

On the other hand, this is a valuable work because Paul still looks young and his Lovely Linda is by his side and healthy and these are the only live performances of some of these songs.  I can hear no musical flaws or mix problems, it is just not more than expected or on par with other musical releases such as The Who: Live at Albert Hall or the U2 Elevation Tour, both of which were double disc sets with excellent picture and sound.  You would think that a former Beatle would step up to the plate.  The SRP is pretty low, and is probably worth that much. 

Song Listing:  1. Drive My Car  2. Let Me Roll It  3. Looking For Changes 4. Peace In The Neighborhood  5. All My Loving 6. Good Rockin' Tonight 7. We Can Work It Out  8. Hope Of Deliverance 9. Michelle 10. Biker Like An Icon 11. Here, There and Everywhere 12. Magical Mystery Tour 13. C'mon People 14. Lady Madonna 15. Paperback Writer 16. Penny Lane 17. Live and Let Die 18. Kansas City 19. Let It Be 20. Yesterday 21. Hey Jude

Video *1/2

No flaws or problems but the irritating jumpiness which I mentioned above makes it nearly unwatchable.  An otherwise well-shot concert with great camera angles and flow which was ruined by an overactive film editor.

Audio **1/2

The 5.1 and 2.0 are better than average but not much.  No sound problems or irritants but its 1993 production quality is evident.   There is also a “Dolby Headphone” setting, which I cannot figure out.

Features *

None except a photo gallery and a biography which will not impress anyone.

Summary:

A pretty good concert for serious McCartney fans but probably not one which will attract the casual listener.  Recommended for the fans if you can find it at a low price.