Paul McCartney was off to a good start in 2014 before things went a little downhill.
Having wrapped up his 2013 touring just before Thanksgiving in Japan, he had the world stage in late January at the Grammy Awards. That’s also where they shot “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles,” a star-studded CBS special that aired Feb. 9, the 50th anniversary of the band’s performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
February and March were spent doing whatever rock ’n’ roll legends do, and then he got back on the road in late April for six dates in South America, including his first visits to Ecuador and Costa Rica.
If you held tickets for Monday’s show at Consol Energy Center, you may have gotten a shiver when the postponements started rolling in, beginning with the return trip to Japan in late May.
It was a “virus,” he said, and he apologized for “letting my fans down.” His management pointed out that, basically, he’s not Morrissey: “Paul has only ever had to reschedule a handful of shows in his entire career and so he is upset about this situation, he hates to let people down.”
The virus wiped out the seven concerts he had booked for June, leaving July up in the air until he released the cheerful video blog that he was “feeling great!” The Consol show is now the second one back, usually a good place to be, following the new tour opener in Albany, N.Y., Saturday.
This will be just the fourth chance for Pittsburghers to see him on our turf: Of course, there was the one and only Beatles show here at the Civic Arena on Sept. 14, 1964; the two shows in February 1990, on his first North American tour in 13 years; and his long-awaited return to christen Consol Energy Center Aug. 18-19, 2010.
The main thing new on this “Out There” tour is “New,” the album, released in October, that got him back to rock ’n’ roll after making the standards record, “Kisses on the Bottom,” the year before.
Don’t worry too much about it pushing out the Beatles songs. On that most recent date in Costa Rica, he played a 39-song set with four “New” songs (including “Queenie Eye,” which he played at the Grammys), 25 Beatles songs, six Wings songs and the rest from his solo catalog.
As anyone who has followed Mr. McCartney knows, when it comes to set lists, he’s a creature of habit, and when it comes to energy, he’s got an abnormal amount for 72.
Scott Mervis: firstname.lastname@example.org; 412-263-2576.