Wordno, I have to disagree with you about WOA, many and I do mean many say that it's one of the all time best live rock albums! I think the versions of the songs are absolutely some of the very best!
Bluemeanie, I can't speak for your memory but the songs I listed were #1hits, or top ten hits, or came from chart topping grammy nominated albums, and McCartney isn't performing any of them!
It could be said that the people who just want McCartney to keep cranking out the same old songs are the fanatics! It's not just people on forums asking for McCartney to change his setlist, it's journalist, reviewers, interviewers, columnist, and of course fans. I've read comments from all these people, here's a couple from two journalist, and think about it, if they're published journalist, how many readers may they have?
The suggested Paul McCartney setlist
By Tim Cain
I haven't seen Paul McCartney in concert, however much I'd like to.
When he was playing stadiums, I stayed away because the venues were too large. In the early 1990s, when he was playing arenas, I stayed away because I didn't want to see an oldies show, and if he was going to focus on his current material, I wasn't very interested anyway.
I was disappointed in McCartney's set at the Super Bowl this year. He trotted out some Beatles tunes, and the most recently released song he played was 1973's Live and Let Die.
(That beat his Live 8 set, which featured five Beatles songs, six if you count the one he did with U2.)
As expected, that Super Bowl show primed the pump for another McCartney tour. Tickets at United Center in Chicago ranged from $50 to hang on the rafters to $250 to see the whites of his eyes. (The two shows are sold out, but ticket brokers naturally are willing to take plenty of your hard-earned cash.)
Look, I present this knowing full well that Sir Paul McCartney couldn't care less about my presence at one of his shows. And he's one of the greatest showmen/businessmen in pop music history, so if he wants to trot out a 30-song setlist and have 75 percent of it be Beatles songs, he knows what his audience wants best. And if you want to drop that kind of cash to hear him run through those songs yet again, that's your business, and you'll get what you want, and everybody will go home happy.
And keep in mind you're not going to find many people who love The Beatles more than I do.
When The Who did the first of their couple hundred farewell tours, they played five songs off Quadrophenia, an album near and dear to my heart from its release. The guy sitting next to me kept asking me where these songs came from. By the fourth time I said Quadrophenia, he said, I gotta go buy that tomorrow. It would be nice for McCartney to provide similar prodding to his fans.
McCartney practically denied the existence of The Beatles in the early days of Wings. One of the causes for excitement during the 1976 release of Wings Over America was the appearance of four Beatles songs.
But now he's gone the other way and seems to be ignoring the last 35 years. It has its share of mediocre work, sure, but there's some fantastic material that seems to be sliding away. And in many ways, that's no one's fault but McCartney's.
So here's a proposed set list, even programmed with specific purposes in mind. This show would run a little over two hours, so if McCartney wanted to throw in a couple more Beatles songs, or some surprises (like playing Something on ukulele in tribute to George Harrison), there's room.
Band on the Run
Big Barn Bed
A Love For You
I Saw Her Standing There
Hi Hi Hi
As unhip as it is to say, Band on the Run is a fantastic album, easily McCartney's best solo work. Starting out with those complex rhythm changes would serve as a statement of purpose: This isn't your everyday McCartney show.
The next two are a little obscure. Big Barn Bed is the first song on Red Rose Speedway (the album with My Love). Wings opened their shows with it for a little while. It's always been a favorite. A Love For You was not officially released until the soundtrack of the remake of The In-Laws (of all places). Both have that unmistakable early 1970s McCartney feel. Classics.
The last three bring in those who might feel a little lost at sea because of the previous two songs. Hit singles, recognizable tunes, but two are still solo (or Wings) pieces.
Twenty Flight Rock
Little Woman Love
Momma's Little Girl
Brown-Eyed Handsome Man
Name and Address
Call this the unplugged portion of the show, although it's probably more stripped down than unplugged. Twenty Flight Rock is one of Eddie Cochran's great songs, and a favorite of McCartney's. Little Woman Love was the B-side to Wings 1972 Mary Had a Little Lamb single, and the shuffling rocker should have been a hit in its own right.
Momma's Little Girl was recorded in the early 1970s and eventually came out 15 years later. It would send people scurrying for the expanded Wild Life CD, or the 2-CD limited edition Flowers in the Dirt.
Then a chance to show off influences. McCartney recorded a nice Cajun version of Brown-Eyed Handsome Man for Run Devil Run, and Name and Address (from 1978's London Town) is one of his best Elvis tributes ever.
I'm Carrying is a sweet acoustic guitar-based song that would lead nicely into one of the greatest songs ever written. (Hey, I'll give him this one and Hey Jude. If you're going to drop money to see the guy who wrote two of the greatest songs in the history of the English language, he'd better sing em.)
Venus and Mars/Rock Show
Spin It On
Live and Let Die
I hope you caught your breath during that last set, Paul, because this section will wring it out of you. These are, quite simply, some of the best concert songs he's written. (The only reason I didn't have Venus and Mars/Rock Show lead off is to avoid a little bit of a cliche.) Spin It On, from 1979's Back to the Egg, is the obscurity, but find it, play it, and follow it immediately with Jet, and then write and tell me how cool it is.)
Maybe I'm Amazed
Yvonne's the One
Arrow Through Me
My Brave Face
Off the Ground
Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five
A nod toward some of the later-period hits (My Brave Face and So Bad were top five on the AOR charts, Off the Ground hit the top 30). Arrow Through Me should have been a single. Dear Boy is an album cut from Ram, an attack on Beatles partner John Lennon that still offers some entertaining backing vocals. And I've always said Yvonne's the One is one of the best songs McCartney gave away (to 10cc).
Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five provides some nice pre-encore theatricality, especially if the band is able to produce the cacophony of sound at the end. And if the Band on the Run out-chorus is pre-recorded, the group can take its bows and run off while the music is playing. Band on the run - get it? Get it?
Let It Be
I might be alone in this, but I think Beautiful Night (from 1997's Flaming Pie) is one of the greatest songs McCartney's ever written. Its memorable chorus provides a setup for the last two songs, which feature even more memorable choruses.
This is the type setlist McCartney could easily do, and the crowds would absolutely love it!
Vadim Rizov, lifestyle editor for Washington Square News.
Paul McCartney played a thunderously dull set including some of the most famous songs in the world, nimbly avoiding the danger of any emotional effect.
The only thing surprising about McCartney's set, perhaps, was that he didn't play "Maybe I'm Amazed." Other than that, he remains the man with the world's most predictable setlist: a few Beatles songs just to remind everyone why he became legitimately famous in the first place, a solo number to reinforce his self-worth and the 357,000th rendition of "Hey Jude," which - if you did the math - he's probably played once for every day of his life. With a grimly efficient backing band behind him and a stadium packed full of the easily manipulated, things went off without a hitch. No one missed their cues, all the pre-coordinated fans waved their glowsticks in the air at the right moment and no one got injured by the fireworks.
The set was by-and-large a note-for-note reproduction of classic recorded tunes. Make no mistake: "Hey Jude," on a bad day, is one of the most comforting songs around. But somewhere along the way, a song intended to cheer up a kid worried about his parents' divorce became the song to end all inspirational songs. A song that speaks to everyone tends to end up being a song that speaks to no one.
Does it even matter? Is "Hey Jude" just a good song that we all know the words to, or does it mean anything more?
It's weird to look for meaning in a Super Bowl halftime show, at which the best-case scenario is that disaster is avoided and no one is unduly offended. But watching Paul McCartney perform songs with professional detachment - songs it's hard to imagine him caring about any longer - is to watch someone formerly exciting going through the motions, frozen in a pose they struck 35 years ago.
When McCartney storms through the fossilized canon, does he feel anything?
What about the stadium of glowstick-waving fans and fireworks? Did they respond to the songs themselves? Or did they respond to the spectacle, the environment, the chance to see one of the world's two living Beatles stop being a waxwork for a fleeting moment?
To be simultaneously united by a song everyone knows but is pretty much immune to is to be alone, together, united by familiarity but excited by nothing - which is kind of interesting, but ultimately boring.
This is from a reviewer named George Starostin
You could always argue that theoretically, a Paul McCartney show can't be all that great. Come on, even the Beatles themselves weren't the best live band in the world, and this is one fourth part of the Beatles. Come on, he just plays the songs the way they are. Come on, his backing bands are always interchangeable. Come on, the setlist is so painfully predictable it's almost laughable (although he did do 'She's Leaving Home', which even I couldn't have expected!). This is all true.
It's not just people on forums asking for McCartney to change his setlist.
With the tech today any song can be performed live, so his current band could easily do Uncle Albert. Another #1 smash hit that has never ever been done is With A Little Luck, he could easily do it. How many songs has he done on just one tour and never done again, there are plenty.
McCartney has tons of material he could and should be performing live!