The McCartney Years

May 10, 2019

Townsend Center For the Performing Arts

University of West Georgia / Carrollton, GA

Review and Photos by Robert Kern

Wings Flies Again in The McCartney Years…

While so many tribute shows miss the mark, The McCartney Years delivers.  Last Friday night, the Carrollton, GA faithful were whisked away on a return trip through the mists of time to 1976.

Performing an almost 2 hour set of songs from the Wings Over America tour sprinkled with a few tunes from McCartney’s “other” band, Yuri Pool (as Paul McCartney) and his talented crew re-created the sound and the energy of that amazing time.

Opening the set with Venus and Mars/Rock Show/Jet, the band hit all the highlights from that tour with spot-on recreations of gems such as “Band on the Run”, “Listen to What the Man Said” and “Silly Love Songs”.  Digging deep for tunes originally included in the setlist from the ’76 tour of the states, the band cranked out “Bluebird”, “Medicine Jar”, Call Me Back Again” and “Magneto and Titanium Man” – songs that many, including this reviewer, haven’t heard live since 1976.  Between song banter was brief, but what was delivered was in character and effectively enhanced the performance.

Aside from the previously mentioned Yuri Pool, the band consists of his real-life wife Jennifer Pool as Linda McCartney, Dean McKey as Joe English, David Usselman as Denny Laine and Matt Hache’ as Jimmy McCullough.  Scott Wilkinson, the unsung member of the group, provides backing vocals and plays keyboards, synth and Hammond C3 organ.

The show presentation is uniformly great throughout.  While you immediately notice that Yuri Pool plays a right-handed bass, it doesn’t diminish anything from the show itself as the performance is so well presented.  Costuming is period specific (Wings era 1976) and the band has gone to great lengths to research, acquire and play the same style of instruments that McCartney’s band played during that time.  Guitars like McCartney’s Rickenbacker 4001 C64S bass and Epiphone Texan acoustic, Denny Laine’s Ibanez 2670 double-neck vined artwood twin electric and McCullough’s Gibson SG are featured prominently during the performance.  In fact, the Gibson SG played by Matt Hache’ (“Jimmy McCullough”) is THE ORIGINAL Gibson SG that the late guitarist McCullough actually played on the 1975-76 Wings world tour. This band gets it.

If you didn’t see Wings in 1976, this is as close as you’ll ever get.  Venus and Mars is definitely “alright” – make it a point to see them.  You won’t regret it.