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Arts + Entertainment

Paul McCartney is coming to Buffalo! Well, kind of.

Paul McCartney and his wife, Linda.

blog by Ben Kirst  • 

Paul McCartney’s ‘Out There’ tour is not coming to Buffalo. That’s disappointing, if paying a minimum of $70 to watch a 71-year-old rock ‘n’ roller from the cheap seats is your thing. And maybe it is! McCartney, after all, is arguably the most influential pop musician of all time. Seventy dollars to see the guy in person before he reunites with John Lennon and George Harrison in the Great Ed Sullivan Show in the Sky is probably a pretty good deal. But regardless, you’re going to have to go to Orlando or Brooklyn or Memphis or Milwaukee or some other fairly distant destination if you want to catch Macca onstage this summer.

You can, however, stay right here in Buffalo to see the re-release of Rockshow—the concert film starring McCartney and Wings in their 1975-76 ‘Wings Across America’ tour (he skipped Buffalo on that little jaunt, too, but did play Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto). Buffalo is one of 750 cities worldwide that will have the opportunity to screen the movie on May 16 following its opening in London the previous day.

‘Rockshow’ can be seen at The Screening Room (3131 Sheridan Drive, Amherst) at 7 p.m. on May 16 and 9 p.m. on May 17 and May 18. Tickets are available online. The screenings will be preceded by an exclusive 12-minute filmed interview with McCartney.

Some of you crazy kids may know who Paul McCartney is (coughcoughTHEBEATLEScough) but are not quite as familiar with Wings. Let me tell you about Wings! After The Beatles broke up, McCartney wanted to a.) continue making music and b.) wanted his wife, Linda, to be in the band. The fact that she had no musical background was not an issue, because he was PAUL FREAKING MCCARTNEY and had basically changed the entire face of popular music over the course of the previous 10 years and if he wanted to have a collection of Scottie dogs barking Frank Sinatra tunes on his recording projects then he was going to make it happen. Anyhow, McCartney recruited Denny Laine, a former guitarist for The Moody Blues, and took it from there.

Critics kind of hated Wings. While his Beatles songwriting partner John Lennon was simultaneously indulging his avant-garde side with Yoko Ono and paling around with popular 1970s artists like David Bowie, Elton John and Harry Nilsson, McCartney was writing silly love songs (for example: ‘Silly Love Songs’) and covering ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb.’ Lennon, however, never came close to recapturing the commercial success of The Beatles and even took an extended break from music in the late 1970s. McCartney and Wings, on the other hand, had five #1 albums in the United States—including the triple-platinum ‘Band on the Run’—as well as six #1 singles. Wings was not the biggest rock group of the 1970s (Led Zeppelin wears that crown), but dammit if they weren’t popular.

‘Rockshow’ captures the band in concert at the late Kingdome in Seattle on their legendary Wings Across America tour. This is McCartney and Wings at the peak of their powers—still young, still vibrant, glowing with success, finally free of the Beatles mantle. It’s probably worth the investment of 141 minutes, if only to hear some really great songs and see one of the true titans of 20th century pop culture at his best on the big screen.

For more info, check out Rockshow online.

Photo from PaulMcCartney.com.

TAGGED: buffalo wings, live performances, paul mccartney, rockshow, the screening room

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