Filmed in Seattle during the triumphant Wings Over the World Tour in ’75 and ’76, Rockshow seizes the hysteria and presents Paul McCartney as he hasn’t been since: playing his current hits and misses with a fired up new band and not looking over his shoulder at his inescapable past. There are only six Beatles’ songs here, as opposed to the two dozen he played recently at Barclays.
A hushed high accompanies “Maybe I’m Amazed.” “Call Me Back Again” is a rollicking shout-fest with horns. Rockshow is McCartney, Jimmy McCulloch, Denny Laine, Joe English and Linda McCartney playing through the live crunch of “Let Me Roll It,” “Jet” and the manic pyrotechnics of “Live and Let Die.” The irresistibly bouncy, but utterly goofy “Magneto and Titanium Man” is here in all its one-tour glory. So too is a swooning “My Love” and a chugging “Silly Love Songs.”
Onstage, McCartney never disappoints. He deserved the right to present new material then, and, if his audience today were more receptive of his genius and not simply the gratification of their collective past, he may yet feel free to do so. But it all started with Rockshow, the concert film that set the bar.
– Mike Jurkovic