Paul McCartney at Safeco Field 7/19/2013 by Hanson Hosein

Paul McCartney at Safeco Field 7/19/2013 by Hanson Hosein

It wouldn’t have been an issue a decade ago. I would have gone to the concert-of-a-lifetime and simply enjoyed it, doing my best to commit the moment to memory.

But today’s digital accessibility made me feel as if I nearly had an obligation to document for posterity rather than honor that moment given the investment I had made to see one of my heroes close-up (both at the soundcheck and later, from 5th row center at the concert). So I kept my smartphone in my pocket and decided to use the video function on my Sony RX100 point-and-shoot with its massive sensor, along with an XShot telescopic Camera Extender. My wife shot using the superzoom (500x optical, pretty good digital zoom too) of the much less expensive Sony WX300. I’ve always been a Sony filmmaker.

I was very aware of asking myself: when should I take video? When should I take photos? When should I just put the damn camera away? Ironically, I HAD to film Paul’s tribute to John Lennon “Here Today” rather than just enjoy the profound meaning (it’s a rare track from the first McCartney album I purchased when it came out in 1981):

When the surviving members of Nirvana took the stage during the encore, it got even harder. It was now an historic night. I had heard a rumor that this might happen (and Dave Grohl had walked past me at soundcheck). So I switched the video format on my camera from the higher bitrate AVCHD 1080p (as seen in the video above) to hopefully an easier-to-handle 720p MP4 (with high quality audio).

They ended up performing five songs together. I shot three (especially Helter Skelter, which put me over the edge!). I decided to enjoy “Long Tall Sally.” And I absolutely had to absorb the closing Abbey Road suite for the religious experience it was rather than see the performance through a touchscreen. I’m glad I did.

I look forward to the day when we move beyond this transition stage of appropriate behavior with our new technology (either because we’ll know better or because our gadgets will be so integrated in our lives we won’t even think about it). Another recent digital dilemma I faced was my procrastination in responding to a dear family in Paris that “adopted” me when I was a law student there so long ago. I send so many quick digital communications (e-mail, Tweets, status updates) in the space of a day, but to actually sit down and make the effort to write something that would not reach its intended destination as instantly, almost fills me with dread. And I used to be such an assiduous correspondent.

The Seattle Times beautifully summarized the show itself:

Paul McCartney is 71, rich and famous beyond measure, and one might suppose he has little to prove. But he gave the Safeco crowd a gift that isn’t often witnessed at superstar shows: he made the most famous songs in rock feel youthful, fresh, alive, important, vital.

It was magnificent.

“Here Today” indeed.

[I shot a few more videos at the show. Check them all out at this playlist. I’m astonished by the tens of thousands of views that have accumulated. Despite Google’s urging however, I’ve opted not to turn on the “Advertising” feature on YouTube. It’s not my content to profit from, though I’m happy to share my vantage point with others.]

[Here are the best still shots from our vantage point via Flickr]

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Here’s the full setlist from Seattle. I recognized every song, except for the beautiful “My Valentine” that Paul wrote for his wife (who was attendance that night), and “Cut Me Some Slack” as I’ve yet to see Grohl’s acclaimed documentary, “Sound City.” (Credit to Dr. Pepper from Gig Harbor WA who wrote up the list for my fave music site, Steve Hoffman Forums, which also posted a few of my videos to the “Out There” tour thread).

Eight Days a Week
(The Beatles song)
Junior’s Farm
(Wings song)
All My Loving
(The Beatles song)
Listen to What the Man Said
(Wings song)
Let Me Roll It
(Wings song)
Paperback Writer
(The Beatles song) (Foxy Lady snippet)
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
(Wings song)
The Long and Winding Road
(The Beatles song)
Maybe I’m Amazed
I’ve Just Seen a Face
(The Beatles song)
We Can Work It Out
(The Beatles song)
Another Day
And I Love Her
(The Beatles song)
Blackbird
(The Beatles song)
Here Today
Your Mother Should Know
(The Beatles song)
Lady Madonna
(The Beatles song)
All Together Now
(The Beatles song)
Lovely Rita
(The Beatles song)
Mrs. Vandebilt
(Wings song)
Eleanor Rigby
(The Beatles song)
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
(The Beatles song)
Something
(The Beatles song)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
(The Beatles song)
Band on the Run
(Wings song)
Back in the USSR
(The Beatles song)
Let It Be
(The Beatles song)
Live and Let Die
(Wings song)
Hey Jude
(The Beatles song)
Encore:
Day Tripper
(The Beatles song)
Cut Me Some Slack
(With Dave Grohl, Krist … more)
Long Tall Sally
(Little Richard cover) (With Dave Grohl, Krist … more)
Get Back
(The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist … more)
Encore 2:
Yesterday
(The Beatles song)
Helter Skelter
(The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist … more)
Golden Slumbers
(The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist … more)
Carry That Weight
(The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist … more)
The End
(The Beatles song) (With Dave Grohl, Krist … more)