Last Thursday marked the final Basement-hosted Communion show in Nashville until fall and the lineup – in addition to local regulars like Kansas Bible Company – teased an unnamed special guest. That special guest turned out to be none other James – son of Sir Paul – McCartney, who snuck in for what he called “a bonus gig” after finishing off a US tour at the Bluebird the night before and heading next to the Bonnaroo campgrounds. He appeared with the minimalist of pomp and circumstance, suddenly on stage and playing as his special-guest appearance was announced just as quickly.
With nothing but a guitar on stage with him, McCartney’s prowess was evident even as he rushed through his songs – a tempo he copped to, admitting he was treating this “like a Reading moment.” (Perhaps Bonnaroo would have been a more apt comparison for his audience, but the speedy festival set allusion stands.) The performance was not diminished by its brevity as he played almost exclusively from his new album, Me, and McCartney’s cavalier asides added to the intimacy. To wit: “I wrote this in Venezuela…thinking about rock n’ roll.”
“Old Man” (Neil Young cover)
“Strong Like You”
“Thinking About Rock N’ Roll”
Read our Q&A with James McCartney here.