Paul McCartney | United Center | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney

When: Wed., July 9, 8 p.m. 2014
Price: $29.50-$250
Paul McCartney has arguably been the world’s most famous rock musician for 50 years, and he’s certainly the richest—and that’s just one of the reasons the endless fawning over him gives me the fucking creeps. Everything about the 72-year-old Brit—his eyebrows shaped like McDonald’s arches, the merciless ubiquity of all those silly love songs—makes me want to go “Helter Skelter.” His milquetoast musical gewgaws (have you endured “Penny Lane” lately?) have been rammed into my ears like broken Q-tips over and over for decades. And I can only assume he meant them to sound that way—to be the blandest guy in a band with Ringo Starr, you’ve got to work at it, right? I’ve periodically made my disdain known to members of his vast fan base—infant children, middle-aged white people, and bass players, mostly—and over the years their pleading counterargument, which sounds to me like one of the master’s saccharine refrains, has become so predictable it barely registers. McCartney has had to cancel a string of May and June dates on his Out There tour—partly intended to support last year’s New (Hear Music), his most recent long-playing rice cake—while he recovers from a virus. But by the time his Chicago show rolls around, he should be back to playing his standard 40-song, three-hour-plus sets to arenas jammed with partisans. May God have mercy on their souls. —J.R. Nelson
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