Blu-ray Review: A MusiCares Tribute to Paul McCartney

There are few performers left whose imprint is so great that it’s impossible to not name a recording artist who wasn’t influenced by them. Who wasn’t touched in one way or another by the music of Paul McCartney? In the 50 years since The Beatles hit the airwaves, McCartney has been releasing records including his time as Wings and solo. So it’s easy to imagine that when there’s a charity tribute to McCartney, the organizers must spend more time figuring out way to say, “No” than begging stars to sing. On top of it, those chosen aren’t going to fight over three hits. They have a massive songbook (including his Beatles work with John Lennon) to perform for the star studded audience. A MusiCare Tribute to Paul McCartney is half a century of songs with performers that your mother might know, according to MusicCritic.

Things start off with the Cirque du Soleil cast from The Beatles “Love. Plenty of color and spectacular stunts to dazzle the audience. As the clowns leave the stage, Paul McCartney appears on the stage for “Magical Mystery Tour” and “Junior’s Farm.” He’s eager to show that after all these years, he’s not ready to take a seat and merely reminisce. Alicia Keys brings a light touch to “Black Bird.”

Duane Eddy and Sergio Mendes remind us of people in the past who understood the power of Paul before he was in Wings. Cold Play and Nora Jones do fine jobs with their moments. Previous MusiCares honoree Neil Young rounds up Crazy Horse for a romp through the early Beatles hit “I Saw Her Standing There.” James Taylor has a bit of history with Paul since he was originally signed to the Beatles’ Apple Corp. He teams up with Diana Krall for “Yesterday” and “For No One.” Paul hits the stage to play a few recent tracks. Finally he gets to break out his magnum opus that ended Abbey Road. He’s joined by Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh and Dave Grohl, since that’s an FCC requirement.

A MusiCare Tribute to Paul McCartney captures a fun night for both the honoree and the performers allowed to play his tunes. McCartney gets a chance to remind fans why he’s important and why he’s not a complete nostalgia act. He’s still got songs inside him that people will hum for the rest of the century.

“Get Back / Hello Goodbye / Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” – Cirque du Soleil featuring The Beatles “Love” Cast
“Magical Mystery Tour” – Paul McCartney
“Junior’s Farm” – Paul McCartney
“Blackbird” – Alicia Keys
“No More Lonely Nights” – Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas
“And I Love Her” – Duane Eddy
“Oh! Darling” – Norah Jones
“I Saw Her Standing There” – Neil Young with Crazy Horse
“The Fool On The Hill” – Sergio Mendes
“We Can Work It Out” – Coldplay
“Yesterday” – James Taylor with Diana Krall
“For No One” – Diana Krall with James Taylor
“My Valentine” – Paul McCartney
“Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five” – Paul McCartney
“Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight / The End” – Paul McCartney featuring Dave Grohl and Joe Walsh

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The details are good and Paul still looks rather young as he bounces behind his bass. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 that deserves to be blasted. You need to make sure the neighbors down the street get to hear the guitar trade offs on “The End.” There’s also a LPCM 2.0. But you’ll want the DTS-HD to get the whole range.

No bonus features.

Shout! Factory presents A MusiCare Tribute to Paul McCartney. Starring: Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Neil Young and Dave Grohl. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 59 minutes. Released: March 24, 2015.