70-year-old Paul McCartney tripped and fell face-first from his piano riser onto the stage at the Scottrade Center. It was halfway through the 35th song of a three hour set. He sprang back up, struck a pose like a cartoon thief caught in a spotlight, strapped on his guitar and started trading solos with his two guitarists.
Sir Paul has a reputation as the frivolous Beatle. When he wanted to speak out for those fighting for their civil rights in America in the late '60s, he wrote the pastoral "Blackbird" to comfort and encourage them. And he's spent much of the past half-century perfecting the art of arena sing-alongs.
But for all the silliness of his songs and his affable demeanor (he never would have tripped if he weren't practically skipping down the steps in the first place), Paul McCartney is deadly serious about his performances. When someone flubs a solo, as Rusty Anderson did during "And I Love Her," he makes him do it again so all these people who bought tickets hear the thing the way it was meant to be played. And when the most youthful grandpa on the planet falls down, he hauls himself up without so much as a wince.
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