A New Devotion to St. Paul

Having once been a “Johnist”, I’ve recently converted and become a “Paulist.” No, not that kind of Paulist. I’ve always been a huge Beatles fan. So recently, when I took my son to see Paul McCartney at the Pond in Anaheim, California, I knew that this was likely to be the closest I’d ever get to a Beatles concert. For that reason alone, it was going to be a religious experience for me. I just never thought I’d enjoy it as much as I did.

For quite a while, I’ve been wanting to crash a concert. Whenever I go to a show, there always seems
to be people selling extra tickets. Even though the Paul McCartney show was sold out and it was the last date he was playing in my area, I boldly chose to take a chance and just drive the 40 minutes to the concert to see if I could get in. If it was meant to be, Venus and Mars would align, and I’d get in.

His first rock concert

Feeling it was time for that most sacred rite of passage that every young boy must experience, I decided to drag my son along. On the way down, I repeated that there was no guarantee we would get in, the show was sold out, etc. I didn’t want him to be too disappointed if we struck out. I shouldn’t have worried. No sooner did we pull into the parking lot, than an angel named Daniel in a black SUV pulled up right beside us with four tickets to sell. He had seen the show the previous night and was scheduled to play hockey and simply wanted to get back the money he had spent on the tickets. God bless that beautiful man.

I always knew Paul had talent. After all, he was fully half of one of the most gifted songwriting teams ever to belt out a tune, and one quarter of one of the most influential music groups ever to strum a power chord. What impressed me the most, though, was all the Beatles’ depth of understanding about love, and their endless capacity to express that understanding.

Now that Paul’s pushing 60, I would’ve been happy if he just remembered the lyrics. But it was amazing to see that he still has his voice, his energy and talent to burn. And burn brightly, he did. Whether he was covering one of the old Beatles tunes that put him and his mates on the map, or playfully strumming a ukulele while singing “Something” as a tribute to George Harrison, he had me captivated and completely lost in the moment.

It was so refreshing to see someone doing what they were born to do, and doing it well. Call him “sir” or “saint,” in my mind, I have a whole new appreciation for the one they used to call the “cute one.”

Speaking of saints, some day, I know this will place me in the running for canonization in my son’s mind, as he looks back on his childhood. I’m not sure if HE realizes how much he enjoyed himself either, but he will. Even if it takes decades, he will.