In 1993, Paul McCartney and his band embarked upon The New World Tour, spanning almost the entire year and almost the entire globe. This tour featured a controversial pre-concert film (starting in the U.S leg of the tour), which was shown before all of the concerts and had graphic animal test footage in the film. This film can be seen on the "Paul is Live In Concert on the New World Tour" video.
It was the third and last time Paul McCartney toured Australia. A proposed further tour to Australia in 2002 was cancelled after the Bali Bombings.
This was to be McCartney's last tour for nine years, after his wife and band member, Linda McCartney, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1995, and died in 1998 at the age of 56.
1993 World Tour / Off The Ground
There are some entertainers who regard touring as absolute hell, but Paul McCartney isn't one of them. Within weeks of winding down from his turn-of-the-decade circuit of the planet, he was thinking aloud about doing it all again. Though it wasn't to happen until 1993, he ordered the wheels to crank into motion.
As expected, the next expedition was to be on hold until it could be tied in with an album and plethora of singles, and, when it was actually in motion, Paul Is Live (as opposed to Paul Is Dead), an in-concert package in time for Christmas. These products were to be in as many formats as the traffic would allow - 7/12inch vinyl, cassette, picture sleeves, gatefold sleeves, CD, remixes and with or without posters, postcards, tour itinerary and bonus tracks. Such were the hidden costs for the truly dedicated, whether there from the beginning or 'Flowers In The Dirt' latecomers, for whom every new McCartney release remains a special event.
With no blues getting bluer, 'Off The Ground' was the product of a satisfied mind. Polished and mostly unobjectionable, it was never expected to be astounding - by marginal McCartney enthusiasts anyway - but it sufficed because skillful arrangements and technological advances can help conceal ordinary-sounding songs in need of editing. It nudged the Top 20 in the USA where Beatlemania was always more virulent than anywhere else, and those afflicted bought Paul's records out of habit to complete the set like Buffalo Bill annuals. Over here, too many didn't want to like 'Off The Ground', especially during a period when Elvis Costello wasn't cool either, having strayed too far with The Juliet Letters from the punk rocker he'd never been.
Never mind. As it had been in 1989, the press could slag off Paul's records; latter-day punks could denigrate him as one more bourgeois liberal with inert conservative tendencies and hippies disregard him as a fully paid-up subscriber to what Neil in BBC TV's The Young Ones sit-com called "the Breadhead Conspiracy", but there he was again, running through his best-loved songs for the people who loved them - and him - best of all at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (Australia), Louisiana Superdome, Munich's Olympiahalle and further packed-out stadia designed originally for championship sport.
This time round, there were more Beatles numbers than ever from a portfolio that bulged with more crowd-pleasers than could be crammed into any evening with Paul McCartney, but ticket-holders understood, and were sad rather than angry if he didn't do their favourite. They'd seen it all before anyhow - him pop-eyed at the central microphone with a guitar or seated on a stage-left podium at a piano, the cynosure of perhaps a 100,000 eyes and maybe four sweaty spotlights. Having a high old time up there, he accommodated appropriate gestures and facial expressions as well as off-mike mouthings and momentary eye contacts that probably meant nothing, but made the heart of the recipient - or someone who imagined he or she was - feel like it would burst through its rib-cage.
As always, the mood was light, friendly, but what would have happened had the main set ended with politely brief clapping instead of the foot-stomping and howling approval that brought Paul back on for the encores of 'Band On The Run', 'I Saw Her Standing There' and, finally, everyone blasting up chorus after da-da chorus of 'Hey Jude'?
At last, he'd made a peace between his past and present situation. For form's sake, he stuck in tracks from whatever current album the onlookers may have heard or wouldn't ever hear between the timeless hits. Yet, however slickly predictable his stage show was becoming, he would prove to have much in common in his way with David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Van Morrison and other advocates of the artistic virtues of sweating over something new while Elton John, Phil Collins, Stevie Wonder and like Swinging Sixties contemporaries continued cranking out increasingly more run-of-the-mill albums [extract from "Paul McCartney", by Alan Clayson. Sanctuary Publishing. 2003 p228-230]
|Blair Cunningham, Robbie McIntosh, Linda & Paul McCartney, Wix Wickens, Hamish Stuart|
The grand finale was Hey Jude. As usual it was a sing-along, with Macca exhorting each side, then the middle of the audience to do the "Sha Na Na, Na Na Na Na" bit.
Then the whole band climbed onto the cherry picker platform, which swung all the way out to the 12th row. Linda picked up a red bag and began throwing rose petals into the audience as the platform
moved out to the left, then back to the right side of the stage. [extract from beatlefan.net]
With the exception of "Biker Like An Icon" (which is a piece of crap) the track list is great with the highlights being "My Love" and "Sgt Peppers".
01 - Michelle
02 - Hope Of Deliverance
03 - Looking For Changes
04 - Fixing A Hole
05 - Twenty Flight Rock
06 - Biker Like An Icon
07 - My Love
08 - Penny Lane
09 - Off The Ground
10 - I Wanna Be Your Man
11 - Get Out Of My Way
12 - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
13 - Lady Madonna
Paul McCartney – lead vocals, guitars (acoustic, electric and bass), piano, drums
Linda McCartney – backing vocals, keyboards, percussion, autoharp
Hamish Stuart – backing vocals, guitars (acoustic, electric, acoustic bass and electric bass)
Robbie McIntosh – backing vocals, guitars (electric and acoustic)
Paul "Wix" Wickens – backing vocals, keyboards, accordion, acoustic guitar, percussion
Blair Cunningham – drums, percussion
Paul McCartney Unlicensed Live Link (113Mb)