With strong vocals and an arsenal of both catchy and poignant tunes, James McCartney had no problem commanding center stage at Schubas in Chicago.
McCartney, the only son of Beatles legend Paul McCartney and late wife Linda, is currently touring in support of his first full-length album "Me," due to be released May 21. He's on a 47-date U.S. tour that brought him to Chicago May 7.
The popular music lounge, which often is a standing-room only venue, was filled with rows of chairs for the McCartney show. The evening proved to be a relaxing environment for the singer/songwriter/guitarist's work to shine in a more intimate fashion. McCartney delivered an acoustic concert starring a diverse selection of image-filled, sensitive and driving songs.
It's obvious McCartney has received the musical genes of his famous family yet he infuses his own compositions with a unique creative stamp. Paul fans, though, can surely hear echoes of his father's tones in the younger McCartney's vocals.
The concert featured tunes from the new "Me," as well as "The Complete EP Collection."
What appeared to be McCartney's shy side, or the side that may still be a bit uneasy in the spotlight, could be seen occasionally throughout the show as he announced names of songs and talked a bit about them in soft spoken tones.
The Chicago fans seemed to make him a bit less self-conscious though as he told the crowd: "This is like my 20th gig in the last couple of weeks so I'm a little more comfortable on stage."
Among song highlights in the show were "Strong As You," which McCartney said he came up with after listening to The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun"; "Butterfly," "Angel" and "Glisten."
McCartney also gave a stellar performance of the Neil Young classic "Old Man." Prior to performing his poignant "Wings of a Lightest Weight," McCartney gave some insight into the tune.
"I wrote this after I saw "Death of a Salesman"....I was thinking about my dad," he said.
Concert attendees, which included a large contingent of Beatles and Paul fans, welcomed McCartney enthusiastically and wouldn't have minded hearing more from the talented musician. He proved the praise was well deserved. For more information on James McCartney and his new album, visit ecrmusicgroup.com/artists/james-mccartney or jamesmccartney.com