The real-feel temperature was 5 degrees on this Columbus evening, but that didn’t stop fans from lining up (and shivering) outside the venue two hours before the doors even opened for the Jesse McCartney concert. No, it’s not 2004, it’s 2019.
After his summer show was overshadowed by Taylor Swift’s visit to the Shoe, McCartney’s sold-out night at Newport Music Hall on Friday brought the city back to the mid-2000s for “The Resolution Tour.”
While McCartney’s performance might have been expected to be heavily focused on his throwback tunes, he held a fair balance between the oldies that take people back to his Disney Channel days and new singles that may be unfamiliar to the average person.
Opening up on his hits “How Do You Sleep?” and “Leavin’” had the crowd singing along from the start, taking them right back to 2008. But that mood didn’t last long as he shifted back and forth between songs from this decade and the early 2000s.
McCartney even performed a couple of unreleased songs such as, “Selfless” and “Soul,” during the evening. And that didn’t stop the people from singing along, having already memorized the choruses by the end.
Much of McCartney’s fans that filled Newport seemed to be in their teens and early 20s, likely following him from his days as the heartthrob made for elementary-and-middle-school-aged children, and his most recently released songs reflected the change in age. Songs like “Punch Drunk Recreation” and “Wasted” showed the maturity-shift in his lyrics as he’s grown into a man.
Taking a break from showing off his dancing, McCartney slowed it down for a few songs. As they sat on stools, he featured his guitarist alongside him for a medley of “It’s Over,” “Anybody” and “Because You Live.”
Between the dancing and singing, McCartney took the time to engage with the crowd throughout the night.
In alignment with the tour’s namesake, McCartney stopped singing for a few minutes to ask the crowd what their resolutions were for the year, with one guy telling him that he “plans to be the best man he can be.” One girl asked McCartney to sing at her wedding, in which he replied with “that’s not a resolution, that’s a request…hit me up though.”
He pulled a classic heartthrob-singer move that also made him interact with audience more: pulling a girl from crowd on-stage to sing to her. Obviously she melted as he sang “Told You So,” while looking straight into her eyes.
As McCartney neared the end of his set, he certainly didn’t skip out on hits like “Body Language” and “Right Where You Want Me,” which had everyone dancing and jumping up and down through both the songs’ entireties.
Ending the night with his encore, McCartney definitely saved the best for last. Before getting to the song every person in that venue had been waiting for, he took the time to get behind the piano and sing a cover of “Bleeding Love,” a song he wrote that was ultimately sung by Leona Lewis.
And of course, last but not least, he sang the song that stole every McCartney fan’s heart from day one: “Beautiful Soul.” The rendition stayed true to the tune that everyone knows and loves, but ended it with a rock-‘n-roll-esque guitar solo, which is fitting for Newport.
For someone who came into the concert not even knowing he released songs after 2009, McCartney left me feeling nostalgic with my inner 8-year-old self loving him all over again. But he also impressed me by the way he is still able to sell out tours and keep a crowd engaged after 15 years in the business, especially given where he got his start.