This week, for your reading enjoyment, we have compiled critical reviews of live performances from Paul McCartney in Montreal; Childish Gambino in New York; Sting/Shaggy in Atlanta; Cheap Trick/Joan Jett in Airway Heights, Wash.; Børns in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and Sarah Geronimo in Dubai.
Paul McCartney @ Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Sept. 20 – “There’s no denying that McCartney, one of rock’s greatest singers, is now working with a voice that has lost some of the strength and range of its heyday. The passage of time is mostly noticeable when he tries to tackle the high, screamy bridges in the likes of Maybe I’m Amazed and I’ve Got a Feeling or the Little Richard-inspired “Whoo!” in I Saw Her Standing There. … But his ambition never flagged: near the end of his marathon set, after an exhausting, fireworks-augmented Live and Let Die and a fully bellowed singalong rendition of Hey Jude, did he rest his pipes with the soothing, mid range ballad Yesterday and let it go at that? Of course not: he went for the throat-shredding Helter Skelter.” – Bernard Perusse / Montreal Gazette
Childish Gambino @ Madison Square Garden Arena in New York, New York, Sept. 14 – “It’s a daring concert. He’s playing a lot of new material much of the audience hasn’t heard – always a risk, but especially for an arena-level artist – including the opening ‘Algorhythm,’ and on this night he debuted yet another new song (‘This is some new shit I’ve been working on,’ he said casually).” – Jem Aswad / Variety
Sting / Shaggy @
The Tabernacle in Atlanta, Ga., Sept. 17 – “Sting and Shaggy shared the stage throughout, trading lyrics on ‘Englishman in New York’ (with ‘Jamaica’ subbed in a few times), marrying Shaggy’s ‘Oh Carolina’ with Sting’s ‘We’ll Be Together’ and resurrecting the ‘Dream of the Blue Turtles’ gem, the already-reggae-fied ‘Love is the Seventh Wave.’
“A delighted, sold-out crowd (which included Atlanta-based super producers Dallas Austin and Tricky Stewart) remained upright for the majority of the show, even nodding along to less familiar new songs including the toe-tapper ‘To Love and Be Loved’ and ‘Gotta Get My Baby Back,’ with its liquid groove and arm-waving pop chorus.” – Melissa Ruggieri / Atlanta Music Scene
Scott Legato / Getty Images – Cheap Trick
Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander hits a high note during the band’s set at DTE Energy Music Theatre in Clarkston, Mich., Aug. 11.
Cheap Trick / Joan Jett @ Northern Quest Casino, in Airway Heights, Wash., Sept. 18 – “Even knowing largely what you’re in for, Cheap Trick still finds ways to throw some surprises in, though, and they did just that Tuesday at Northern Quest Resort & Casino. The biggest was probably when Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament joined the band to play some guitar on “Surrender,” but Cheap Trick also threw a couple of new songs in the set (‘You Got It Going On’ and ‘The Summer Looks Good On You’).
“Joan Jett hit the stage after Cheap Trick and was definitely up to the task of following her fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers. After kicking of her set with one of her lesser known tunes, “Victim of Circumstance,” she proceeded to head right into the Runaways’ classic “Cherry Bomb,” an insistent piece of ear candy that still packs a punch.” – Dan Nailen / Inlander
Børns @ Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Sept. 18 – “Unfortunately, despite a few arresting moments, Borns’ songs have never quite been able to live up to his tremendous vocal talent, and muddy, strangely low-volume sound throughout the venue during the show only made things worse.” – James Biagiotti / boca
Sarah Geronimo @ Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Sept. 20 – “Things went off the wall when Geronimo brought her Miss Granny co-star Xian Lim on stage to duet on Ellie Goulding’s Love Me Like You Do, and Lim stuck around to do a couple of solo numbers and take selfies with the crowd while Geronimo underwent yet another wardrobe change too, much to the delight of fans at the front who got their Instagram moment.” – Chris Newbould / The National