On Oct. 5, Sir Paul McCartney played his last night at Madison Square Garden during his U.S. 2005 tour. I was seated dead center on the floor to watch arguably the most influential pop m usician of the twentieth century perform. And all I could think about was how badly I needed to go to the bathroom.

I decided against the trip to the bathroom because I feared that I might miss a second of the show. On the big screen above the stage, a slideshow of McCartney’s artwork was displayed until 8:45 p.m. when they cut the lights. A short video commenced with clips of his poor report cards and of one of his childhood birthdays, when his father bought him a trumpet. He thanked his father, and later snuck out to the store to trade it in for a guitar.

The video continued, highlighting major events in the Beatles’ career as well as McCartney’s solo career up to this point. The countdown then began: three, two, one. The curtain opened and in front of me was McCartney with his signature bass guitar, and ringing in my ears was “Magical Mystery Tour.”

The stage lighting was brilliant with flashing colors and designs dancing along with every song. McCartney tore into “Jet,” and raised his fist in the air every time he sang the word. He then performed one of his classics, “Drive My Car.”

At the end of every song, he hoisted whatever instrument he had been playing in the air and was showered in a roar of applause. If he had not ever handed the instrument off to receive a new one, it would be safe to assume everyone would have continued clapping until their hands bled.

Armed with a Les Paul electric, the band broke into “Let Me Roll It” and concluded the song with the ending of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady.”

The extravaganza continued when a piano rose from under the stage and McCartney took a seat to play hits such as “Maybe I’m Amazed” and the unforgettable “Fixing A Hole.” He also played “Fine Line,” and a song off of his new CD, “Chaos and Creation in the Backyard,” that received a large response from the audience.

The piano was lowered beneath the stage once again and the rest of the band left McCartney alone with an acoustic guitar on the stage. He said that this guitar was the same guitar he had played when the Beatles appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

He played “In Spite of All the Danger,” which was the first song ever recorded by the Quarrymen, a band that was formed long before the Beatles’ days. “In Spite of All the Danger” consisted of John Lennon, George Harrison, McCartney and a few of Lennon’s friends. He continued with more tracks from the new album.

McCartney returned to the piano to play “English Tea,” one of his more popular songs off of “Chaos and Creation,” as well as one of his heavyweights, “Hey Jude.” With every member of the audience screaming at the top of his or her lungs and beach balls bouncing around the crowd, the energy of the Garden at that moment became engraved into my memory.

McCartney quietly began “Live and Let Die,” and balls of fire and fireworks shot from the back of the stage during the chorus. The sheer power of the song kept me tied to my seat.

After playing for two hours straight without even a glass of water to wet his throat, the lights shut down and the initials “PM” were left on the big screen. This did not lessen the intensity of the crowd and within a few minutes, the band was back.

From here on out it was non-stop rock ‘n’ roll, with McCartney reaching into his bottomless bag of hits with songs like “Yesterday,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Penny Lane.”

McCartney exclaimed to the audience, “I got a feeling you’d all like some more rock ‘n’ roll,” and let loose into “Helter Skelter,” which might have been the song of the night. (Then again, picking the song of the night is like asking a parent which child he or she likes better.)

In one of the most beautiful moments in music, a new colorful piano was brought out and the lights were dimmed. Paul lit a single candle on top of the piano and began “Let It Be.”

It left me thinking that having played so many big hits and gotten such incredible responses from the crowd, how does he plan to out-do himself for the last song? He did it by going out with the ever-so-appropriate reprise of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” He followed this with “The End,” which lasted more than five minutes with multiple screeching guitar solos. He took a bow and thanked the crowd while confetti was fired into the audience.

Seeing McCartney was nothing less than an experience. By this point in his career, it is safe to say that he has exceeded icon status and is on much more of a “Music God” level.

It was worth every penny of my precious $154, and postponing my trip to the bathroom until the end of the show was by far the best decision I have made in quite a while.

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