Paul McCartney's appearance this Saturday at the Sun Life Stadium marks the last of just four North American shows in his current, cheekily named "Up and Coming" tour. And while fans should, of course, expect him to perform any number of megahits by the Beatles and even Wings, hardcore Macca followers know that's not all that will be on offer. McCartney has, refreshingly, never settled into an old-timers' nostalgia routine, continuing to work on new, even avant-garde artistic projects with some surprising collaborators. Saturday's set list should include a healthy sampling of it all. Here's a list of the top 10 hippest, most unexpected McCartney offerings of the past decade.
Paul McCartney. 8 p.m. Saturday, April 3. Sun Life Stadium, 2267 Dan Marino Blvd., Miami Gardens. Remaining tickets cost around $249. Livenation.com
10. The Animation Collection, 2004 DVD
The Beatles together always played around with the marriage of music and animation (Yellow Submarine, anyone?). In the '00s, McCartney revisited the concept again on his own, composing and voicing a trio of three short animated films by Geoff Dunbar. Singing frogs seem to be a surreally repeating motif here, as seen in this clip of "Rupert and the Frog Song."
9. "My Soul," 2008 collaboration with Nitin Sawhney
Fans of drum'n'bass, trip-hop, and ambient may recognize the name of Nitin Sawhney, an experimental Indian-British composer whose work marries timeless Asian sounds with new beats. For Sawhney's eight studio album, London Undersound, he tapped Macca for a collabo. The result was "My Soul," a psychedelic, strummy piece of downtempo that was a stylistic departure for both artists.
8. "Rain Came Down," 2009 collaboration with Matt Berry
Comedy geeks may recognize Brit funny guy Matt Berry from his appearances on shows like The Mighty Boosh, or even stateside shows like the Sarah Silverman Program. Either way, when he's not mocking musicals or writing new sketches, Berry actually plays in his own experimental four-piece, the Jonas 3. His 2009 album, Witchazel, existed somewhere between proper seriousness and a joke, but he still managed to snag McCartney to contribute backing vocals on "Rain Came Down."
7. Amoeba's Secret 2007 EP
What do hipsters love more than a secret show that the general public can't get into? Macca duly tipped his hat to this semi-frustrating practice in 2007, when he played a secret show inside Amoeba Music's Hollywood location. Scoring even more hipster points, he first released it on limited-edition vinyl, complete with album art meant to make it look like a bootleg. Here's a clip of him playing "Blackbird" at that show.
6. "I'm Partial to Your Abracadabra" on Brand New Boots and Panties, a 2001 tribute album to Ian Dury
No, in the '70s and '80s, the Beatles did not just shut themselves off to outside influences. Apparently, McCartney was quietly digesting punk and New Wave. Thus, when Ian Dury, a major figure in that scene, passed away in 2000, McCartney showed his appreciation. The following year, on this tribute album, he performed a cover of Dury's song, "I'm Partial To Your Abracadabra," with Dury's band, the Blockheads.