I saw Paul last week at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan. This highly anticipated show had been sold out for months. McCartney, 63, kicked off the show with "Magical Mystery Tour" then proceeded to fill the remaining 3 hours with a variety of his past and present hits. The light show was bright and showy, replete with fog machines and flashpots. If you saw his Superbowl performance last year, you've seen this colorful, digitally-controlled backdrop. He spared no expense to have good visuals, now if only his sound had fared as well. Here we are in 2005 and Paul unfortunately chose style over substance in his selection of the Hofner bass as his instrument that night. "Muddy and indistinct" best describes the tone offered to his adoring fans. Bass pioneer and musical innovator Paul could do no better than be locked in to partnership with the dubious "Beatle Bass" he popularized 40 years ago. For live sound I'd think he would have been better off using a Rickenbacker with a fresh set of Rotosounds. In his interview in last month's Bassplayer Magazine, Paul lists the benefits the Hofner bass, lightness, dry, thumpy sound and classic looks to which he is apparently wed. When Paul would switch to guitar, the other chap assigned to bass played, I believe, a Les Paul Bass. A Bass that, in theory, should be able to project some tone. No such dice. A wall of mud again flowed over the crowd with absolutely no individual bass notes being discernable over the vocals-heavy mix. The whole night was like that. I really wanted to hear Paul play his bass but I was unable to. My point? Here's one of the richest men in the world calling the shots on every aspect of his tour. He could have, at sound check, solo the bass, EQ it bright and punchy, then mix everything up around it so that IT was the center of his sound. I still like Paul and his songs, I really do, at least he is still rocking when others have burned out long ago. I just wish he'd give his concert sound some consideration. Bassplayers need to hear bassplayers.