*this is art from one of the t-shirts sold at the merch table, designed by the artist Raghava
I was beyond excited to see such a legendary performer live in concert and I was not disappointed one bit. Paul Simon took the stage last night at the GORGEOUS Wang Theatre along with 8 other ridiculously talented musicians** and the show was everything I could’ve hoped for. He performed his new material and mixed in MANY of his classic tunes all with an energy that went up and down and back again. I laughed, I cried, and I won’t soon forget it.
I was delighted to hear tracks from So Beautiful Or So What, and even more thrilled that they really shined in that live setting. Early in the show was my favorite – the romantic and percussive “Dazzling Blue”. He also played “The Afterlife”, the title track, “So Beautiful Or So What”, “Questions For the Angels”, and probably the most well received – “Rewrite”.
Now, as I mention just the other songs I remember, you’ll likely get a feeling for how FUN this show was! We were treated to “That Was Your Mother”, “Hearts and Bones”, “Diamonds On the Soles Of Her Shoes”, “Slip Slidin’ Away”, “Late In the Evening”, “Still Crazy After All These Years”, “Kodachrome”, “The Boy In The Bubble”, “Only Living Boy In New York”, “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover”, and a cover of “Here Comes the Sun” (among others!). The song that brought tears to my eyes was his solo acoustic rendition of “The Sound Of Silence”.
Get the idea???
I guess it’s not hard for a musician with a catalogue like Simon’s to put on an enjoyable show…but it was more than the songs. The band was extremely tight, with almost every member contributing parts on several different instruments depending on the song. The lights and backdrops were just enough; not distracting – making it feel like a concert but not some wild show. And Paul Simon himself was simply a DELIGHT to watch. His stage presence, his mannerisms, his guitar work, and above all his VOICE impressed me so much. I knew it would be a good show, but I was really amazed at the caliber of performance from this nearly 70-year-old artist.
**THE BAND: Cameroonian guitarist Vincent Nguini, drummer Jim Oblon, pianist Mick Rossi, saxophonist/keyboardist Andrew Snitzer, bassist Bakithi Kumalo, guitarist Mark Stewart, master percussionist Jamey Haddad and multi-instrumentalist Tony Cedras