I realised that my post was getting lengthy, and so decided to stop at the convenient point of crossover.
Paul Simon got on stage at 8:40 pm – the show finished at 10:50 (on the dot!). This means that he had a good two hours of singing, which, from what I saw, was done without a single sip of water!
It also means that he got in a good 20+ songs! (And about 20 different guitars too, I’d say!)
His band for the show were:
- Tony Cedras (Accordion & Keyboard),
- Andy Snitzer (Saxaphone & Synths),
- Jim Oblon (Drums & Vocals),
- Jamey Haddad (Percussion),
- Bakithi Kumalo (Bass),
- Mick Rossi (Piano),
- Mark Stewart (Guitar & Cello),
- and Vincent Nguini (Guitar)
The entire band did gorgeous back up vocals for some of the songs, and Mick Rossi did an extended piano solo, as did Bakithis Kumala on the bass. I was amazed by the number of instruments on the stage – so many guitars were interchanged, so many types of drums and percussion instruments, and flutes and…just WOW!! Completely different to Rufus Wainwright’s lone voice, lone instrument approach, but just as good. It was amazing to see how they all complemented each other, and to realise that what I was listening to on CD wasn’t just two guitars, one set of drums and maybe an extra instrument or two, it was at least 8 different ones!!!! Theirs smooth transitions and obvious knowledge of the songs reminded me of the phrase “a well oiled machine“.
Simon didn’t talk much, apart from the obligatory “I’m crazy about your country” thing. Instead, he and his talented band whipped out song after song after song, often continuing without pause for several, before giving the audience a teensy break to wrap their head around the magnificent sounds being broadcast around the stadium.
I have to say…because of daylight savings, and the day I’d had at school, and the subsequent fatigue, I just gave up watching them perform for some songs – I just closed my sore eyes and listened with my head on my mother’s shoulder, opening them every once in a while and sitting up and singing along when I knew the words. But after the encores I was boogying along with the rest of the line, although we didn’t stand up unless it was to clap out of respect for the people behind us (mum and I both wished that we’d gotten seats on the floor, but they’d already sold out when we booked our tickets).
This is a complete list of the songs played at the concert, which I made up with the help of my holey memory, my mum’s and several other reviews, which I mention below.
- Dazzling Blue
- 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
- Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard
- That Was Your Mother
- Hearts & Bones
- Mystery Train/Wheels
- Slip Slidin’ Away
- My Little Town
- The Obvious Child
- The Only Living Boy In New York
- Crazy Love Vol. II
- So Beautiful, So What
- Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Feet
- Late In The Evening
- The Sound Of Silence – guitar Paul Simon solo
- Kodachrome/Gone At Last
- Here Comes The Sun – Beatles cover
- You Can Call Me Al
- Pretty Thing – Bo Diddley cover done by Jim Oblon
- The Boxer – sung as a duet with Rufus Wainwright, which was beautifully done and ended with goodbye hugs and lots of thank yous, and in which we got to sing along, taking the official part of the “Lie la lies”
- Still Crazy After All These Years
- The Boy In The Bubble – grand finale!
So, I had a lot of fun! I especially enjoyed listening to variations of songs that I knew – the way everything was slightly more complex, or more upbeat, or had a twist on it – it was great!
Thank you very much to my mum and dad, who made it possible for me to go – I’m sure I will remember this first for a long, long time!
– Let’s call me Lily
You can also check out these reviews, which have more of an analysis on the music itself, and were probably written by people who actually know something about music 😛
- NZ Herald Review
- Blogspot Review
- 13FloorsReviews – a wordpress blog from where I completed my list of songs (I missed a few), as well as getting the gorgeous photos