Just got back from the Cleveland S & G show and will share these quick observations...
Overall it was a good show, about 2 hours long though Artie is really losing his voice. To tell the truth he still has more range than I expected though the timbre of his voice is different--softer and a bit muffled sounding. Whereas Dylan, who is in a much more advanced state of losing his voice, has more control and range when singing softly, Art had more when really projecting. When he backed off the volume, he sometimes missed notes. In a few (but not more than a few) places it sounded like he was hitting the wrong notes.
Paul & Art both got ahead of the accompanying musicians in one song & had to pause to let them catch up; it was clearly a mistake and not creative phrasing. Art sang ´Kathy´s Song´ and Paul took a solo verse in ´Bridge...´. I was glad to hear them do song´s I´d never heard them do live like ´Baby Driver´ (the highlight for me) and ´Keep the Customer Satisfied.´ I was also glad that both the somewhat bland softrock arrangements of the type on ´Concert in Central Park´ and Paul´s beloved Third Worldist instrumentation were gone. Instead it seemed that a nod was made to the recorded versions of the songs without them trying to copy the discs note for note. Arrangements and lyrical emphases were altered here & there from long time S&G performance preferences, e.g. the ´Younger than I´ll be but that´s not unusual´ verse was dropped from ´The Boxer´ and the solo Art arranged reappeared performed on slide guitar.
That´s all for now. I must get to bed.
Emulate Bonobo society!
Cheers for `Sounds of Silence´
Simon & Garfunkel re-create folk-rock harmonies with well-loved classics for full house at Gund
The film montage that opened Simon & Garfunkel´s show at the Gund Arena on Monday night featured clips of the duo at various stages of their lives, mixed with footage of American history from the last 35 years.
Everything from joyous hippies, to Vietnam protests, disco, Ronald Reagan, MTV and O.J. flashed across the giant screen hovering above the stage. When the screen went black, a single spotlight revealed the sexagenarian folk-rock duo in a familiar stance. Both were casually dressed, with Art Garfunkel, famous receding afro still intact and Paul Simon, whose hairline has caught up to his partner´s, wielding a 12-string acoustic guitar to a massive ovation.
The reunited pair quietly began with the tour´s namesake, Old Friends, and proceeded to wow the full house with 23 songs from their beloved catalog.
The pair was backed by a seven-piece band that immediately made its presence felt with a rollicking version of Hazy Shade Of Winter. The trademark unison singing and harmonies took a few songs to settle in, but by the fourth song, America, their still strong voices had found a groove.
With no new material to push to the crowd, Simon & Garfunkel kept fans in their seats through the two-hour show, reeling off one classic after another. Most of the hits made the set: Scarborough Fair, a lightly shuffling Homeward Bound. The Sounds of Silence and a grooving Mrs. Robinson were all greeted by massive ovations. The set closed with a very soulful reading of Bridge Over Troubled Water, with an animated Simon giving his verse a gospel feel and Garfunkel nailing the high note with perfect clarity, again bringing the crowd to its feet.
One of the many highlights of the evening was an appearance by the Everly Brothers, who Simon said provided the template for their sound. The brothers, like the show´s stars, have had their share of falling-outs; they brought the crowd to its feet with pitch-perfect renditions of their classics, Wake Up Little Susie, Dream and Let It Be Me before being joined by Simon and Garfunkel to perform Bye, Bye Love with considerable help from the audience.
Plain Dealer Reporter
The years melted away last night at Gund Arena in a sold-out concert as the Simon and Garfunkel ´Old Friends´ tour stopped off in our little town.
The voices are deeper, the songs are sung a little differently, as if they, too, changed with the years, but when Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sang together, it was like they had never been apart.
Appropriately, they opened with ´Old Friends (Bookends)´ after a video show on the suspended big screen interspersed scenes from the men´s careers with the events of the past 50 years.
´A Hazy Shade Of Winter´ allowed the seven-piece rock band to show that Simon and Garfunkel were years away from the acoustic folk circuit.
The crowd recognized almost every song with the first few notes, breaking out in spontaneous applause and cheers when Simon played the opening notes to a particularly powerful version of ´I Am A Rock.´
The duo took their familiar places on the stage, as they did for more than a decade before they split. Simon stood silent with his guitar until it came time to sing and Garfunkel, birdlike with his hands tucked into his pockets, joined his voice in harmony. It was like magic.
Simon was rather quiet throughout the show; Garfunkel did most of the bantering with the audience.
Highlights were powerful versions of ´Kathy´s Song,´ a haunting rendering of ´Sounds Of Silence´ and an extended version of ´Homeward Bound´ that seemed to have special significance.
They even performed a few of Simon´s solo songs, like ´Slip Slidin´ Away,´ which Simon said always sounded like a Simon and Garfunkel song.
Simon sang ´El Condor Pasa,´ usually performed by Garfunkel, and Simon soloed with ´The Only Living Boy In New York,´ a song he said he wrote while Art was in Mexico filming ´Catch 22.´
In a surprise move, they played the first song the guys ever recorded together, ´Hey Little Girl in The Second Row,´ recorded when they were only teenagers. Noting that the Everly Brothers were clear early influences, they proved the point by bringing on the duo, much to the surprise of many fans.
Don and Phil Everly played ´Wake Up, Little Susie´ and ´Bye Bye Love´ and a couple of other numbers before surrendering the stage back to Simon and Garfunkel.