A very special event all around. The evening began with a slideshow on the
multiple video screens from childhood photos to various scenes from the ´60s
& ´70s all set to the theme from ´America´. Then the two old friends sang a
song about ´old friends´. This was just the two of them.
The pair had a backing band that was more than capable, with Jim Keltner on
drums, Pino Palladino on bass, and several highly talented guitar/multi
instrumentalists whose names I don´t have here with me.
The gray, windy and wet weather in Seattle brought out the second song of
the night, ´A Hazy Shade of Winter´.
I did not write down a setlist, so I apologize for not having the whole
thing. But soon another song about winter came along, then the Sounds of
Silence, and eventually, a return to the slideshow brought scenes of ´The
Graduate´ which led into.... yes, you guessed it - Mrs. Robinson. We heard
The Boxer, I am a Rock, Bridge over Troubled Water, and so many other great
songs that accomanied me as I grew up in the ´60s and ´70s. The
arrangements were sometimes updated just a bit, but one constant wa the
unmistakable and timeless harmony of those two voices that know each other
We demanded two encores, and on the first, they played a song that,
according to Paul, they had not played in concert since 1967. I had the
refrain about green leaves tuning bown. I hope to get the full setlist
soon. It was a very wonderful and satisfying evening for all S&G fans in
attendance. They may never do this again, so I suggest that you GO SEE
THE NEWS TRIBUNE REVIEW:
It had been years since local fans of Simon & Garfunkel had gotten to see the iconic folk-pop act perform live. And Saturday night, the duo had a full house feelin´ groovy at KeyArena.
More than three decades after Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel formally parted ways, a decade after their last public concerts and just months after their surprise delivery of ´The Sound of Silence´ at this year´s Grammy Awards, the ´Old Friends´ tour rolled into Seattle to take all those baby boomers on a warm and fuzzy trip down memory lane.
The evening began on a nostalgic vibe with the star´s pictures projected onto overhead video screens, followed by a montage of early performance shots, civil rights footage and other markers of the past four decades.
Then the crowd erupted when the spotlight came on to reveal the men of the hour standing center stage. They began with the subdued, sentimental vibe of ´Old Friends,´ and played a set virtually identical to previous shows, down to a ´surprise´ appearance by the Everly Brothers.
A six-piece backup band joined them after the opening number, and throughout most of the evening provided fuller, louder arrangements of Simon & Garfunkel´s delicate folk sound.
They picked things up with ´Hazy Shade of Winter´ and followed with fan-favorite ´I Am a Rock´ before Garfunkel properly addressed the crowd.
´Thank you so much. That´s a lot of love you´re sendin´ up here,´ he said. ´It´s taken us a while to get this all together, but I could not be more thrilled.´
The pair projected a happy, carefree demeanor all evening and even managed to poke fun at the notorious feud that had kept them apart for so many years.
´We met when we were 11,´ Simon said about 20 minutes into the performance. ´We started to argue when we were 14.´
After the early number ´Hey, School Girl,´ Simon gave a nod to the group that had inspired them. ´The sound we were trying to create, that was based on the Everly Brothers,´ he said by way of introducing his idols.
The Everlys - dressed in matching black blazers - dished out crowd-pleasing classics ´Wake Up, Little Susie,´ ´Dream´ and ´Let It Be Me´ before being rejoined by Simon & Garfunkel on ´Bye Bye Love´ and making their exit.
Next up were two of the most well-received numbers of the night, the maudlin ´Scarborough Fair´ and ´Homeward Bound.´
The duo was still playing as the deadline for this review loomed.
-ERNEST A. JASMIN (email@example.com)
One of the greatest duos of the ´60s had everyone feelin´ groovy Saturday night.
Reunited folk-rock stars Simon & Garfunkel brought their ´Old Friends´ tour to KeyArena, bringing back a flood of baby-boomer memories with more than two dozen generation-defining songs that still sound great after decades of musical and social change.
Dropping by for a rare Seattle visit were two of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel´s musical heroes, the Everly Brothers, whose four-song guest set was a highlight of the two-hour concert.
Though the near-capacity crowd sat attentively for much of the show, many longtime fans could barely contain themselves when Simon & Garfunkel´s powerful harmonies kicked in during the third song, ´I Am a Rock.´
´That´s a lot of love you´re sending up here,´ Garfunkel said, beaming. ´I love these songs as much as you do.´
Simon & Garfunkel appeared to be enjoying themselves, joking with each other about a friendship that began in the sixth grade when both were cast in a school play of ´Alice in Wonderland.´
Simon was the more serious of the two as he led the backup band through the duo´s catalog of hits. Garfunkel did most of the talking and clearly enjoyed being back on stage. His high, soaring vocals haven´t diminished over the years.
´When we were rehearsing, we really didn´t think (the tour) would go down so well,´ Garfunkel told the cheering crowd. ´Thank you so much.´
The show began at about 8:30, a half hour late, with film clips and photos of the duo´s long friendship and career, which came to an end in 1970 with the release of ´Bridge Over Troubled Water.´
Garfunkel (in white shirt, black vest and faded jeans) and Simon (in brown T-shirt and black trousers) opened with a tender version of ´Old Friends,´ a nostalgic song whose lyrics -- ´Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly?/How terribly strange to be 70´ -- brought smiles and giggles from the audience.
The backup band of veteran players -- featuring guitarist Mark Stewart, who played on Simon´s 2000 album, ´You´re the One´ -- roared to life for rocking version of ´A Hazy Shade of Winter.´ From there, the concert covered a lot of musical ground, including many of the songs contained in the duo´s new, 33-song album, ´The Essential Simon & Garfunkel.´
A beautiful ´America´ preceded a rousing ´At the Zoo´ that brought handclaps from the audience. Garfunkel introduced ´Kathy´s Song´ as ´Paul´s most beautiful song,´ explaining that it had been dedicated to a friend who accompanied the duo in its European busker days, collecting money from passersby.
Introducing a version of ´Hey Schoolgirl,´ the duo´s first hit in the late ´50s (as Tom & Jerry), Garfunkel said that Simon had been ´cracking him up´ since the two met in grade school. ´People don´t know how funny he is,´ he said as Simon grinned. ´He´s been cracking me up for 50 years.´
Garfunkel then introduced ´our heroes,´ Don and Phil Everly, who offered a boisterous ´Wake Up, Little Susie,´ a stirring ´All I Have to Do Is Dream´ and a tender ´Let It Be Me´ before Simon & Garfunkel joined them for the rousing ´Bye Bye Love.´ Making the Everlys part of the show linked two eras of rock, as well as two of rock´s greatest duos.
Simon & Garfunkel resumed their show with a trio of wistful tunes -- ´Scarborough Fair/Canticle,´ ´Homeward Bound´ and ´The Sound of Silence´ -- bringing them a standing ovation. The mood brightened with a rousing, crowd-pleasing ´Mrs. Robinson´ accompanied by a video featuring clips from ´The Graduate.´ The duo teased each other before offering Simon´s solo hit, ´Slip Slidin´ Away.´
Most of the songs in the show were performed as longtime fans remember them. The band offered mandolin accompaniment for ´El Condor Pasa (If I Could)´ and boisterous backup for ´Keep the Customer Satisfied.´ Simon & Garfunkel traded lead vocals on ´The Only Living Boy in New York,´ which Simon wrote in 1969 while Garfunkel was in Mexico filming ´Catch 22.´ Pianist Warren Bernhardt (who toured with Steely Dan in the ´90s) was featured on the post-breakup hit ´My Little Town.´ The main set closed with a beautiful, soaring ´Bridge Over Troubled Water.´
Simon & Garfunkel returned to a cheering, foot-stomping crowd for ´Cecilia´ and ´The Boxer.´ The final encore featured ´Leaves That Are Green´ (performed on this tour for the first time since 1967), followed by a light-hearted, hand-clapping version of ´The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin´ Groovy).´
Impressions from an event of a lifetime - it felt like being stabbed in the back with a happy-drug
Parking? Not easy, and not cheap. Wendy found a spot five minutes away, a free one. Very nice. Niall (my boyfriend) and I had gone from Sweden a week earlier to see my heroes in concert. I have been a fan for almost 20 years, and the music of Simon and Garfunkel has deeply influenced my life in many positive ways.
*Pinch* Ouch! Nope. I wasn´t dreaming. I was finally there. It was quite cold out and a slight drizzle for the first time since we arrived in the coffee capital. We tried to get into several restaurants near the arena, but all were full and had a waiting time of about an hour and a half. We finally managed to find one. My mind was more focused on what was to come than the nice food.
Arriving at the venue, I saw a long queue. For merchandise. I got in line. One person dropped his cappucino mug (which promptly contained the caption: ´put it in your pantry with your cupcakes´). Everybody cheered. Not me, I would have been sad to see $25 wasted. I also was sad for that person´s sake. But nonetheless, I managed to spend $85 on a programme, a limited edition poster and a brick dye t-shirt (which is superb - I had to have it! :). By the way: the T-shirt colours run like nothing else. Beware! :) They did sell some shirt there for $100. I thought it was an old April Fool´s joke so I didn´t even look at what the item was.
Escaping from madness and animal-like cravings for t-shirts in the queue, we went to our seats. Section 217 - quite good seats. Not the most expensive but good enough. Anticipation was in the air as the roadies did their final checks on stage. Reggae music was playing in the speakers. It was getting warmer, and I was getting excited.
Bam! Black. Darkness.
The lights went out, and a video was shown on the big screens. I didn´t recognize all of the photos etc, but I´d seen some before. They showed clips of the Civil Rights movement as well as old S&G images. ´America´ was playing in the background as the memories flashed before our eyes. The crowded were in awe as the lights came on and there they were. Simon in a reddish t-shirt and black jeans and Garfunkel in the Central Park gear. ´Old friends´ - beautiful beautiful. Arties voice amazed me and I like it like it sounded: a bit more airy than in earlier years.
´A Hazy Shade of Winter´ - well, all I can say is that the Bangles can consider themselves overshadowed and out-rocked. I thought that alot of the songs were quite true to the originals, but tighter. The band was as tight as Paul´s in recent years. Very nice. In comparison to this, in my opinion, the Concert in the Park band seem lame. The audience clapped along to this one. During other songs, we sat quietly, on the edge listening for harmonies, super-attentively.
´I am a Rock´ - one of my favourites during this concert, both due to the vocals, but also the groove. The band did a fantastic job here! Cool to hear Artie join in on the long ´iiiiisland´ bits. Very very nice, indeed.
Artie (and Paul -lotsa-smiles-this-evening) seemed genuinely thrilled to be back with Simon in the spotlight. ´Thank you so much. That´s a lot of love you´re sendin´ up here,´ he said. ´It´s taken us a while to get this all together, but I could not be more thrilled.´ ´I love these songs every bit as much as you do´ - this made us cheer wildly.
America, At the Zoo, Baby Driver follwed. They were all very nice. ´America´ being the obvious favorite.
´Kathys song´, sung this evening by Art, and introduced as Paul´s most beautiful song. Very beautiful version, and I remember thinking about Art being in the spotlight whilst Paul stood on the side looking at him, accompanying him on the guitar, steady as a truck. I thought about all the things I´d read previously about how Paul used to feel when Art was in the spotlight getting cred for ´Bridge over Troubled Water´, when he was the one who wrote the song. This was maybe an attempt to show that all those feelings are being left behind. He did a great job just ´being there´ and lifting the songs to wuthering heights with his very steady playing.
The duo joked several times with each other about their friendship that began in the sixth grade when both were cast in a school play of ´Alice in Wonderland.´ Artie said that Simon had been ´cracking him up´ since they met in school. ´People don´t know how funny he is,´ he said as Simon grinned. ´He´s been cracking me up now for 50 years.´ Paul came up to the mike and talked a bit to the crowd. ´We met when we were 11,*pause* ´We started to argue when we were 14.´ *dragged out* Audience laughter followed.
´Hey Schoolgirl,´ the duo´s first hit in the late ´50s (as Tom & Jerry), was up next. Simon introduced it. The audience didn´t seem to know this so well, and laughed at it for the most part. I think it was meant to be funny - the laughter was meant at the silly rhymes in it.
The influence of the Everlys came up next, and they were introduced. As they came in, a person behind me said ´Oh my God!´. I though everybody knew. Especially since they´d been on every previous show, and also because they sold EB stuff in the merchandise stand. Cool that someone was surprised none the less!
Wake up Little Susie - very cool and audience loved it! They both looked and sounded well. All I have to do is Dream - this was supertight and very very good. I love the way they made eye contact with each other during this whole song as they stood oposite each other slightly instead of looking out straight ahead at the crowd. This made the vocals in this song in particular, extraordinary.
´Let it be me´ followed before S&G came back on and joined in. ´Bye Bye Love´ sounded good - it was fun seeing all of them onstage together.
´Scarborough Fair´ - Arties vocals were absolutely fantastic here. If I remember correctly, this caused a standing ovation - one of close to 10 throughout the evening. ´Homeward Bound´ - sounded great on the drums!! This song sounded so much better in this arrangement than in Central Park (which I don´t like so much). The drumpattern fit right in this time and made it quite nice, although not my favourite.
´The Sound of Silence´ followed before a few memorable scenes from The Graduate were displayed on the screens. Dustin´s lines and appearance surprised the crowd. What a great and interesting intro for ´Mrs Robinson´. The arrangement was more jam-session -like than I´d heard before.
´Slip Slidin Away´ - Paul said about this song that ´this would have been a great Simon and Garfunkel song´. Sounded superb, especially the ending - very good. ´El Condor Pasa´ - great, if you like the song. I tend to not like it because I hear it too often being played by those damned pan-pipe buskers. It´s just put me off it. It was never a favourite. None the less - the intro was sparkling and the crowd loved it.
´Keep the Customer Satisfied´ - I love this song and it was truly great to hear them sing it. Great vocals and great audience participation too! ´My little town´ was fantastic!! A lot of energy flowing both on and off stage. Great chord changes in this song!!
´American Tune´ was introduced by Art. He expressed concern and worry as to ´where this country is going´. This song left me absolutely and completely breathless. I really couldn´t breathe properly. It was an ´Oh-My-God´ type of feeling. It made me cry. I loved it. Probably my favourite this evening.
´The Only Living Boy in New York´ - has always been in my top 5 amongst all wonderful Simon and Garfunkel songs. Hearing this brought me close to shock. Like I said in the headline: it was like being stabbed in the back with a happy-drug: it felt both painful and wonderful at the same time. I was amazed at how nice and clean Paul´s vocals sounded. Also great that he didn´t mess around with it too much. Some songs are best left like the originals. This is one, and they did a fantastic job! Cool to hear the
backing vocals by band and Artie. it sounded true to the original, apart from the breathing pauses which made it more real.
Bridge Over Troubled Water was great also. It led to another standing ovation. Paul´s 2:nd verse was absolutely fantastic. He messed with it (and did his ´sign language´ thing) and made it sound as soulful as ever, perhaps as he once intended it to sound like, since he´s done alot of gospel versions of this. Very, dare I say, sensual, and sincere.
A standing crowd were hungry for more after the two said thanks and goodbye.
We were introduced to the percussionist as he started the intro to ´Cecilia´. Instantly the audience were on their feet. This was obviously a great crowd - pleaser.
The Theramin came out in ´The Boxer´ and seeing the screens close-ups of the playing was very very interesting. Extremely hard to play in tune, those things. I want one!
They left and came back a second time, all very planned, but still. We didn´t care! I had hoped for ´Song for the Asking´ or even better ´Bleeker Street´, but they followed their by now well-rehearsed setlist and played ´Leaves that are Green´. Artie came back in the white shirt without the vest. (important trivia, don´t you know). The audience giggled as Paul sang: ´I´m 22 now but I won´t be for long´. Feelin Groovy - great fun and audience loved this!
I remember thinking back of the highlights as I left the venue: Artie´s voice over all- fantastic! America, American Tune, I am a Rock, the band in general, lots of smiles and jokes from both Art and Paul.... and a feeling that I didn´t want it to end. Don´t you just hate that feeling? I still have it. But I hope that a DVD will come out - I reckon they will record at Madison Square Garden, but who knows. I hope this DVD will also have interviews and lots of yummy extras.
Back in Sweden now. I hope all you concert-goers out there have a great time, despite outrageous ticket prices. It´s just another oportunity for concert promoters and others including the two above to make some more money. That said, neither Simon nor Garfunkel need the cash and I doubt that their in this for the money. I just think it´s an oportunity for them to have fun together again - for a change.
in great awe,
Lina Kvist - Sweden
Simon & Garfunkel: Seattle, WA 11/1/03 @ Key Arena
Jen drops me off early at Key Arena, just as S&G´s tour bus pulls up. The bus drives all the way down to the loading docks in the bowels of the venue to unload the people. I yell S&G´s names as they appear, and they wave before heading in. The security guard there tells me that they are not coming out again, as the weather is too cold (these guys are getting old).
Later on, the show proved to be great: 2 hours packed with hits. We had 3rd row, 1st section off of the floor, so we had good visibility just above the floor seats (and paid considerably less). The concert started off with film clips of 1960´s era issues (civil rights, women´s lib, Vietnam, the folk scene, etc.) and S&G start into ´Old Friend / Bookends´. Two hours of classics followed. Halfway through, S&G bring out their childhood heroes, the Everly Brothers, who perform a mini-set of their hit ballads acoustically. S&G then rejoin them for a great sing-along version of ´Bye Bye Love´. S&G´s voices were in great form, and Paul´s guitar playing is even more fluid and blues-inflected. The backing band was also great, with some very talented multi-instrumentalists. Overall, a great show with sing-alongs all night.
I know that security was pretty lax during the show...if anyone managed to record the show (or any other), I´m definitely interested in trading. Please contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org