Simon and Garfunkel call their reunion tour ´Old Friends,´ for one of the folk-rock duo´s hits. ´Keep the Customer Satisfied´ would have worked just as well at Conseco Fieldhouse last night.
The 1960s icons thrilled the boomer crowd with a show full of grace and feeling.
At 8:30 p.m., overhead screens flashed slides and movies of the famously bickering pals from boyhood. When the tribute faded out, ´Old Friends´ tuned in, and the chums seemed to bask in each other´s presence.
Hewing to their look and sound, the pair remained faithful to many numbers.
But they didn´t totally rest on their laurels. Whether onstage alone for acoustic numbers or backed by a tight band, the 62-year-old troubadours tweaked at least half a dozen of the songs. Highlights included an electric ´Hazy Shade of Winter,´ a syncopated ´I Am a Rock,´ a country ´Homeward Bound´ and a rollicking ´Mrs. Robinson.´
´Well, good evening, you Hoosiers,´ Art Garfunkel said early on. ´I know it´s taken a bunch of years to get this together, and I´m sorry about that. But I´m thrilled to be in your town tonight with Paul.´
One appearance in town was at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum in May 1968, at a fund-raiser for Sen. Eugene McCarthy´s presidential campaign. Dustin Hoffman introduced them, and a firecracker thrown from the audience interrupted the concert in midsong.
This second leg of the ´Old Friends´ tour kicked off in Albany, N.Y., earlier this month. Half a million fans attended the first leg late last year. Though the twosome has gotten back together once in a while over the years since breaking up after their last album in 1970, this marks their first tour in two decades.
Simon picked a perfectionist´s restless guitar; Garfunkel grasped the microphone like an impassioned lover. As a singer, Simon´s reedy pensiveness continues to balance Garfunkel´s ethereal quiver, and they weaved harmonies around Simon´s often poetic lyrics.
They segued niftily from ´At the Zoo´ to ´Baby Driver.´ Garfunkel declared that ´Kathy´s Song´ was his favorite Simon love song. They told interrelated, semiscripted anecdotes about how they met in sixth grade. That led to their high school novelty number, ´Hey, Schoolgirl,´ which they performed as Tom and Jerry.
It borrowed from their musical heroes, the Everly Brothers, who did a polished mini-set Wednesday evening; it included ´Wake Up Little Suzie,´ ´Dream´ and ´Bye Bye Love.´ Simon and Garfunkel joined them for the latter.
A cello accompanied ´Scarborough Fair´ to lovely effect. ´The Sound of Silence´ accrued moral power. Performing Simon´s solo hit, ´Slip Slidin´ Away,´ he admitted that Garfunkel should have been a part of it n the first place. They shared ´Bridge Over Troubled Water´ with earnest conviction.
As ´Bookends´ says, ´Time it was.´