The neck of my Guitar

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July 07, 2004 - USA / Texas
Houston - Toyota Center


Old Friends/Bookends
Hazy Shade Of Winter
I Am A Rock
At The Zoo
Baby Driver
Kathy’s Song
Hey Schoolgirl
Wake Up Little Suzie
Let It Be Me
Bye Bye Love (w/Simon & Garfunkel)
Scarborough Fair
Homeward Bound
The Sound of Silence
Mrs. Robinson
Slip Slidin’ Away
El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
Keep The Customer Satisfied
Only Living Boy In New York
American Tune
My Little Town
Bridge Over Troubled Water
The Boxer
Leaves That Are Green
Feelin’ Groovy

The band (not all members are present at all shows)

Mark Stewart - Guitars, Cello, Saxophone, selfmade instruments
Jamey Haddad - Percussion
Rob Schwimmer - Keyboards, Theramin
Jim Keltner - Drums
Larry Saltzman - Guitar
Warren Bernhardt - Piano
Freddie Washington - Bass

Fans who attended this show


Review by:
Citizen For Boysenberry Jam

In front of a packed Toyota Center audience in Houston, Texas, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel appeared on stage after a short video projected scenes from our nations recent history and images of the duo from boyhood to manhood. Opening with Old Friends/Bookends, the classic lyric that sang, ... how terribly strange to be 70, rung a peculiar chord with the audience that included life-long Simon & Garfunkel fans and a whole new generation of teenagers in the midst of discovering and appreciating the great works of Simon, one of Americas greatest songwriters.

The solemn ode to time and friendship was immediately followed by a string of hits, including a rocking Hazy Shade Of Winter, a Bob Dylan-influenced I Am A Rock, and an almost perfect rendition of America, one of the greatest songs the duo ever recorded. Garfunkel greeted the crowd with a warm welcome saying, And finally, its Houston!

A medley followed that included an odd pairing of At The Zoo and Baby Driver, but after the mini-jam session with S&Gs seven-piece band concluded, Garfunkel rang supreme on Kathys Song, a tune he heralded as Pauls greatest love song.

Chatter followed as the duo, whose members are now both 62, joked about how they met, their highly publicized arguments and their mutual respect for each other at the present time. An audience member belted, Welcome home, boys! Simon, a New Yorker, replied, Welcome home? When are you guys gonna give us Roger Clemens (former New York Yankees pitcher now with the Houston Astros) back?!

After a laugh from the crowd, he introduced the first song the duo ever recorded as the Everly Brothers-influenced Tom & Jerry, Hey Schoolgirl. After singing a few verses, Simon welcomed the duos idols to the stage, Don and Phil Everly.

Opening with Wake Up Little Suzie, the brothers sang through 50s hits like Dream and Let It Be Me. They were finally joined on stage by the stars of the evening as Simon, Garfunkel, Everly and Everly jammed to Bye, Bye Love, a tune S&G included on their Grammy-winning last album BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER.

The Everlys left the stage to let S&G take over - and the folk-rock duo did just that. Every favorite was played, including Scarborough Fair, Homeward Bound, a hair-raising rendition of the groups first hit The Sound of Silence, and Mrs. Robinson, which was preceded by scenes on the video screen from the classic S&G soundtrack-laden film THE GRADUATE.

Only two Paul Simon solo pieces were recreated by S&G: Slip Slidin Away and American Tune. But the showstopper was undoubtedly the shared performance of Bridge Over Troubled Water.

One of Simons greatest songs, but also one of his greatest curses, the duos history of tension can be epitomized by the reason of the success of this tune. While wonderfully written, it was Garfunkel who lent his angelic tenor to the recording, making it one of the most loved songs the group ever produced. But Simons genius was often overlooked upon the songs performance until the duo split in 1970 and Simon began performing the song on his own.

This recent reunions performances of Bridge have included Garfunkel on the opening verse, Simon on the second verse, then the two harmonizing on the climactic third verse. The performance received an immediate standing ovation from the audience as S&G took their bows before their first encore.

The duo returned to perform a jubilant Cecilia and the epic The Boxer before leaving the stage again. The crowd eventually brought them back for a final encore that included the obscure but lovely Leaves That Are Green and concluded with the playful 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin Groovy).

In comparison to the winter shows in 2003, Simon & Garfunkel were impeccable on this July 7 evening, turning in a nearly perfect two-hour set. The duo sounded rehearsed and intent on performing a quality show as opposed to two old men past their prime singing old songs they used to play to make a living. While the last winters shows (judging by the Wilkes-Barre, Boston and Washington performances) took a while for S&G to lock into each other on stage, tonights performance featured a duo harmony sound they probably havent reproduced since 1981s Concert In Central Park.

Simons playing was astute and his vocals concentrated on a melody set for Garfunkels creative harmonies. Even the band worked hard to create a fully polished ensemble, highlighted by Mark Stewarts guitar and cello solos, and Warren Bernhardts piano playing.

All in all, Simon & Garfunkel gave Houstonians an evening full of memorable songs presented with sweet performances. With a 12-show stint across the pond on the horizon, its safe to say S&G is ready to blow Europe away.

Review by:
Houston Chronicle

July 8, 2004, 12:48AM
Simon & Garfunkel are back in harmony
Copyright 2004 Houston Chronicle

The irony of Simon & Garfunkel opening their first Houston concert in 34 years with the subtle strum of Old Friends could not have been lost on the near-capacity crowd at the Toyota Center Wednesday night.

The joke certainly wasnt lost on Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, two iconic folkies who sang about peace in the 60s, but have spent the following decades squabbling and staying away from each other.

On Wednesday one of rock n rolls most dubiously celebrated feuds was put aside for a night of Simon & Garfunkel hits, solo gems and a short set by the duos mentors, the Everly Brothers. It was a historic event and made one feel gratified to have been there and puzzled as to why to old friends couldnt get it together enough to get back to Houston before this. They hadnt performed together here since 1968.

If Simon and Garfunkel truly were the best of buds, the fact that this reunion tour, their first since 1983, wouldnt be nearly the historic rock n roll event it has become. Five years ago, the idea that the new millennium would ever see the most celebrated folk rockers of the 60s whip through 23 songs was fantasy.

At the duos Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inception several years ago, Simon said he had hoped that he and Garfunkel could iron out their differences. He quickly added, No rush.

On Wednesday, Simon & Garfunkel sang songs that marked time in voices that sound preserved by science.

So its Houston at last, Garfunkel said. I know its taken us years to get this together, but Im thrilled to be in your town.

Simon and Garfunkel, both 62 years old, finally let bygones be bygones.

One things for sure. If this was their last stand, they went out on an Art Garfunkel-like high note.

The show opened with a timeline of Simon & Garfunkel family pictures interspersed with the historic moments that paralleled their friendship that began in elementary school. In the 50s it was clean-cut school boys performing as Tom & Jerry cut with shots of Mickey Mantle hitting for the New York Yankees. The 60s era that made them legends showed Equal Rights marches and Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. The short film ended at the steps of the Toyota Center last night.

Appearing in front of two center stage mics, Wednesdays version of Old Friends began as a low warble with only Simons acoustic guitar for accompaniment. It sounded like age might have taken a slight toll on their voices until Garfunkel let the first soaring notes of his tenor rise above the strum. All of a sudden the nostalgia of the 60s came alive for baby boomers, while those who came after got a taste of the experience.

While Simon & Garfunkel are considered mellow, on songs like America and At The Zoo the diminutive Simon demonstrated how he could still straddle a phantom pony and throw his guitar around for punctuation. I Am a Rock from 1966s Sounds of Silence is proof-positive of just how much more powerful these two voices are together than apart.

They could rock, but Simon & Garfunkel were rooted in the traditions of socially conscious and journal entry folk. Kathys Song, about their days busking in England, is not one of their best-known. With Garfunkel crooning alone on a stool and Simon behind him strumming light strings, it turned out to be one of the most beautiful arrangements of the evening.

Its very easy to sing when the songs are that good, Garfunkel said in a gesture of kindness to songwriter Simon.

This tour is supposed to be about old friends Simon & Garfunkel, but the four-song set by the Everlys, including Wake Up Little Susie, Dream and Let It Be Me was a showcase for just how well this influential duo has kept in excellent voice.

The Everly Brothers invited Simon & Garfunkel back on stage for their final song, Bye Bye Love. It was one of those moments that you know cannot be topped. The headliners tried, however, pulling out all the stops for the shows second half.

The ominous hum of Scarborough Fair gave way to Simon & Garfunkels phantom vocals, triangle chimes and bubbling sounds used as percussive accessories. A brushed shimmy on a snare introduced Homeward Bound, another song from 1966s Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Simons guitar solo and piano vamp left Garfunkel a bit of a spectator. It was the first song of the night that felt like it belonged solely to Simon. More followed: his post-S&G solo work, Slip Slidin Away and American Tune.

The Toyota Center crowd concentrated for the entire evening, but stirring renditions of The Sound of Silence, Mrs. Robinson and Bridge Over Troubled Water made the arena vacuum silent. It felt like time had stopped.