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The neck of my Guitar

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July 11, 2008 - France
Paris - Palais des Sports



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

Vincent Nguini - Guitar
Bakithi Kumalo - Bass
Mark Stewart - Guitars, Cello, Saxophone, selfmade instruments
Tony Cedras - Accordeon, Keyboard, Guitars
Andy Snitzer - Saxophone, Synthesizer
Jamey Haddad - Percussion
Charley Drayton - Drums




Fans who attended this show

 
Mireille Bignon
Cécilia
Sylvie





Review by:
Radseresht

This was, im sure, the highlight of the love in hard times tour. The pALAIS DES SPORTS WAS PACKED, IT WASNT FULL, BUt ID SAY IT WAS 3/4 full which was great. From the start to finish, there was complete energy in the hall. Paul seemed extremely happy, and he made sure that every note he sang lasted. There was such a build up on all his songs, the anticipation was enormous. We love paul simon. It is hard to say which songs i liked the best, becuz they were all amazing. Everybody was singing along to the end songs, like you can call me al, still crazy, and of course the boxer. Sound of silence was beautiful, but the performances of train in the distance and Duncan were beautiful. Everybody got out of their seats and hurried up to the front to dance for the up-beat songs, and sat around, absorbing the sweet music of the slower ballads. This was a truly amazing night, paul was at his best, and it is a moment i will never forget.

Review by:
ForeverPaul

As usual French people have to say they are the best... They are the best at everything...

Even Paul did his best concert in France... ´highlight of the tour´...

Have you seen a lot of concerts during this tour ?

So tired of the french...

Review by:
ForeverPaul

As usual French people have to say they are the best... They are the best at everything...

Even Paul did his best concert in France... ´highlight of the tour´...

Have you seen a lot of concerts during this tour ?

So tired of the french...

Review by:
CĆ©cilia

(My English isn´t very good, I hope everybody will understand...)

Yes, the concert was amazing. First of all, Paul was in great shape. With years passing by, I thought maybe Paul´s concerts wouldn´t be as great as before... How could I think that ??? And his voice is still the same !

It was great from the very first song : it was a very good idea to begin with ´Gumboots´. As for the setlist, I would have liked to hear more songs from the ´Surprise´ album. Only three songs (´Outrageous´, ´How can you live in the Northeast ?´, ´Father and Daughter´), it´s not much. I would have liked to hear ´Wartime Prayers´ or ´Another Galaxy´ especially. On the other hand, we had six songs from the ´Graceland´ album... and I´m not gonna complain about it ! Otherwise, there are songs I would have liked to hear which were not on the setlist, but it´s quite normal when you think about all the songs Paul has written. But there were only good songs (when I say ´good´, it´s a euphemism) on the setlist. Even a song like ´The Cool, Cool River´, which isn´t a song I would have necessarily chosen if I´d been asked to make the list, was an extraordinary moment (the end of the song was especially great).

The band (Mark Stewart, Vincent Nguini, Bakithi Kumalo, Tony Cedras, Andy Snitzer, Jamey Haddad, Steve Shehan and Charley Drayton) was tremendous. The version we had of ´Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes´ was a little surprising compared to the original version, but it was wonderful too.

The audience was fantastic and dancing a lot. At the end of the concert, there were many people standing in front of the stage, so many that I could hardly move on You can call me Al or Late in the Evening, and I wanted to move !

Someone (I know now it´s Natacha), during the concert, shouted : ´Paul, you´re sexy !´, and Paul answered something like : ´I´ll remember that´ (or just ´I´ll remember´ ?).

The concert was about 2 hours long (a little more). And it was too short ! It was just magical, thrilling, tremendous. But all that we can say only gives a faint idea of how magical the concert was. I think Paul was as happy as we were. And it was wonderful to see how happy he was.

(And it was wonderful to shake his hand during the concert... And Paul pointed at me when he was singing ´That was your mother´... and it was wonderful too...)


So now, I hope that Paul will come back to France, and very soon...

Review by:
LuisM.

MAGIC NIGHT SOUNDS BY THE SEINE RIVERSIDE

After having been impossible for me to attend Paul Simon´s performances in Europe; I could finally see one of my dreams come true: to see a Paul Simon´s concert at live (the only one I had previously seen before took place in Madrid, 1982, but he wasn´t alone, it was accompanied by Garfunkel).

Among all the possibilities, I chose Paris for the date and also to enjoy (my last visit had been 20 years ago) the ´city of the art and culture´¯, again.

The first thing I did when I saw the links for Palais des Sports on the official site, I reserved two seats on the third row (towards the corner, that´s true).

I do declare it was more than a special moment for me, so I had been waiting for a long time to see my illusion became a reality.

The high price of the tickets could be balanced with a low-cost flight that landed in Beauvais airport from Barajas (Madrid). It was a sort of stopover because it takes 80 minutes to Porte Maillot by bus (which is waiting for you, that´s true, just when the plane arrives).

Finally, it was July 10th, so we started our short trip. We got to the hotel at ten p.m. that had been chosen almost at random, by the internet. Small and simple but cosy, it provided us with a pleasant surprise: the Eiffel Tower could be seen through the window of the room.

Next day I red the French journals, trying to find some information about the concert´¦.Nothing! Not even a single advertising at the streets. I thought: is it possible they don´t know Paul Simon is coming to play today at this town?

Early in the morning we took a long walk by the Champs Elysees, cross the Seine River along the Alexander III Bridge, and finished visiting the Orly museum, where you can enjoy de impressionist pictures and the old railway station architecture, at the same time.

Just before leaving to the concert we realized there was a bus (number 80), which could leave us in Porte de Versailles (place of Palais des Sports location), and it had a bus-stop in front of our hotel. The problem was that we took it in the wrong way (although we live in Madrid, we felt like provincials in a big city, at that moment). Fortunately, Mayte asked the driver who, kindly, recommended us to use the bus-stop on the other side of the street. We would have to get off just at the last bus-stop, so we couldn´t get lost and we arrived on time.

There were no more than twenty people, but I calmed down myself when we saw the big poster on the wall.

The long hour we had to be waiting for seemed to last forever. At least, we enjoyed with the usherettes, watching people´s faces, when suggested in French (and in English if you didn´t understand) that they were in the necessity of asking you for the tip, because it was the only payment that they would receive from the organization (as if it had been them who paid the tickets).

At half past eight it was almost full. There were vacancies at the upper zone, that´s true. Mayte and I estimated, roughly, that we could be over 1.600 people.

Finally, the band turned up on the stage, Paul was the last one. A short bow with a little smile was the only prelude to the rhythm´s chords of ´Gumboots´¯. This freshly song from ´Graceland´¯ was a nice beginning, and we could realize the powerful of the percussion parts (two percussionists besides the drummer, with the help of Tony Cedras ´“keyboard and accordion- or Simon himself in some songs), and the wind instruments in the concert.

The sound was really perfect, in a echoing wonderfully place´¦ and, ten meters straight, no more, was Paul Simon in person (not could I have ever dreamed).

- He looks old, Mayte tells me, but he still sings marvellously. I agree with that remark and rush to write in my notebook, almost in darkness, the songs in the same order that are sung, just the set-list of the journey (it´s my commitment with thesoundofsimon.tk forum, specially with Mikel who will travel to Rome to watch him soon).

The next song begins with Tony´s accordion in a melody that we quickly identify. People greet ´The Boy in the bubble´¯ tune, noisily. Paul accompanies with the acoustic rhythm guitar, and Bakithi Kumalo does his best on bass. Good start´¦

The third song requires Paul´s leading role, following by Vincent Nguini and Mark Stewart´s electric guitars: ´Outreageus´¯ from the recent ´Surprise´¯. The level continues going up and the sounds, perfect, caress the eardrums (mines at least, I know there are many different tastes, as many as colours ´¦).

Someone with ´dual period´¯ nostalgia greeted effusively ´Mrs Robinson appearance´¯, but, in general, the audience remained little bit cold (demanding public, or are we getting old?). Paul kept some strategic silence, giving us the chance to sing the best known parts, but we didn´t start on (at that time). Anyway, spectacular ovation, that´s right.

To continue, another visit to the atmospheric guitars from ´Surprise´¯, with a soft version of ´How Can You Live In The Northeast?´¯. Great. Charley Drayton, on drums, replaces Steve Gadd´s lay off, efficiently.

At last, the revolutions come down with ´Slip Sliding Away´¯. The acoustic guitars lead the rhythm and Tony Cedras himself choose one guitar, showing his versatile style and good skills. Mark Stewart (and even Vincent Nguini) songs the chorus for Simon, with a good mark.

Someone makes some remark in French language and Paul (not too talkative as he is used to being), only points out to Vincent Nguini as a French specialist. He takes it personally and gives us, women and men, his best wishes for this night.

Next, a visit to the Brazilian sounds in ´Spirit Voices´¯. In this version the verses used to be sung in Portuguese by Milton Nascimento (´The Rhythm Of The Saints´¯) are replaced with wind sections leaded by Andy Snitzer, a genius, no doubt. Vincent Nguini is brilliant on guitar also.

Our beat increases when ´Me and Julio down by the schoolyard´¯ starts. Now we are really singing and clapping in unison. The acoustic guitars are accompanied by Paul and Vincent´s harmonic whistles. Tony visits the guitar again, and Andy performs really good. The audience awards it with an ovation.

´You are the one´¯ makes me shivers. Perfect sounds wrapped in percussion with the only exception of Tony Cedra´s tenor sax. Jamey Haddad, the percussionist, is accompanied by Steve Shehan who also appears in the CD credits (album with the same name than this song).

The next song was, no doubt for me, the best one of the concert, surely because I didn´t expect so high level in his performance. Simon wrote ´Duncan´¯ (who was dedicated to President Lincoln) in 1972, to play it with The Incas/Urubamba (an instrumental group from Machu Pichu in Peru). Paul´s performance on acoustic guitar was a real gifted show; even, he had no problems to play those difficult arpeggios.

The Andeans flutes were replaced by wind instruments, and Mark Stewart was really good what a big musician (just the way he is), accompanied by Andy and Tony. It sounded great. I clapped till to hurt my hands.

Another person shouts something in English that I can´t understand. Paul answers with a laconic ´I remember that´¦´¯

The concert level still stands higher with ´Train in the distance´¯. Andy´s sax shows the perfect contrast.

´The Teacher´¯, from his last but one studio recording, gives us another taste of impeccable sounds, with a deluxe percussion, and Tony is great on the accordion.

At this time I don´t remember exactly when Paul invites Jamey Haddad to come to the first line. He wears a percussion waistcoat wich has been made by himself, according to a report that I red.

After the claps for ´The Teacher´¯ the band goes out, but Paul still remains. With his acoustic guitar begins to play ´The Sound Of Silence´¯ chords. This acoustic version in a solo performance is another delight to our ears.

The band returns, with Vincent N´guini as a music star in ´The cool, cool river´¯. Next then, another look to the past with ´The only living boy in New York´¯. Paul doesn´t go too far and it seems to be better than the Old Friends DVD version (with Garfunkel). Mark, Tony and Vincent himself sing the chorus, well harmonized.

With people trying to approach the stage, other ones standing or dancing, everybody enjoys the first chord of ´Graceland´¯. New synchronized claps and new guitars demonstration (special mention to Mark). People are definitely devoted to the cause.

´Father and Daughter´¯ is the next song, played in a sweet rhythm, softer than the Oscar nominated version. Right then, although the show was really good and under control, it became a small whistle that afterwards became a big (although short) noise. The high pitch whistle gets Tony Cedras to look to the control sound switchboard little disappointed ´¦But that was the entire problem, fortunately. Simon makes another magisterial vocal performance.

The main course was yet to come, of course: ´Diamonds on the soles of her shoes´¯. Now there´s no respite. Everybody, till I see, is standing, dancing and clapping. Vincent´s guitar and Bakhiti´s solo on bass take us flying to the tremendous drum and percussion final battlefield.

The first act ends. Applauses and popular requests are listened when he turns up again.

Tony Cedra´s keyboards introduces the first verses of ´Still crazy after all these years´¯. Simon does his best and Andy´s sax seems to carry us to Central Park with Michael Brecker.

Next, one of the essential live songs: ´You can call me Al´¯. The people have setting nearer and nearer to the stage (just if they could, it was no possible for us). Paul gives the microphone to a beginner who sings excited: Call me Al!

This second part ends with ´That was your mother´¯. I think that Simon is coherent with the still alive Graceland success, but I begin to believe it won´t be possible to listen ´Wartime Prayers, American Tune, Something so right, Peace like a river, Proof ´¦.and of course Thelma´¯, one of my favourite songs. I assume, as well, there is no possibility to take a look at ´The Capeman´¯, although it contains wonderful songs.

This last song is impeccably played, with Mark Stewart at the sax section (one, specially, sounding great) and Tony´s accordion leading rhythm.

New farewell, although not too effusive this time (they´ll come back). As they delay we asked for them with vehemence. To please the audience, Paul Simon delivers us two late treasures.

The first one is another classic: ´The boxer´¯ chorused by the audience (very well known for all of us) and the last one is, of course, the best to put and end to the concert: ´Late in the evening´¯. Here, Tony Cedras is able to play keyboards and trumpet at the same time (too much!). Wind instruments delay at the entrance, but come in strongly at the end, closing this brilliant performance in the Parisian night.

Greetings from the hugged group, some shaking hands to few lucky men of the audience and, two minutes later, the workers were taking the scene into pieces. In spite of this, we remain for a while, waiting, at least, for another greeting from our small genius, but he didn´t come back.

I couldn´t find any review in the French journals the next day either; but everyone who wants it will have this few lines (in ´castellano´¯, my own language ´“ here translated with David Bravo´s main help-), so subjective as legitimate.








Review by:
LuisM.

MAGIC NIGHT SOUNDS BY THE SEINE RIVERSIDE

After having been impossible for me to attend Paul Simon´s performances in Europe; I could finally see one of my dreams come true: to see a Paul Simon´s concert at live (the only one I had previously seen before took place in Madrid, 1982, but he wasn´t alone, it was accompanied by Garfunkel).

Among all the possibilities, I chose Paris for the date and also to enjoy (my last visit had been 20 years ago) the ´city of the art and culture´¯, again.

The first thing I did when I saw the links for Palais des Sports on the official site, I reserved two seats on the third row (towards the corner, that´s true).

I do declare it was more than a special moment for me, so I had been waiting for a long time to see my illusion became a reality.

The high price of the tickets could be balanced with a low-cost flight that landed in Beauvais airport from Barajas (Madrid). It was a sort of stopover because it takes 80 minutes to Porte Maillot by bus (which is waiting for you, that´s true, just when the plane arrives).

Finally, it was July 10th, so we started our short trip. We got to the hotel at ten p.m. that had been chosen almost at random, by the internet. Small and simple but cosy, it provided us with a pleasant surprise: the Eiffel Tower could be seen through the window of the room.

Next day I red the French journals, trying to find some information about the concert´¦.Nothing! Not even a single advertising at the streets. I thought: is it possible they don´t know Paul Simon is coming to play today at this town?

Early in the morning we took a long walk by the Champs Elysees, cross the Seine River along the Alexander III Bridge, and finished visiting the Orly museum, where you can enjoy de impressionist pictures and the old railway station architecture, at the same time.

Just before leaving to the concert we realized there was a bus (number 80), which could leave us in Porte de Versailles (place of Palais des Sports location), and it had a bus-stop in front of our hotel. The problem was that we took it in the wrong way (although we live in Madrid, we felt like provincials in a big city, at that moment). Fortunately, Mayte asked the driver who, kindly, recommended us to use the bus-stop on the other side of the street. We would have to get off just at the last bus-stop, so we couldn´t get lost and we arrived on time.

There were no more than twenty people, but I calmed down myself when we saw the big poster on the wall.

The long hour we had to be waiting for seemed to last forever. At least, we enjoyed with the usherettes, watching people´s faces, when suggested in French (and in English if you didn´t understand) that they were in the necessity of asking you for the tip, because it was the only payment that they would receive from the organization (as if it had been them who paid the tickets).

At half past eight it was almost full. There were vacancies at the upper zone, that´s true. Mayte and I estimated, roughly, that we could be over 1.600 people.

Finally, the band turned up on the stage, Paul was the last one. A short bow with a little smile was the only prelude to the rhythm´s chords of ´Gumboots´¯. This freshly song from ´Graceland´¯ was a nice beginning, and we could realize the powerful of the percussion parts (two percussionists besides the drummer, with the help of Tony Cedras ´“keyboard and accordion- or Simon himself in some songs), and the wind instruments in the concert.

The sound was really perfect, in a echoing wonderfully place´¦ and, ten meters straight, no more, was Paul Simon in person (not could I have ever dreamed).

- He looks old, Mayte tells me, but he still sings marvellously. I agree with that remark and rush to write in my notebook, almost in darkness, the songs in the same order that are sung, just the set-list of the journey (it´s my commitment with thesoundofsimon.tk forum, specially with Mikel who will travel to Rome to watch him soon).

The next song begins with Tony´s accordion in a melody that we quickly identify. People greet ´The Boy in the bubble´¯ tune, noisily. Paul accompanies with the acoustic rhythm guitar, and Bakithi Kumalo does his best on bass. Good start´¦

The third song requires Paul´s leading role, following by Vincent Nguini and Mark Stewart´s electric guitars: ´Outreageus´¯ from the recent ´Surprise´¯. The level continues going up and the sounds, perfect, caress the eardrums (mines at least, I know there are many different tastes, as many as colours ´¦).

Someone with ´dual period´¯ nostalgia greeted effusively ´Mrs Robinson appearance´¯, but, in general, the audience remained little bit cold (demanding public, or are we getting old?). Paul kept some strategic silence, giving us the chance to sing the best known parts, but we didn´t start on (at that time). Anyway, spectacular ovation, that´s right.

To continue, another visit to the atmospheric guitars from ´Surprise´¯, with a soft version of ´How Can You Live In The Northeast?´¯. Great. Charley Drayton, on drums, replaces Steve Gadd´s lay off, efficiently.

At last, the revolutions come down with ´Slip Sliding Away´¯. The acoustic guitars lead the rhythm and Tony Cedras himself choose one guitar, showing his versatile style and good skills. Mark Stewart (and even Vincent Nguini) songs the chorus for Simon, with a good mark.

Someone makes some remark in French language and Paul (not too talkative as he is used to being), only points out to Vincent Nguini as a French specialist. He takes it personally and gives us, women and men, his best wishes for this night.

Next, a visit to the Brazilian sounds in ´Spirit Voices´¯. In this version the verses used to be sung in Portuguese by Milton Nascimento (´The Rhythm Of The Saints´¯) are replaced with wind sections leaded by Andy Snitzer, a genius, no doubt. Vincent Nguini is brilliant on guitar also.

Our beat increases when ´Me and Julio down by the schoolyard´¯ starts. Now we are really singing and clapping in unison. The acoustic guitars are accompanied by Paul and Vincent´s harmonic whistles. Tony visits the guitar again, and Andy performs really good. The audience awards it with an ovation.

´You are the one´¯ makes me shivers. Perfect sounds wrapped in percussion with the only exception of Tony Cedra´s tenor sax. Jamey Haddad, the percussionist, is accompanied by Steve Shehan who also appears in the CD credits (album with the same name than this song).

The next song was, no doubt for me, the best one of the concert, surely because I didn´t expect so high level in his performance. Simon wrote ´Duncan´¯ (who was dedicated to President Lincoln) in 1972, to play it with The Incas/Urubamba (an instrumental group from Machu Pichu in Peru). Paul´s performance on acoustic guitar was a real gifted show; even, he had no problems to play those difficult arpeggios.

The Andeans flutes were replaced by wind instruments, and Mark Stewart was really good what a big musician (just the way he is), accompanied by Andy and Tony. It sounded great. I clapped till to hurt my hands.

Another person shouts something in English that I can´t understand. Paul answers with a laconic ´I remember that´¦´¯

The concert level still stands higher with ´Train in the distance´¯. Andy´s sax shows the perfect contrast.

´The Teacher´¯, from his last but one studio recording, gives us another taste of impeccable sounds, with a deluxe percussion, and Tony is great on the accordion.

At this time I don´t remember exactly when Paul invites Jamey Haddad to come to the first line. He wears a percussion waistcoat wich has been made by himself, according to a report that I red.

After the claps for ´The Teacher´¯ the band goes out, but Paul still remains. With his acoustic guitar begins to play ´The Sound Of Silence´¯ chords. This acoustic version in a solo performance is another delight to our ears.

The band returns, with Vincent N´guini as a music star in ´The cool, cool river´¯. Next then, another look to the past with ´The only living boy in New York´¯. Paul doesn´t go too far and it seems to be better than the Old Friends DVD version (with Garfunkel). Mark, Tony and Vincent himself sing the chorus, well harmonized.

With people trying to approach the stage, other ones standing or dancing, everybody enjoys the first chord of ´Graceland´¯. New synchronized claps and new guitars demonstration (special mention to Mark). People are definitely devoted to the cause.

´Father and Daughter´¯ is the next song, played in a sweet rhythm, softer than the Oscar nominated version. Right then, although the show was really good and under control, it became a small whistle that afterwards became a big (although short) noise. The high pitch whistle gets Tony Cedras to look to the control sound switchboard little disappointed ´¦But that was the entire problem, fortunately. Simon makes another magisterial vocal performance.

The main course was yet to come, of course: ´Diamonds on the soles of her shoes´¯. Now there´s no respite. Everybody, till I see, is standing, dancing and clapping. Vincent´s guitar and Bakhiti´s solo on bass take us flying to the tremendous drum and percussion final battlefield.

The first act ends. Applauses and popular requests are listened when he turns up again.

Tony Cedra´s keyboards introduces the first verses of ´Still crazy after all these years´¯. Simon does his best and Andy´s sax seems to carry us to Central Park with Michael Brecker.

Next, one of the essential live songs: ´You can call me Al´¯. The people have setting nearer and nearer to the stage (just if they could, it was no possible for us). Paul gives the microphone to a beginner who sings excited: Call me Al!

This second part ends with ´That was your mother´¯. I think that Simon is coherent with the still alive Graceland success, but I begin to believe it won´t be possible to listen ´Wartime Prayers, American Tune, Something so right, Peace like a river, Proof ´¦.and of course Thelma´¯, one of my favourite songs. I assume, as well, there is no possibility to take a look at ´The Capeman´¯, although it contains wonderful songs.

This last song is impeccably played, with Mark Stewart at the sax section (one, specially, sounding great) and Tony´s accordion leading rhythm.

New farewell, although not too effusive this time (they´ll come back). As they delay we asked for them with vehemence. To please the audience, Paul Simon delivers us two late treasures.

The first one is another classic: ´The boxer´¯ chorused by the audience (very well known for all of us) and the last one is, of course, the best to put and end to the concert: ´Late in the evening´¯. Here, Tony Cedras is able to play keyboards and trumpet at the same time (too much!). Wind instruments delay at the entrance, but come in strongly at the end, closing this brilliant performance in the Parisian night.

Greetings from the hugged group, some shaking hands to few lucky men of the audience and, two minutes later, the workers were taking the scene into pieces. In spite of this, we remain for a while, waiting, at least, for another greeting from our small genius, but he didn´t come back.

I couldn´t find any review in the French journals the next day either; but everyone who wants it will have this few lines (in ´castellano´¯, my own language ´“ here translated with David Bravo´s main help-), so subjective as legitimate.