So where do I begin? First off, it was by far one of the most amazing, emotional, spectacular (okay, if I start off like this, I may run out of adjectives) concerts I have ever seen.
I´m writing a review for USC, so I get placed in what I have decided to lovingly call, ´The Writers Row.´ Reason? Four of sat down and pulled out pads. A man sitting next to me asked, ´and who are you writing for?´ I responded, ´USC, and yourself?´ ´Robert Hilburn of the LA Times.´ I drew in a breath. This guy has been writing great reviews for years, and in fact I emailed him last year after the Simon/Dylan concert and commented on his article. I told him this, he laughed and said, ´I hope I wrote you back!´ I smiled and said that he did. We talked about other concerts we had covered, I told him that the first concert I covered was Jethro Tull and he told me about the time he covered Jethro Tull as well. This went on for a while. The person on my right I recognized. I waited for him to introduce himself. He said ´hi, I´m Anthony´ in which I said ´DiCurtis of Rolling Stone?´ The corners of his eyes crinkled, and he looked surprised and pleased when I said, ´Oh, I read your articles.´ He told me about his delayed flight and how much he´s already written about Paul Simon, but we both agreed that there´s always more to write
about. Oh, and in case you´re wondering whether the rock critics sit and silently and write, they don´t.
We sat back comfortably, the lights dimmed and out came Paul Simon decked out in black with the baseball cap of course. How fitting that Paul starts his concerts out with the first song off ´You´re the One.´ Some people were already up and dancing and Paul pointed out to each person. He went straight
into playing Graceland and most of the audience at this point was on their feet. We cheered and sang along. Seriously, what amazing fans. We knew every word to every song, and we sang. Paul said ´We have a great audience....I´ve heard so much about!´ And went right into ´One Man´s Ceiling...´ and ´50 Ways´ with the muted slide trombone? I nearly melted. Every song sounded so perfect.
We all know about Paul´s love for sound, and when the washboard came out for ´That Was Your Mother, ´ I nearly flipped out. Also, the lighting on each song fit so well, and the warmth the music generated was unbelievable. I had to take off my jacket. Now, when the first note of ´Diamonds on the Soles of her
Shoes´ was played, the entire audience jumped up in unison and started bouncing. Everyone was up and just rocking out. He segued straight into ´You Can Call Me Al´ which was just genius considering the fact that we were all up and dancing and wanted to keep going.
He then calmed things down with an S&G block. I had chills during ´Old Friends/Bookends.´ When he brought out the Martin, I knew it was time for the S&G goodness, and did he provide. ´I Am a Rock?´ I couldn´t believe it. The arrangement was magnificent.
´Darling Lorraine.´ He acted this out so well, I regressed back to childhood when teachers would read us stories outloud. We were all so captivated by his storytelling, we laughed at his gestures; he didn´t use just his hands, he used his whole body, walking back and forth onstage. (´you don´t like the way I chew?´)
Okay, I´ll wrap it up now with this statement: FOUR ENCORES. Sources tell me that it was his longest concert so far. He let us sing the chorus of the Boxer and said ´nice singing!´ He asked us for requests, ´old or new?´ The audience screamed with delight, and, well, it was too close to call. Paul said, ´nah,
we can´t go old.´ Poking some humor? I think so. He played ´Love´ for us. He didn´t stop there. He knew what would fit, and when he played ´Mrs. Robinson´ and got to the part ´laugh about it, shout about it, when you´ve got to choose,´ we were all laughing because, oh man, he called it.
Now I must write a review for the paper. 500-600 words. Terrible. I think I need the entire issue. I´ll be viewing this process until the very end. This review will be the way I want it. (´That´s the way it is/And that´s way I like it.´)
Well, I can´t wait to compare this to Saturday. I´m so fortunate that I get to go again!