I doubt anyone will read this, as This concert was more than a month ago, but I had to write.
The show was excellent...awesome. Paul seemed to really be having a good time, smiling and really jamming with the band. The crowd was a realy mix of ages, from several fity-somtthings and their teen-agers, to plenty of 20, 30 and 40-somthings. There were no seats int the small venue, it held just under 800 people. I was lucky. real lucky. My Lucky Day...
I had one of those perfect days that never seem to happen (at least not to me until June 3). I kept meaning to call over the Memorial Day holiday to see if any tickets were leftto the TLA conert in Philadelphia, rumour had it that they were sold out. I´d heard ticekts had gone on sale the Wednesday prior, but you had to buy them in person, and I had to go to work.
The morning of the concert, I forgot to call. That evening at 5 p.m, I called the TLA (Theater of the Living Arts). I asked if they had any Paul Simon tickets left. I was sure they´d say no. She said, ´yes we have a few.´
´I have to buy them in person right?´ I asked, beginning to get my hopes up.
´Well try not to sell out before I get there,´ I joked.
I tried to contact a couple of friends, but no one was around everyone was in transit from work I guess. I had to decide to go then, and hope they wouldn´t sell out. I drove like a bat out of hell to get from Delaware to Philly. I hit no traffic jams during rush hour. I found a legal parking space on South Street two blocks away form the TLA, and even had quarters for the meter in my car. This never happens! I walked up the street. I got to the TLA and the sign said ´Paul Simon SOLD OUT´ My heart sank. I slipped up to the ticket window, thinking maybe I could volunteer to take tickets or something. ´You´re sold out?´ I asked.
´For what?´ the woman behind the counter looked out at me.
´For Paul Simon!?!´
´No, we have tickets.´
My heart lept, ´Well then give me one,´ I got greedy ´...uh...Please.´
I got my ticket. I couldn´t believe my luck. I tried to call a few friends to join me, but still no luck. So I took myself to dinner a few blocks away and came back about 7 p.m. Got in Line. at 7:10 they let us in. The concert began at 8:10 and ended somewhere around 10. There are no seats in the theater for larger performances, so it was standing room only. I headed straight for the front and was three people from the stage on the right. I ended up about 15 feet from the man.
The show was amazing. Paul was smiling, up and open, obviously having a blast. During the first few songs the crowd listened intently, most people swayed to the music or mouthed the lyrics quietly to themselves as they listened. Hearing ´Bridge´ like that, in that small space was a priviledge. It was priceless.
Then about the time he sang Mrs. Robinson everybody woke up started dancing and singing outloud. The rest of the concert was so energized.
I wish every Paul Simon Fan could have the opportunity to see him that close. It´s a night I won´t forget. Toward the end of the show, the crowd was really rocking, totally singing along with ´Diamonds´ and ´you can call me Al´. As he and the band left the stage, we were going wild. They came back on and did Me and Julio and Still crazy, which was very touching. Then they went off again. We cheered our heads off and hae cam back on with Slip sliding and Born at the right time. It seemd like they were going to go off stage again, but they Paul muttered... ´I know what I´ll do for my last encore...´ and launched into ´The Boxer´. There are no words to explain how perfect that sounded. I seemed like his fantastic band was surprised a bit by the song, but they were up to the seemingly impromptu task. It was well worth it.
As he reintroduced the band to thunderous applause, he kept saying ´Thank you, thank you.´ they he added, something along the lines of ´This is great. This is our first night performing in public with his band. Thank you so much.´
No, Paul...Thank you.