I´m one of those people who leaves nothing out...
Artie was wearing a black vest, black slacks, white shirt and maroon tie´¦Paul had on jeans, his red T-shirt, and a pair of sneakers. He looked like a bald 10-year-old boy!
The place went wild (as wild as an arena full of old people can go; if anyone in the row in front of us didn´t have gray hair, it was only because they were bald).
It was an incredible feeling to be in the same room with two such adored men, and realize that they are both so humble and sincere. After their first song, Old Friends/Bookends Theme, Artie apologized for taking so long to get out, and then said he was just thrilled to be able to sing with his old friend again.
They were incredible, alternating slow numbers with fast, loud rockers. Paul did a pretty decent semi-split, and didn´t even need to have anyone help him up. I was impressed. Most 62-year-old men (or women, for that matter) swinging their hips the way he did would need replacement surgery the next day.
When they sang At the Zoo, everyone was in stitches. Paul started off with the funniest voice for the first line of the song, and Artie did a pretty good ´elephant trunk´ with his hands. I never thought of that song as a rocker, but they turned it into one, with the audience screaming for more.
The talking in between numbers was the best´¦Artie started things off by saying, ´My old friend and I are so happy to be here.´ (I leaned over to my pal, Linda, and whispered, ´That´s because someone took them straight to the door.´) Then he said, ´We go way back, Paul and I. We met in our 6th grade´s brilliant graduation production of Alice in Wonderland. That´s the first time we met each other. We were 11 years old´¦Paul was the White Rabbit´¦I was the Cheshire Cat. I don´t remember who Alice was, not that it matters.´
Paul interrupted with, ´Yes, I was cast as the White Rabbit´¦a starring role.´ His look at Artie was hysterical; he even broke up laughing himself, because the audience was laughing so hard!
Finally, he said, ´Cheshire Cat´¦a supporting role. A very important supporting role, but still a SUPPORTING role.´ After a huge laugh from the audience and from Artie, Paul said, ´I´ve written a lot of good songs, but the ones that were great songs were great only because Art Garfunkel sang on them.´ That drew a huge ´Aw´ from the crowd.
I swear, every song they sang was better than the one before it, and every bit of ´arguing´ in between songs was funnier. When Artie said, ´I like to think of this as the 50th anniversary tour for our friendship´¦the 50th anniversary of this thing we do.´ Paul muttered, ´We met at 11, started singing together at 13, and started arguing at 14...so I like to think of it as the 47th anniversary tour for our arguing.´
As the audience roared with laughter, he looked up, all innocence, and said, ´But we don´t argue any more. Now we say, ´˜That´s YOUR opinion, and I RESPECT that´.´ They should have gone into stand-up comedy. The audience was almost rolling on the floor!
Someone in the crowd yelled ´Happy Birthday a little late´. Both said, ´Thank you.´ Someone else yelled out ´Old, you´re getting old´ (which is a line from Paul´s song, ´Old´), and Artie fired back, ´Which one?´ Paul grinned.
They blasted through about four songs in a row at that point´¦those guys can really rock, and then Paul began what would first be an introduction to their first hit as kids, ´Hey Schoolgirl´, and then to the Everly Brothers. ´Yeah´ he said, ´we had our first hit when we were kids´¦(and then they sang it). As soon as they finished, he continued, ´Many people have asked me what ´˜hey boppa luchi bop´ means´¦and the truth is, I have no idea. Maybe Little Richard could tell us.´
He went on to say, ´They [Columbia Records]named us Tom and Jerry´¦for some reason, they didn´t think using names like Garfunkel and Simon would be great career moves in the 50s.´
He introduced the Everly Brothers then, saying they were their first heroes, and with their first hit, they were imitating them. The Everlys came out then, and were excellent.
The audience was singing along through most of the show, and we sounded really good--even Paul said so. Artie said they should clap for us, so they did!
Art also charmed everyone in the room by saying that they have thanked every audience they´ve ever stood in front of, because it´s us who have stood behind them for 40 years, and they appreciate it.
During Only Living Boy in New York, which Paul said he wrote when Art left in 1969 to go to Mexico, he was note for note perfect on the high part (the ´ah-I-ah-I´s´); Art joined Mark Stewart to back him up, not that he actually needed it.
Bridge Over Troubled Water, sung before the first encore, got the biggest reaction by far. Artie took the first verse, flawlessly, and then Paul stepped up to his mike. OH MY GOD, HE WAS INCREDIBLE! He belted it out like nobody´s business, and people were on their feet screaming (of course, considering the age group, it could just have been from leg cramps). It was absolutely amazing, and then they topped it by doing the third verse together, right up to the last note (which Artie hit alone, and held for several seconds).
They clasped hands at the end of that song (not for the first time´¦I think they were holding onto each other´s hands, wrists and shoulders for half the show´¦heh, heh, it could be that Artie was afraid of losing Paul among the amplifiers).
They did two encores, each time still sounding like they could do another half hour. Feelin´ Groovy had everyone on their feet, singing along happily.
It was wonderful. One reviewer called it a concert for the ages, an historic event, a celebration by two men who have loved each other like brothers for over 50 years, even with a few years off now and then for arguing, and were now having the time of their lives. It was all that and more.
The show was over too fast; I think they thought so too. Beaming, they stood on the stage for the longest time, waving to people, often with their arms around each other´s waist; they seemed touched by the applause, and almost reluctant to leave. Both said, ´Thank you from the bottom of our hearts´¦tonight´s been wonderful.´ The band came forward to stand with them and take a bow, then Paul and Artie hugged each other again, and waved some more, before leaving the stage (with their arms still around each other).