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October 16, 2003 - USA / Pennsylvania
Wilkes-Barre - Wachovia Arena
01. Old Friends/Bookends Theme
02. A Hazy Shade of Winter
03. I Am a Rock
05. At the Zoo /
06. Baby Driver
07. Kathy's Song
08. Hey, Schoolgirl
09. Wake Up Little Susie
11. Let it Be Me
12. Bye Bye Love (with Simon & Garfunkel)
13. Scarborough Fair
14. Homeward Bound
15. The Sound of Silence
16. Mrs. Robinson
17. Slip Slidin' Away
18. El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
19. Keep the Customer Satisfied
20. The Only Living Boy in New York
21. American Tune
23. My Little Town
24. Bridge Over Troubled Water
25. The Boxer
26. Song for the Asking
27. The 59th Street Bridge Song (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, Theremin
Jim Keltner - Drums
Pino Palladino - Bass
Larry Saltzman - Guitar
Warren Bernhardt - Piano
Fans who attended this show
Newspaper: New York Post - Dan Aquilante
Old friends make the best enemies, but there was no animosity in the air between Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel at the first show of their 31-city concert tour last night at the Wachovia Arena.
The tour - the first since their turbulent mini-series in '93 - kicked off with the boys harmonizing like angels and wearing their let's behave halos straight.
Garfunkel and Simon, each 61, aren't in it for the money or fame - they have both. Instead, they seemed to have discovered that despite their separate achievements, they're better together than apart. It's the realization that diffuses their biggest argument: Who's more talented?
At this two-hour, 25-minute-long show, what was apparent was how rehearsed the vocal harmonies were. Each song balanced Garfunkel's ethereal upper-register and Simon's earthier talking tenor.
Backed by a seven-piece rock ensemble, Simon strummed an acoustic six-string while Art worked the mike exclusively.
They were like a pair of carpenters, one cutting the lumber, one nailing it together. They worked as a team, but other than the work of the music, they had little to say to one another.
At one point when they did get personal, Paul revealed to the 10,000- strong crowd, We met when we were 11. We started to sing together when we were 13, and we started arguing when we were 14.
They then launched the first song they ever recorded together, Hey School Girl.
We based our entire sound on the Everly Brothers, Paul then told the fans. We loved them then, we love them now.
That served as the introduction to guest stars Don and Phil Everly, who performed Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have to Do is Dream, and Bye, Bye Love, on which they invited Paul and Art to accompany them.
Call them an impromptu super group - they were the hermanos of harmony.
Even though last night's show featured a best of program, it was the Simon and Garfunkel/Everly Brothers round-up that was the early show highlight.
Other peaks were their rendition of The Sound of Silence, interrupted by the audience after four bars so they could give the boys a standing ovation as well as when Art hit the high note for Bridge over Troubled Water.
The flaws were few, but they were there.
During Homeward Bound, for instance, the mid-song guitar solo stepped on Garfunkel's vocals.
And during Mrs. Robinson, Garfunkel hit his harmony cue early - but that was OK, because it showed the guy was really singing.
Fans of Simon and Garfunkel should make getting into one of the three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in December a must - even if they have to get scalped doing it.
It would be a lie to say the concert wasn´t a nostalgia act. Art practically said so himself while reminiscing about singing on the streets of Paris with Paul while Kathy collected donations. This all came as the introduction to ´Kathy´s Song,´ which Art labels his favorite love song written by Paul, and which Art sang while Paul played guitar.
The nostalgia feel was reinforced by two video montages shown during the concert. The first one began the show by showing photos of the two from every point of their lives, together and solo, interspersed with images from the world they grew up in while an instrumental recording of ´America´ played in the background. Everything from the two of them as kids, to individual shots of them with their kids, from Paul´s famous Saturday Night Live appearance in at turkey costume to African concert footage, and from civil rights marchers in Selma to the patriotic response after September 11 made its way onto the screen.
The second montage came just over halfway through the show featuring Paul and Art at work in the studio along with scenes from ´The Graduate.´ The lead-in from the ´plastics´ scene introduced Dustin Hoffman accusing Mrs. Robinsion of trying to seduce him while Anne Bancroft coyly laughs. The frame freezes on her as Paul begins the opening riff for ´Mrs. Robinson.´ Anyone who´s seen Paul live over the last few years or who bought the live in Paris video will be familiar with the arrangement for ´Mrs. Robinson.´ It´s exactly the same except for the presence of Art. The same is true for their performance of ´I Am a Rock.´
And who´s to say that a nostalgia act in this case is bad. As they walked out on stage the first time, Paul strummed the opening chords to ´Old Friends,´ and the two settle into their exquisite harmonies, you think, ´here are the two people who created the music I grew up with, and they´re recreating perfectly right in front of me. I am incredibly privileged to witness this.´ Not normally a fan of exact recreations of studio tracks in concert, I was nonetheless impressed that they pulled off ´Only Living Boy in New York´ precisely with Mark Stewart adding his voice to Art´s for the breathtaking ´here I am´ chorus.
And just because it was a nostalgia act, doesn´t mean nothing interesting happens or that they perfectly duplicated the songs from the records. The second song of the show, ´Hazy Shade of Winter,´ received the same sort of harder rock makeover that ´I Am a Rock,´ which followed, did with Larry Salzman playing the opening guitar lines on a heavily distorted electric guitar the Jim Keltner pounding on the drums in the background.
An even more pleasant surprise was a vamp on the chorus at the end of ´Homeward Bound´ that smoothed the choppy refrain out and let the musicians do some solos while Art crooned ´home´ every now and then. A similar jam occurred during ´Cecilia,´ which sounded closer to the original than its Rhythm of the Saints-era incarnation but still had a really relaxed groove. Paul and Art were really having fun by this point singing the refrain and the first verse a couple times taking breaks for the guitarists and pianist to shine.
And probably the most important point is that the two seemed to be getting along. A lot hugs and pats on the back early on, they seemed much more comfortable on stage, moving freely when not singing, and the band as a whole seemed to really enjoying itself. There probably won´t be any disputes over ´Bridge Over Troubled Water´ this time around as Art sang the first verse, Paul sang the second, and they harmonized on the third. Still Art belted out a final refrain that let everyone know the song was meant for his voice and brought everyone to their feet. The similarly split up ´American Tune´ which featured an electric piano as the main instrument and reached an amazing cresendo when Mark Stewart began bowing the cello. They seemed to have the most fun with ´Keep the Customer Satisfied´ capturing the same good-time rock-n-roll spirit that imbued the original.
So while, the tour may not be the artistic achievement people have come to expect from Paul, it still has many wonderful moments and celebrates the artistic achievements that moved us over 30 years ago.
The arrangement for ´The Sound of Silence´ was the same as Paul´s been doing recently leading off with an instrumental verse. However, the standing ovation after they sung the first line was so thunderous, they looked befuddled and had to stop until it died down.
Unfortunately, Paul didn´t play ´Song for the Asking´ although he had a guitar in front of him.
They stopped ´Hey Schoolgirl´ immediately after the line ´let´s wait´ and had a look like they were glad they didn´t have to base their careers around that song.
apologies for being so long-winded
Still great after all these years
There was little doubt as Simon and Garfunkel opened their 2003 reunion tour last week that this is the date concert of the year.
There hasn´t been this strong a concentration of smiling couples since Noah yelled ´All aboard´ on the Ark.
The related question, of course, is how much of a date it really is.
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, who have made some beautiful music together, have in recent years often traded the sounds of silence.
Nothing in the show´s content or stars´ demeanor answered the getting-along question.
That´s just as well. If it doesn´t affect their performance - and it doesn´t - it´s more interesting left inconclusive.
Simon and Garfunkel´s representatives requested no reviews from Pennsylvania, saying the guys wanted to do one warmup with a real audience before the show was formally unveiled in Detroit over the weekend.
But the soldout and warmly appreciative crowd at Wachovia Arena Thursday night hardly got a spring training game. Simon and Garfunkel will probably tinker with a few nuances, but the singing is pretty much a solid line drive.
Like Elvis or Sinatra before them, they´ve shed a little of the youthful lightness from their voices. But blended with Simon´s guitar, those voices remain singular and the songs remain pretty much as the fans remember them.
A few numbers have been tweaked.
´I Am a Rock´ has become less wistful and noticeably angrier, and ´My Little Town´ also has a harder edge. ´Hazy Shade of Winter´ has a bigger sound now, and both ´Mrs. Robinson´ and ´Cecilia´ are clearly designed to get the crowd up and dancing.
That wasn´t the norm for the soldout house here. Fans would often rise as they applauded the first few notes of a song they recognized, like ´Homeward Bound´ or ´Bridge Over Troubled Water,´ then they would sit back down to listen.
They wanted to drink in the familiar, and that´s what they got: two dozen songs, from a great little snatch of ´Hey Schoolgirl´ to ´Slip Sliding Away.´
Collectively, the set was a good reminder of how many memorable songs these guys created and how well their melodies, lyrics and voices worked together. Before Garfunkel sang ´Kathy´s Song,´ he called it ´Paul´s most beautiful love song,´ and by the time he finished, it was hard to argue.
Artie seemed to love every minute of the night. Paul offered up a few playful moments and mostly looked serious. No surprise there. While they shared a couple of hugs and pats, they generally avoided ostentatious public displays of affection.
Simon also stayed in character by not mentioning how his Yankees were doing against the Red Sox in Game 7.
After a burst of applause for ´America,´ he cracked, ´Who needs baseball?´
A particularly nice part of the night was the appearance midshow of the Everly Brothers, who sang three solo tunes and a double-duet of ´Bye Bye Love´ with Simon and Garfunkel. The Everlys look and sound quite fine.
And everyone went home feeling a little younger. That´s a good date.
God I wished I had rediscovered them a few years
earlier, but 2008 is not 2003 but the show was easily
within driving distance, I always loved them back in
the 60´s and yet really hadn´t thought about them until
throwing out some old unlabeled cassettes and I thought
I would play one and heard many of the old songs and I
had to know what had happened to them. I never knew
there were fights. I thought Oh, they are probably
retired. Of course I was happy to find out they were
still playing and had come very close to my town
many times in those 2003/2004 concerts. But since
then the midwest has been deserted by them. I saw Art
once but I was so cheerfully out of my mind when I
found out they were doing a 2010 concert that were
not too far away. Finally the moment I had been
waiting for. After buying 8 tickets (one show would
not do) and it´s canceled, but then the good news
it would be in July instead of May. So it was back
to trying to get the best seats, 2nd row in two shows, and I had no sooner bought them when that was
canceled too. I am very afraid I have missed my
chance, with Art not singing much since last March
and no news. I just cry. There is no one else I
would want to see. They have helped me so much in
ways you wouldn´t believe in the last two years.
Newspaper: Yahoo News - Jason Straziuso
By JASON STRAZIUSO, Associated Press Writer
When Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel began to play ´The Sound of Silence´ midway through their concert, fans grew so frenzied it froze the singers.
The two shared a smile as Simon improvised on guitar until the din died down.
Breaking a two-decade drought without a concert tour, Simon and Garfunkel took the stage Thursday night before an enthusiastic audience that seemed happy to relive the popular songs of their youth.
Before the concert, a video montage showed scenes of Simon and Garfunkel and news events from years past - the duo in their youth with full heads of hair, a shot of the first moon landing, a peace sign made of airplane contrails.
When the lights came up, Simon, with guitar in hand, and Garfunkel, wearing his signature black vest, took the stage to a standing ovation to kick off their 40-date tour - their first since 1982-83.
The two opened the show with the song ´Old Friends´ - also the title of the tour - whose lyrics could serve as a reminder that their friendship, strained at times, dates back to childhood.
The audience of 9,000 was more balding heads and graying hair than 20-something rockers, but there were lots of smiles, bobbing heads and clapping hands all around.
The duo, which has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, played crowd favorites ´Scarborough Fair,´ ´America´ and ´Mrs. Robinson.´ Simon belted out ´Bridge over Troubled Water´ and Garfunkel easily hit the high notes on ´The Boxer.´
´They sound as good now as they did back then. Unbelievable,´ said Tony Stringent, 43, of Hazleton. ´I´m going to see them again in 20 more years.´
Until a performance at the Grammy Awards in February, the pair hadn´t played together since 1993. That their friendship has been rocky is no secret.
´We met when we were 11, we started to sing when we were 13, and we started to argue when we were 14,´ Simon joked to the crowd.
Garfunkel said the two met in the sixth grade in 1953. ´And it occurs to me that it´s been 50 years of this thing we do,´ he said.
´The Sound of Silence´ was released in 1966. Simon turned 62 on Monday and Garfunkel turns on 62 on Nov. 5.
In a line from ´Old Friends,´ the singers ask: ´Can you imagine us years from today, sharing a park bench quietly? How terribly strange to be 70.´
The band´s management called Thursday night´s show in Wilkes-Barre, about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia, a warm-up concert. They next play in Auburn Hills, Mich., on Saturday and Sunday, and are scheduled to hit 29 cities over the next two months.
As he introduced ´Slip Slidin´ Away,´ Simon told the crowd he´s recorded many songs as a solo artist ´that I wished I had Artie´s voice on.´
Before the end of their final song, officially ´The 59th Street Bridge Song´ but better known as ´Feelin´ Groovy,´ the duo shadowboxed before holding each other´s hands above their heads.
The concert was punctuated with mini-standing ovations, both when familiar tunes began and when they ended.
´I thought Art was absolutely fabulous. Paul was good too, but Art was wonderful,´ said Fran Pantuso, 42.
Price of parking: $4.00. Price of ticket: $82.50. Price of concert tee-shirt: $35.00. Chance to see your favorite group perform right in your backyard: Priceless.
That´s what nearly 10,000 fans were thinking on Thursday, October 16. Simon and Garfunkel, arguably the greatest singing duo of all time came to the Wachovia Arena, Wilkes-Barre. Singing to the largest crowd in arena history, Paul and Art helped to transport the audience back to the 1960´s; the time when Paul Simon´s provocative and stunning lyrics and Art´s ethereal voice were discovered.
The show started with a video montage depicting Paul, Art, and America in the last fifty years. An orchestration of their hit song, ´America´ played faintly in the background. When the montage hit the new millennium, movement could be seen on stage. The rustle of a vest. The twang of a guitar. A held breath. The lights rose to present Simon and Garfunkel, and a seven piece rock band. Art in his familiar black vest and Paul with his acoustic guitar were beaming. The audience was anxious. Simon and Garfunkel are famous for their disputes, and the crowd hoped there would be no sign of anger tonight.
´Old friends, old friends.´ The duo started tentatively with this stirring song from the 1968 ´Bookends´ album. This is also the title of the reunion tour. The song ended, and the audience erupted into thunderous applause. So far, so good. Next, S&G flowed into the popular ´Hazy Shade of Winter´. The giant tree on stage exploded with pale blue light to set the mood. A slightly slower, yet powerful version of ´I Am A Rock´ followed. ´At the Zoo´ a fun song that was originally intended for the hit movie The Graduate and Bridge Over Troubled Water´s ´Baby Driver´ were then performed. Art recreated a beautiful version of Paul´s ´Kathy´s Song´. Paul looked sad as he accompanied for the song that he had written for his girlfriend so many years ago.
´We met when we were eleven. We started to sing together when we were thirteen, and we started arguing when we were fourteen´, Paul said, hinting at their previous disputes. The duo then went into ´Hey Schoolgirl´. This was the first song Paul ever wrote, at age fifteen. After the song was over, Paul mentioned how the Everly Brothers were their great inspiration. Speak of the devil, who should come onstage but the Brothers themselves! The audience rose to their feet and went mad. After performing three of their hits, Paul and Art rejoined them in a toe-tapping version of ´Bye-Bye Love´.
The second half was a bit more energetic. Every song, people were screaming and dancing. Art seemed amused by the dancing hippie who was seated behind the stage. They continued on with the hauntingly beautiful ´Scarborough Fair´. They played more hit songs such as ´Homeward Bound´, ´Cecilia´, and ´My Little Town´. Another video montage of clips from The Graduate segued into their big hit ´Mrs. Robinson´. Simon and Garfunkel had to wait nearly five minutes to continue with ´Sounds of Silence´ after the standing ovation the arena gave it. There wasn´t a dry eye in the building after Art had reached the high note on ´Bridge Over Troubled Water´.
Paul and Art thanked Wilkes-Barre for being such a fantastic audience, and left. They left? The audience stared in disbelief. After two hours, it couldn´t be over! Lighters were whipped out and screams were heard. We weren´t done with them yet. S&G got the hint and came out for not one but two amazing encores. ´We´ll have to do this again, in about twenty years´, they laughed. Let´s hope it won´t take that long. Their perfect harmonies created a memory of a lifetime. Here´s to you Mr. Simon and Mr. Garfunkel!
The Blue Review, Oct. 2003
Katie Mickere is a junior
and a second year writer for
the Blue Review.
This was my third time seeing S&G. I had seen them in the 60´s, where they performed on a bare stage sitting on stools, just the two of them. Also saw them in Central Park in 1981. See the review in the New York Post for a decent review.
Overall, I thought the concert went extremely well. I was on the floor, center, mid-way back. The acoustic songs were best (just Paul on guitar), although, with the band, the band did not overpower them. Just right, IMHO. Songs that did it for me ´“ America, Kathy´s Song, Scarborough Fair, The Only Living Boy in NY, My Little Town, The Boxer. Art´s voice was magnificent. The only Paul Simon solo song was Slip Slidin´ Away. He remarked how he always thought Art´s voice would go well on some of his songs, and their duo on this song was quite nice.
The Everly Brothers middle set was great. Great voices, and they appeared younger than I would have imagined. And one song done with Paul and Art.
Sparse stage setup ´“ very large video screen at the highest point. The only set decoration was what appeared to be a gigantic tree that rose from the center left stage with branches that worked their way over the stage and out toward the audience. That was how it appeared before the show started.
Once things were going, you could now see that the tree was composed of hundreds of light boxes that produced various effects.