I haven´t been to this site in a while, but visited it again once the second leg of Simon and Garfunkel´s Old Friends tour was announced. I went to see them in Atlantic City in November, and this show was even better. The set list was the same, but Simon and Garfunkel seemed to be happier this time around and sounded much better. Like last time, my favorite songs were ´My Little Town´ ´The Only Living Boy in NY´ ´Hazy Shade of Winter´ and of course ´Bridge....´. Paul offered up a few funny moments and generally looked extremely happy to be there, as did Art. The crowd seemed like they enjoyed the show, even though there were much less people in attendance than I thought there would be. Overall a great show by two amazing artists. $87 well spent, even for the second time around.
The concert in Philadelphia was probably one of Simon and Garfunkel´s big kick-starts to get the tour rolling. They had only previously played Albany, NY ´“ and somewhere in Connecticut known as Uncasville [the oddball on the tour if you look at the stops], and you could tell that they were still excited to be on the road.
The concert opened up with a video showing interchanging photographs of Simon and Garfunkel growing up together since they met one another in the 6th grade ´“ and photographs of America´s cultural and political movements. There seemed to be a fairly political message to many of the photographs and accordingly, ´America´ was played in the background ´“ only to have the lights flash on and to see none other than Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel standing in the middle of the stage. They immediately kicked in with ´Old Friends´ and ´Hazy Shade of Winter´ before they even approached the microphone to talk to the crowd.
Simon and Garfunkel, themselves, started out a little raspy ´“ and there were times that they substituted alternative harmonies for the higher notes ´“ but it seemed like once they got started, they were back to their old selves. Simon still got really in tune with his guitar and squatted down in front of the crowd ´“ and really started moving around once the catchier ´pick-me up´ songs came on. Art Garfunkel wooed the crowd with lots of humor, lots of stories, and lots of heartfelt messages [such as his claim to be a lifelong Phillies fan], before taking the mic and hitting some really beautiful notes. Garfunkel seemed more overtly pleased to be in front of such a large crowd than Simon.
They played some of the songs on their own ´“ such as ´Old Friends,´ and ´Kathy´s Song.´ They had a terrific band for the bulk of the performance ´“ featuring a shredding lead guitar player who tripled up on cello and some strange horn instrument that he used for the second encore.
One of the most pleasurable portions of the night came from the very echoes that came through the Wachovia Center. In any large venue, if you stop listening to the music itself ´“ and try listening to the echoes that come from the other side of the arena, it creates a most beautiful relaxing sound ´“ that Simon and Garfunkel perfected.
The Everly Brothers also played a short set, including a duet with Simon and Garfunkel to ´Bye Bye Love.´
Sadly enough, the concert ended too early ´“ and missed a few of their greater hits, but only because the pair have created so many. Though they broke the first rule of a live performance at the end [they emitted a purple glare over the crowd ´“ you don´t do that unless you´ve promised a cover of Jimi Hendrix ´“ but that´s another story], the concert itself was a terrific ending to a terrific dynasty in Philadelphia. On their final act, the crowd exploded after ´Bridge Over Troubled Water´ and demanded even more eventful encores. The two showed that they surely still do ´have it.´
´Hazy Shade of Winter´
´I am a Rock´
´At the Zoo/Baby Driver´
The Everly Brothers
´Wake Up Little Susie´
´Dream, Dream, Dream´
´Let It Be Me´
´Bye, Bye, Love´ (with Simon and Garfunkel)
´Sound of Silence´
´Mrs. Robinson´ (scenes from The Graduate shown before playing)
´Slid Slidin´ Away´
´El Condor Paso´
´Keep the Customer Satisfied´
´The Only Living Boy in New York´
´Still Crazy After All These Years´
´My Little Town´
´Bridge Over Troubled Water´
´Leaves That Are Green´
´59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin´ Groovy)´