Amazing show. Amazing man.
I had a wonderful seat, perhaps 12 rows back in the front section, on the aisle. Close enough to watch his every move and enjoy it all tremendously. So close as to be kicking myself for the rest of my days for not bringing the camera, after being sure to load the digital with a high-capacity memory card and take it on the 4-5 hour trip to Dallas. But, I was chicken-hearted and didn´t want to face taking the camera to the theatre, just to be turned away and sent back to the car. As it was, cameras were permitted and I had the perfect seat in the perfect venue to take unobstructed photos. Lesson learned: call ahead, plan ahead and you don´t have to second guess. Of all the things in the world to regret, this is a small error, but... the same opportunity never presents itself exactly the same way twice. So, this show on this night will never be performed again and I don´t have the hard-copy photos to remind myself of this wonderful evening.
But, enough about me... on to the show:
Musically, I´m very naive, so I haven´t much to say about that aspect. Discussion has been made about ´the sitters´ and ´the standers/dancers´ and I´ll not revisit that issue hear except to say that I don´t think musicians require dancing in the aisles to know when audiences appreciate their music. At least where I sat, and in the section next to me (I didn´t look back to know about those behind me), there were several standing ovations throughout the night, beginning with the moment Paul Simon took the stage. I´m guessing there were 12-18 standing ovations during the course of the concert. And, yes, the setlist stated above (although I did not post it) correctly shows a 3rd encore. I think the entire audience stood/danced/swayed/rocked through it!
A few items specific to the Dallas show:
(I know it is said often that Paul Simon is a private man and likely doesn´t appreciate his family being in the public eye often, so I apologize if this crosses the line at which he would prefer such a topic not to be written. It´s part of what I think is so interesting and much of what I think so heart-warming about him.)
- Unfortunately (from my perspective), PS didn´t say much. Not even the anecdote preceding ´Father & Daughter´ which he stated in other concerts as he dedicates the song to his daughter. Neither did his 13-year-old son accompany him on stage to sing it.
- During the first song, I am pretty confident it was his younger (8-year-old) son who came into the theatre and sat in the front row. It was so beautiful to watch as PS catch sight of him and then (trying to catch his son´s attention?) waved to him. I say it seemed as though he was trying to get his son´s eye because of his manner, leaning over slightly, and smiling, as if he found it amusing that he was on stage and his son wasn´t looking at him, but he (PS) was looking at his son. You can usually tell when PS sees one of his family members -- he smiles then like he does as no other time. His entire face just grins and you know at that point that he isn´t just up on stage singing at a performance and ´stage smiling,´ he actually just saw something or someone who makes him happy. It was tremendously endearing.
- Although PS only made comments a few times during the show, there was one time he just started laughing (giggling/chuckling) and I have no idea why, except it didn´t seem to be anything anyone said or did, but appeared to me to be something he was thinking or considering saying. It was between songs or at the beginning of a song, before any lyrics had been spoken and he might have had an anecdote, but he didn´t speak it. Still, it was ´funny´ and ´fun´ just to hear him giggle and wonder about its source.
- He mentioned his wife a couple of times. (Remember that she is from the Dallas area.) He mentioned that he had just been in the city a few weeks prior, watching her perform. Then, after the 3rd encore, he said, ´I really had a good time. I´ll tell my wife.´ The last line seemed to me such a funny kind of line, as if he was at an intimate dinner party with a bunch of people who knew his wife (who was not there) and he was going to send back their regards.
So, for those who want to know about the music, my ´review´ isn´t very helpful. Some of you like the man because of his music. I like the music because of the man. What a gift!