SundayÄ«s show was better than SaturdayÄ«s. The Saturday show had more slightly out-of -synch vocals and Mark Stewart was noticeably off on the backgrounds for Ä«Only Living Boy.Ä« Here are some random thoughts on the performance Sunday - America (instrumental) - sounds like this was recorded with the road band. Maybe thatÄ«s what the rumored recording session in Pennsylvania produced. Old Friends/Bookends-solo acoustic, nice blend
A Hazy Shade Of Winter-Paul on acoustic 12-string, Larry on electric 12-string (playing the riff), Mark on electric six string. Keltner really rocks on this one. The guitars have a neo-psychedelic sound that I really liked. Changes in melody and lyrics - repeating Ä«time, time, timeÄ« at several points. I Am A Rock- Basically, PaulÄ«s YouÄ«re The One tour arrangement with Art on harmony. I think they played it in B-flat instead of Ä«C,Ä« for the recorded version.
Paul on acoustic six string, Larry again on electric 12-string, Mark on electric six string. America-really close to the original arrangement, right down to the introductory humming. I think they play it in E-flat which is the recorded key. Larry on electric six string, Mark on a big hollow body electric six string, Paul on acoustic six string. Mark takes the solo. At The Zoo-Paul and Larry on acoustic six string, Mark on electric. Nice driving arrangement, Keltner really stands out. Art does a nice job on harmonies. Slides right into: Baby Driver -Larry plays riff on acoustic, Mark on electric, Paul on acoustic. Mark on electric, at end recreates Ä«motorcycleÄ« sounds by sliding pick down bass string and de-tuning.
KathyÄ«s Song-Just Paul and Artie. Artie vocal solo. Nice, sympathetic accompaniment by Paul. PaulÄ«s an incredibly talented acoustic guitarist and one of his gifts is being truly complementary to the vocal line, not trying to outshine the singer with fancy technique. Just great. Hey Schoolgirl-again, just Paul and Artie, acoustic. First verse and chorus only, then introduction of Everly Brothers.
Everly Brothers (with the S & G band): Wake Up Little Susie, All I Have To Is Dream, Let It Be Me (still one of my all-time favorites, and they do a great job. What can you say about a song thatÄ«s been recorded by everyone from Dylan (twice, no less!) and Willie Nelson to Dave Edmunds, Jackson Browne, Sam & Dave, The 5th Dimension, etc.) S&G join The Everly Brothers for Bye Bye Love-Paul and the Everlys on acoustic guitars. Art salaams to Don Everly, Everlys depart to hugs all around.
Scarborough Fair-Harkening back to ArtÄ«s 1978 tour arrangement, this featured Mark on cello. Larry on acoustic, Rob Schwimmer on Ä«electric harpsichordÄ« synth effects. Nice version. Homeward Bound-Larry on classical acoustic (and first solo), Mark on electric (and second solo), jamming out on the end a bit. Paul changes the original run in thirds that precedes the last chorus and instead plays an Am7 to Am7 at the second fret (I know thatÄ«s not the chordÄ«s name but thatÄ«s what I call it) sort of reminiscent of the intro to KathyÄ«s Song. Sounds Of Silence-Paul on acoustic, Larry and Mark on electric. Very similar to the Ä«YouÄ«re The OneÄ« tour version. A video montage starting with S&G at Monterey Pop doing Ä«The 59th Street Bridge SongÄ« and showing a series of watershed events - some from the Songs For America special (contrail peace sign) - and footage from the graduate ending with a freeze frame of Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson. Mrs. Robinson-Nice organ solo by Rob Schwimmer, Mark on electric, Paul and Larry on acoustic.
Slip, Sliding Away-Paul on acoustic 12 string, Mark on electric, Larry on electric 12 string (I think). Nice version - on the fade, Paul does his falsetto and Artie alternates between falsetto and true voice. Nice effect. El Condor Pasa-Paul on acoustic, Rob on accordion, Mark on mandolin and Larry on what looked like a charango (but I couldnÄ«t see the armodillo shell). Very close to the original arrangement. Keep The Customer Satisfied-I thought theyÄ«d do this one because I thought (wrongly) they had horns in the band. I was surprised that I didnÄ«t miss the horns. This one rocked with Paul on acoustic 12-string and Larry and Mark on electric six strings. The keyboards were great on this and really filled out the sound and Paul and Art sang their asses off.
The Only Living Boy In New York-Paul on acoustic 12-string, really nice bass work Pino Palladino, reproducing those lovely bass lines from the album version. Art sings right next to Mark and the background vocals are noticeably improved over Saturday night. I think Larry is playing a ukelele (!!) on this one. Mark on electric guitar and backing vocals and I think Rob Schwimmer is also singing on the background. American Tune-nice version with Mark on cello. My Little Town-Mark on electric hollow body, Paul and Larry on acoustics. I havenÄ«t mentioned Warren Bernhardt so far but this guy is an absolute monster on piano. IÄ«ve heard him many times over the years and he is just an unbelievable stud. This one really rocks and Keltner looks like heÄ«s having a blast.
Bridge Over Troubled Water-Art on verse one, Paul on verse two, S&G on verse three up until the Ä«sailing right behind,Ä« then itÄ«s Artie and he really nails the crescendo. Paul plays electric guitar on third verse. Bernhardt does a nice job between verses two and three disguising the full-step downward modulation that enables Artie to hit the high note, but what the hey, most people wonÄ«t notice. Spontaneous standing ovation, including me. Paul steps to side, gestures to Artie and allows him to take the applause. Artie points back to Paul to, as I take it, acknowledge that Paul wrote these incredible songs.
First encore: Cecilia, which had been in the main set the first night, is now the first encore. In his own shows, Artie always has some type of break before a song that requires real vocal strength. So his band will jam out on El Condor Pasa or heÄ«ll have a five minute drum solo on Cecilia before he sings Skywriter or Bridge. I figured that was the case here but then they moved Cecilia to the encore. Jamey Haddad steps out here and Paul and Art sound like they really enjoy doing this one. The Boxer-Rob Schwimmer does the instrumental solo on theramin (!!) giving it a nicely weird feel. Larry and Paul on acoustic and Mark on electric. I was wondering if theyÄ«d do the really cool Fred Carter, Jr. lick that kicks off the record but they didnÄ«t, just PaulÄ«s usual Travis picking. Paul sort of shadow-boxes Artie afterwards, very playful.
Leaves That Are Green-Just Paul and Artie. Paul says Ä«we havenÄ«t done this together since 1967.Ä« I think they did it at least once in 1970, but thatÄ«s okay. PaulÄ«s fingerpicking is really, really cool and instantly recognizable - I involuntarily Ä«aahÄ« as soon as he starts. IÄ«m stunned, itÄ«s that good. They do it completely straight, no Ä«I was twenty one years when I wrote this song, IÄ«m on social security now but I wonÄ«t be for long,Ä« or anything remotely comic. IÄ«m relieved. Artie takes the third verse. 59th Street Bridge Song-Mark looks like heÄ«s playing a homemade didgeridoo, Larry is playing something that looks like an eight-stringed ukelele (maybe whatever it was that I thought was a charango earlier). Mark kind of sounds like the oboe on the Harpers Bizarre version (which I hate). Paul leans in to sing with Artie into ArtieÄ«s mike which is a mistake because there really isnÄ«t room. They laugh - no sign of tension over little errors. Goodnight, Detroit.
I loved hearing these guys again. I thought they really approached this the right way and did justice to those incredible Simon & Garfunkel albums.