Surprising moments in Montreux
I´m a Paul Simon fan for more than 20 years now and I´ve seen him live on stage for the sixth time. In the afternoon I met him by accident at the lake. (See my posting in the forum). To be honest, after all his great live performances with bigger bands in 1991, 1999 and 2000 my expectations were not that high. I couldn´t imagine that this 8-piece band could create the same powerful sound that I was used to it. Well they could! They were just amazing. I think they improved a lot since they started in Island. Some songs (like Gumboots and Diamonds) got a new and longer drum and percussion ending. Loved it! It was a perfect sound for 2 hours and 10 minutes. Could have listened to them the whole night, it was brilliant. The concert hall in Montreux was the perfect location for this show. And with two big screens, everybody was able to see Paul and band very close. The whole show was recorded, but I doubt it will ever be released, although it would be the perfect DVD.
Paul itself was in a great mood during the whole show. I have never seen him interacting with the audience so often before. Actually that was a nice surprise. Before starting into father and daughter he said: ´žI should talk to you more. - But I have nothing to say. All I have to say is said in my songs, basically.´ Once he asked if someone were here the night before to see Leonhard Cohen. He said: ´žIt was amazing ´“ just amazing´. After a song someone shoutet: ´žit was great´, or something like that and Paul answered: ´žOh thank you, well I think it was good.´
But there were two more surprises. After he had finished SOS I expected the band members coming back to the stage but that didn´t happen. Instead of that Paul mentioned: ´žI wrote this song (SOS) when I was 21 years old. I don´t write new songs very often, but here is a song I finished a month ago.´ I was stunned by that announcement but very pleased to here a world premier of a new Paul Simon song. It´s a melancholic song I would say, but don´t take that for granted, I was just too happy to really get it what was going on. It´s good to know that he is still writing and composing. After The Boxer, I expected Late in the Evening as final song, but Paul didn´t change his guitar so I hoped for another song and there it was. He introduced a long time friend: Patti Austin. They performed BOTW, which was great to have on the setlist, because it pleased my girlfriend. I told her in the afternoon that he is not going to play that song´¦ I didn´t mind I was wrong.
Oh yes Claude Nobs the founder of the Montreux Jazz Festival thanked Paul and gave him two presents before he left the stage after the first encore. Paul thanked him and kissed him twice with a big smile. That was really funny. If you know Claude Nobs, then you know what I´m talking about.