The neck of my Guitar

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February 13, 2009 - USA / New York
New York - The Beacon



The band (not all members are present at all shows)

Fans who attended this show

Mary Hohulin

Review by:
Chris L

I knew this was going to be a special night even when I had to buy scalped tickets (thanks TicketMaster!). The new Beacon looked amazing. They did a fantastic job restoring the old place. It was also freezing the first night, if I remember correctly it was around 20 degrees (F). I saw Tony Cedras wandering around outside so I assumed that his usual band was going to be there, and they were. I was glad to see the addition of a ´horn´ section and I was glad to see Jamey Haddad was back. The show started with Gumboots (one of my favorite PS songs ever). I really like the way he sings it now as opposed to the record. The Boy in the Bubble was a different arrangement since the 06 tour. In my opinion, the 06 tour version of that song is not the most flattering arrangement. Slip Sliding Away is different every time he does it, and this is probably the best I´ve ever heard (even better than with Garfunkel). I was never a big fan of Proof until I heard that night´s version. The song rocked, and was very different from the record, Vincent and Mark really made it guitar heavy. I love how Train seems to be a standard song now, I can´t get enough of that song. The place went crazy when he launched into Me & Julio. Paul sang the ´Rosie´ part to Rosie O´Donnell. He also had Jim Hynes do the whistle, that also go applause after the solo. Real whistling is so much better than a recorder like previous shows, or the mess of everyone whistling from 06. Duncan, one of my all time favorites was a very good version too. After this song, the show took a turn, I knew it was going to be a different show. Paul introduced Luciana Souza, who he worked with at the BAM shows. I really enjoyed her voice, she did a few songs and she took lead on Born at the Right Time. I got a chuckle out of how she said that Paul wrote this new song but wouldn´t let her have it, so she wanted to do it that night for us. Amulet is an instrumental that Paul wrote and does not have words yet, so she scatted during the song. The Cool Cool River had a nice arrangement which included hand clapping. He did a lot of cuts off of Rhythm of the Saints and Graceland. Then Paul did Father & Daughter off Surprise. He had the little nylon guitar that he usually uses. During You Can Call Me Al, the place went nuts again. After YCCMA, he said they were taking an intermission. During the intermission, I thought I saw Paul McCartney in the doorway of the VIP room which was on the left side of the theatre. I was right, during intermission; he can out with Nancy and sat in a seat near the 7th row. The place went crazy, it was like it was a Paul McCartney show and I think he stole some of the thunder from Paul Simon and that made me mad since I am a huge fan of both, but it was Paul Simon´s night. After everyone settled down, Paul Simon came back on stage and said they were going to do some Doo-Wop from the Capeman. Now like any super fan, I own the CD just because it´s Paul Simon, but I was never really into it. Let me tell you that I now have a new love for this CD. All the singers from the play were there, and Frankie Negron blew our socks off. It was a bit comical because when Frankie and Paul had to switch for their parts, Frankie would raise the mic and Paul would lower it. After the Capeman songs, he did a great version of Graceland. The line about New York City got its usual response. He then did You´re the One from the album of the same name. I was never really into that CD until I understood the theme and now it has really grown on me. It was a similar arranglement to the 06 tour which is different from the record. During Loves Me Like a Rock, the band crowded around an old fashioned mic to sing the back up part. After this Paul did a new song called Love in Hard Times. I think Paul´s writing has only gotten better with time, just like his voice. The reason I love Paul Simon so much as an artist is, he always proves that it´s his show and he´s going to sing what he wants. He´s going to change the arrangement what he wants. So I get annoyed with these reviewers that pick on the arrangements that they don´t sound like the originals. Something strange happend with Diamonds and he skipped a few lines in the beginning part before the band comes in. Paul is still doing the 06 arrangement of this song, but for some reason it didn´t bother me like it usually does. I think the new version is growing on me. He closed the show with Late in the Evening which was also a great arrangement, it really showed off band. During the applause break, I thought I saw Kim Garfunkel walk by with a few security suits. It was dark and I couldn´t be sure. But I literally shreaked ´Oh My God, Garfunkel is here´ when I saw the stagehand bring out the taller mic and put it close to Paul´s. I had done my research and found out that Art was on tour in Florida during these shows, but had a night off on the 13th. I had said earlier in the day to my friend that Garfunkel was off tonight and how crazy it would be if he showed up. My friend dismissed me as being too hopeful. After I shrieked, the people around me started looking around and wondered if I was right. Paul came back on and introduced his partner in arguments. They sang the Sound of Silence, The Boxer and Old Friends. People were watching these two old friends do what they do best. The sound of 2 voices and a guitar was overwhelming, I became very emotional. Garfunkel made a joke about how they are good friends, and how Paul always checks to make sure Art´s hair piece is always on straight. My only complaint was that the VIPs were more interested in the booze in the VIP hut than the show, and I found it quite distracting watching the show with these ´VIPs´ walking back and forth in front of me. It was a great evening, one of the most wondering concerts I have been to in a while. I will remember this evening for a long time to come.