Paul Simon Comerica Theatre October 18, 2011
On October 13, Paul Simon celebrated his 70th birthday. Judging by Monday night's performance at Comerica Theatre, the legendary singer-songwriter doesn't appear to be letting his age slow him down. He was full of energy and put on a nearly two-hour performance that featured a little bit of everything.
Simon is on tour in support of his latest album, So Beautiful or So What, an album that some critics have said is his best work since Graceland.
Joining Simon on stage last night were eight multi-instrumentalists. Talented musicians were definitely required for Monday night's performance. Simon has always been known for his world-music influences, and those influences were present. He gave concertgoers a taste of sounds from around the world, exploring New Orleans to Africa and many points between.
Though Simon focused on newer material, the crowd clearly wanted some of his early hits and a taste of his work with Art Garfunkel. The singer was happy to oblige by playing "The Only Living Boy in New York" and "The Sound of Silence." They were the only selections from the S&G catalog, but no one seemed to mind.
In fact, just about everything Paul Simon did last night was met with overwhelming approval. He even managed to get a standing ovation from the crowd before playing a single note. At one point in his set, one of the few in which he interacted with the crowd, a group of young girls let out some unintelligible screams, leading the singer to reply, "I don't know what you said, but I like the screams."
Simon included some of his solo hits throughout the set, but it was during his first encore that he included crowd-pleasers "Kodachrome" and "Graceland," as well as a fantastic cover of The Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun."
Last Night: Paul Simon and The Secret Sisters at Comerica Theatre
Personal Bias: My first memory of Paul Simon is in the video for "You Can Call Me Al." I loved that video and have been a fan ever since.
The Crowd: Mostly and older crowd, but there were a few hipsters there as well.
Random Notebook Dump: Paul Simon plays a mean air washboard.
Setlist: "The Boy In The Bubble" "Dazzling Blue" "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" "So Beautiful Or So What" "Mother and Child Reunion" "That Was Your Mother" "Hearts and Bones" "Slip Slidin' Away" "Rewrite" "Peace Live A River" "The Obvious Child" "The Only Living Boy In New York" "My Little Town" "Love Is Eternal Sacred Light" "Diamonds On The Souls of Her Shoes" "Gumboots"
Encore: "The Sound of Silence" "Kodachrome" "Here Comes the Sun" (Beatles cover) "Graceland" "Pretty Thing" (Steve Miller Band cover) "Late In The Evening"
2nd Encore: "Still Crazy After All These Years"
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.