Monday, May 30, 2011

Concert Review: Paul Simon Makes His Songs Sound "So Beautiful" At Foxwoods

There are certain artists that defy generations. Their music and lyrics appeal to fans of all ages. One such artist is Hall of Famer Paul Simon. His “So Beautiful or So What” tour stopped at the MGM Grand Theater Sunday night for a taste of his musical legacy.

With such a vast catalogue spanning over 40 years, it’s tough to get all your hits into a two hour show, especially when you are also promoting a new album. Paul Simon handled the task with ease, making new songs (“Dazzling Blue”, “Rewrite”) sound like they belonged with his past hits. Simon drew some of the biggest applause early on with fan favorites from the 70s, including “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” and “Slip Slidin’ Away”. His cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “Vietnam” led right into a reggae-spiced version of “Mother And Child Reunion” which was inspired by the former cover song. Paul Simon brought the sounds of New Orleans to the north with his new song “So Beautiful or So What” and “That Was Your Mother” which inspired some to get up and dance.

Paul Simon tried to hold out as long as he could, before performing the Simon & Garfunkel classic “The Only Living Boy In New York”, receiving a grand applause. He touched the hearts of many with the rarely performed “Father & Daughter” before bringing many of the audience to their feet with “Diamonds On The Souls Of Her Shoes”. Five female family members danced at the front of the stage to Simon’s delight as the crowd grew with the set’s closing song “Gumboots”.

Paul Simon returned solo to the stage for an acoustic version of Simon & Garfunkel’s hit “Sound Of Silence” that found many singing along. He got the audience up once again dancing, clapping and singing along to some of his solo classics “Kodachrome”, “Gone At Last”, and “Late In The Evening”. A surprise acoustic cover of “Here Comes The Sun”, which he performed with George Harrison on Saturday Night Live back in 1976, brought a smile to many faces. Simon seemed overwhelmed by the applause as he shook hands and bowed before exiting the stage.

Simon and his 8-piece band returned again for a second encore, closing the night with “Still Crazy After All These Years”. It seemed like the 69 year old Simon got younger throughout the night as his music transformed many in the audience back to a simpler time in their lives.

Setlist:
The Boy In The Bubble
Dazzling Blue
50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
So Beautiful Or So What
Vietnam
Mother And Child Reunion
That Was Your Mother
Hearts And Bones
Mystery Train/Wheels
Slip Slidin' Away
Rewrite
Peace Like A River
The Obvious Child
The Only Living Boy In New York
Love Is Eternal Sacred Light
Father & Daughter
Diamond On The Soles Of Her Shoes
Gumboots

Encore:
Sound Of Silence
Kodochrome
Gone At Last
Here Comes The Sun
Late In The Evening
Still Crazy After All These Years

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