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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Concert Review: Paul Simon - "LIVE in Los Angeles, CA"

Paul Simon Live @ The Music Box Theatre in Los Angeles, CA April 19, 2011

Singer songwriter Paul Simon landed in Los Angeles this week, and to start his 3-night stay he decided to do a club show at the Music Box theatre. Tuesday night fans got a chance to see a living legend up close.

Taking the stage in jeans, t- shirt and unbuttoned dress shirt, Simon looked just like a member of his 8-piece band rather than the main attraction that fans had waited 2 hours in line to see. The band was comprised of multi-instrumentalists who played just about every instrument you can think of from accordions to xylophones and everything in between. They were tight -- nailing every nuance of every song. Simon was in great voice and after the third song announced that "It was great to be in a club again. I started in a club and will probably end in a club."

I doubt that Simon will end up in clubs. But, on April 19th, a packed house was glad he was. Almost half of the set list was made up of songs from the Grammy-winning "Graceland" and Simon's critically acclaimed new release, "So Beautiful or So What" with the rest of the set being solo hits and some deep album cuts.

Primarily known for his lyrics, Simon showed what an excellent guitar player he is on songs like "Rewrite" and "Late In The Evening" which found Simon strapping on an electric guitar for an all out funky band jam.

Highlights of the nights performance included Simon's solo acoustic rendition of the Simon & Garfunkel standard "The Sounds Of Silence" which was infused with a Spanish guitar intro by Simon. It's been over forty years since it was written and the opening line, "Hello darkness my old friend," can still illicit chills.

My only complaint of the night would be the set list. I wish Simon would have added a few more hits to his show as it would have been great if "The Boxer," "Julio" and "Al" would have shown up. But, all in all it was a great evening of music and one of the tightest live bands I have seen in many years.

Here's hoping that Paul Simon continues to warm our hearts and bones with his music and live shows for many years to come.

Drumroll please: 9 out of 10 drumsticks!

SET LIST

Crazy Love, Vol. II
Dazzling Blue
50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
So Beautiful or So What
Vietnam (Jimmy Cliff cover)
Mother & Child Reunion
Getting Ready For Christmas Day
That Was Your Mother
Hearts and Bones
Mystery Train (cover)
Slip Slidin' Away
Rewrite
Peace Like A River
Obvious Child
The Only Living Boy In New York
Love Is Eternal Sacred Light
Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
Gumboots

- 1st Encore -
The Sounds Of Silence
Kodachrome
Gone At Last (cover)
Here Comes The Sun (Beatles cover)
Late In The Evening

- 2nd Encore -
The Boy In The Bubble
Still Crazy After All These Years

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