October 22, 2011

Paul Simon at the Greek Theater

        photos by Styrous®

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On Thursday, October 20, I had the fortunate experience of attending the Paul Simon concert tour to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his "Graceland" album. It also was to promote his new album, "So Beautiful or So What", his first record in five years. The event was held at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA. The theater is a stunningly rich acoustical marvel of an amphitheater built in 1903 that I have been to many times for everything from concerts (Talking Heads, King Crimson, David Byrne, etc.) to operas, e. g. "Aida" which featured the oh, so very young Leontyne Price in 1958 (I was also very young but I remember I enjoyed it tremendously as they had real elephants on stage during the triumphal march; they were crazy back then and you could do things like that at the Greek, don't know if they would/could do that now).

 We had an earthquake earlier that afternoon (a small one, 4.0) and wouldn't you know, as we were waiting for the concert to start, we had another one. The audience hooted, hollered, whistled and laughed. Incredible!!!!!!!

Simon came on stage and said, “Hello, my friends. I hope I’m not being presumptuous with that greeting but it seems better than ‘Hello my ticket-purchasers.'" The audience loved it and at one point sang happy birthday to him!

He did a cover of The Beatles, “Here Comes the Sun,” and at the end said, “Thank you, George”. Some of his famous songs they performed were, "The Boy in the Bubble", "Mother And Child Reunion" and "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover".

Simon was accompanied by guitarist Vincent Nguini from Cameroon, guitarist/drummer Jim Oblon, pianist Mick Rossi, saxophonist/keyboardist Andrew Snitzer, bassist Bakithi Kumalo, guitarist Mark Stewart, percussionist Jamey Haddad and talented multi-instrumentalist Tony Cedras.




Singing "Diamonds on The Soles of Her Shoes"

Simon sang and played a solo on guitar of
"The Sound of Silence"
and the audience was breathless. 
photo by Styrous®


all photos by Styrous®

What an incredible concert it was. Thanks, Paul.