Paul Simon • Homeward Bound - The Farewell Tour 2018

DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, Mi, USA

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, , Concert Reviews,   By: Robert 'Bo' White

11th June, 2018     0

I was eagerly awaiting The Paul Simon tour. I had just finished reading a book about Paul Simon’s life, relationships and his music. It was a good read. Simon never delved into Simon & Garfunkel’s time that he spent in Michigan. Big Jim Atherton told me about the gig. He had booked Simon & Garfunkel @ the Riviera Terrace in Flint for two shows. However, Atherton decided to sell the second show to Bob Dyer for the princely sum of $1200 dollars, giving Atherton a chance to recoup any monies that were left.

It was true that Simon & Garfunkel hitchhiked to Flint along with Simon’s sweetheart Kathy Chitty in tow. The gigs did not pay that well probably due to Simon & Garfunkel’s dangling obscurity. The gig took place @ the YMCA in Saginaw. The opening act was Jay Walker & the Jay Hawkers. As bad luck would have it, Simon lost his acoustic guitar en route, requiring Simon to borrow an electric guitar from the opening act.

I recall that they played some of their obscure (at the time) material, Beatles songs and ended with Sounds of Silence. It sounded really good to me. However, the teens didn’t seem too interested; they even made fun of Garfunkel’s blond pompadour mounded on top of his head. He looked visibly frightened.

Years later I saw Simon & Garfunkel in Detroit and their special guest were the Everly Brothers. It was pure Magic. Wake Up Little Suzie, Cathy’s Clown were incredible. Simon & Garfunkel joined them with Bye, Bye Love. I would see them later in my life at the Silverdome. It was a huge coliseum used for football and other sports.  As time passed I was aware that Simon became a solo artist with such great songs like 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, Mother & Child Reunion and You Can Call Me Al. It was a glorious time of enlightenment and change.

After seeing Simon on a recent televised event, I harbored a few misgivings about Simon’s voice and his overall health. He looked his age, meaning he was over 70 years old. He is now an old man. It reminded me of the Simon & Garfunkel gossamer chestnut “Old Friends.”  So I was not sure that Simon could pull it off.

DTE was packed to overflowing and the crowd was anticipating their hero. As it turned out he would not disappoint us. The show was a magnificent, multicultural, extravaganza with incredible instrumentation from tribal drums, rock-hard drum patterns, flutes, guitars, bass, piccolo, saxophone, piano, soaring vocal harmonies and Paul Simon’s voice. He sang well even when his voice became a jagged edge sword.

A setlist 26 songs included:

5 Simon & Garfunkel Songs • America • Bridge Over Troubled Waters (sung by Simon) • Homeward Bound • The Boxer • Wristband – just for fun

Rhythm of the Saints Songs • Can’t Run But • Spirit Voices • The Cool Cool River • The Obvious Child

So Beautiful or What • Dazzling Blue • Questions foir Angels • Re-write (a spoof)

Paul Simon • Me & Julio Down by the School Yard • Mother and Child Reunion • Still Crazy After all these Years • 50 ways to Leave Your Lover • Graceland • Call Me Al • Still Crazy After All these Years • Late in the Evening

Hearts & Bones • Rene & Georgette Magritte with their Dog After the War (a painting)

Paul Simon created a symphonic tome poem from the painting and it developed into sumptuous and layered piece of music with five musicians creating the most gorgeous music this side of heaven. Incredible

Encore’s included: Homeward Bound, Kodachrome, The Boxer. American Tune • Sound of Silence - acoustic (last encore)

 

 

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