Paul Simon @ Webster Hall, June 6
Queens native Paul Simon played his first hometown “club gig” in quite some time last night at Manhattan’s Webster Hall and by the time his two hour-plus set was through, he had given the intimate crowd a taste of each period of his illustrious career as well as a guest spot from David Byrne that will be remembered as a highlight of 2011 for many in attendance.
Simon has never been one to just play the hits, but the soon-to-be 70-year-old performer also knows his crowd and doesn’t shy away from mixing in plenty of material from Graceland, his debut album and a few choice Simon & Garfunkel nuggets. Paul’s eight-piece band showed off their talent from the get go with an energetic take on Boy In The Bubble that would’ve got the crowd on the jammed-packed floor moving if it wasn’t “butts to nuts” down there. Webster Hall was packed to the gills for this Brooklyn Vegan-sponsored show.
Last month Simon released So Beautiful or So What, his first studio album since 2006 and in my mind his best effort since 1990’s Rhythm of the Saints. Paul offered just a handful of tunes from So Beautiful or So What scattered amongst the rest of the set in a way that never allowed a lull to develop. The playful Rewrite allowed Simon’s band of utility players to work their multi-instrumentalist magic on the many details found within the song. Nearly every member of the group filled multiple roles giving Simon so much flexibility in his live arrangements.
READ ON for more from last night’s Paul Simon show…