FORMERLY REMEMBER THE EIGHTIES.COM
REVIEW: PAUL SIMON – IN CONCERT / GRACELAND [2012]

THIS IS NOT RETRO SAYS...

It's not often you get the opportunity to revisit your first ever concert, but mine was the Dublin date of Paul Simon's Graceland Tour in 1987 and in 2012 the opportunity to see the 25th Anniversary tour of this historic album was too much to resist.

PAUL SIMON - Dublin 2012

It says a lot about Paul Simon's love for Ireland that he would open his European Tour with a sell-out show at Dublin's O2 Arena and what a reception he got. From the moment the white-hatted Simon walked on stage and launched into the opening number 'Kodachrome', right through to classics like '50 Ways To Leave Your Lover' and 'Mother And Child Reunion' the audience sang and clapped to every beat.

The introduction of Ladysmith Black Mambazo for 'Homeless' was fantastic, however although their presence on the next two tracks may have provided a welcome rest for Simon, for the rest of us it slowed the performance right down and the majority of the crowd vacated their seats and headed to the bars. Fortunately everyone was back to see the finale of 'Diamonds On The Soles of Her Shoes' which even featured Simon showing off some groovy moves of his own.

Practically all of the Graceland album was performed next with introductions to most of the original touring band from 1987. Highlights for me were 'Boy In The Bubble', 'Graceland' and 'You Can Call Me Al', by which time there was over twenty people on stage and the sound they were making was so loud and impressive, from brass to percussion, you couldn't not admire the vast talent on show here.

For an encore Paul treated us to acoustic versions of 'The Sound of Silence', 'The Boxer' and 'Late in The Evening' before struggling to leave the stage, staying on to shake as many fans hands as possible and humbly thanking the audience several times while putting his hands on his heart, and no doubt with a tear or two in his eye.

But there was one final surprise in the return of Ladysmith Black Mambazo to perform 'You can call Me Al for the second time and Simon finished the evening with a stripped down version of 'Still Crazy After All These Years' a full two and a half hours after walking on stage. A faultless performance throughout, there's no doubt Paul Simon is still a genius after all these years.

WE'LL GIVE IT...

TYPICAL SETLIST

DUBLIN O2 ARENA, 12/7/12
Kodachrome / Gone at Last / Dazzling Blue / 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover / Vietnam / Mother and Child Reunion / That Was Your Mother / Hearts and Bones, Mystery Train, Wheels / Slip Slidin' Away / The Obvious Child / Homeless (with Ladysmith Black Mambazo) / Hello My Baby (Ladysmith Black Mambazo) / Nomathemba (Ladysmith Black Mambazo) / Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes (with Ladysmith Black Mambazo) / I Know What I Know / The Boy in the Bubble / Crazy Love, Vol. II / African Sunset (Thandiswa Mazwai) / Under African Skies (with Thandiswa Mazwai) / Graceland / Gumboots / You Can Call Me Al / The Sound of Silence / The Boxer / Late in the Evening / You Can Call Me Al / Still Crazy After All These Years

TOUR DATES

See Paul Simon's OFFICIAL WEBSITE for the full list.

CREDITS

Review and photograph by Mick Lynch.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

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CONTENT ADDED: Jul 24th, 2012

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