Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Wait, didn't he put this out already? No, that was The Concert in Central Park, with Art. This one was from London in 2012, one of those great mammoth shows that have also featured Springsteen, McCartney, The Who and others playing in front of enormous crowds. It comes as a two-CD or one Blu-ray set, and you'll want to watch for sure. The huge crowd is pretty cool, but most of the action is in the huge cast appearing onstage, including two different bands, guest artists and all manner of instruments. It was a big day, a big show.

The drawing card was the reunion of many of the original Graceland musicians, and much of the middle of the show is devoted to that album. That included Ladysmith Black Mambazo, so we get the one-two punch of Homeless and Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes. Those aren't the only guests though. Early on, Simon brings on one of his heroes, and a popular guy in England, Jimmy Cliff, who does a mini-greatest hits set, a nice bit of stage-sharing by Simon. He joins him for Vietnam, and then Cliff does the honours for Mother and Child Reunion, and you get to see Simon's original influence for that song. Near the end of the set, dobro great Jerry Douglas is brought on to play a reworked, more rootsy version of The Boxer.

Despite having just put out a new, and well-reviewed album the year before, 2011's So Beautiful or So What, only one new song was played, Dazzling Blue. The rest of the event was straight greatest hits, mostly Simon solo, only The Boxer and The Sound of Silence from the S&G years. But when faced with a few hundred thousand fans, it's hard to argue with playing Kodachrome, You Can Call Me Al, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, Slip Slidin' Away and Still Crazy After All These Years. He still sounds great here too.

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