Posted in music | pictures on June 7, 2011

photos by Ryan Barkan, words by Andrew Sacher

Paul Simon

Being that I'm admittedly too young to have seen Paul Simon in his prime, I wasn't totally sure what to expect from his BV-presented Webster Hall show last night (6/6). After watching him deliver a 26 song set, which failed to show any signs of slowing down, I lost sight of all expectations I had and embraced the fact that Paul Simon was just straight up impressive. The set spanned his entire career from his days in Simon & Garfunkel through his recently released So Beautiful or So What, and also included a few covers. The songs off So Beautiful or So What resonated as strongly as his earlier material and blended right in. During the song "Rewrite" I even found myself debating over which of his albums the song was on, only to later realize it was in fact a new one. The entire set was so consistent that choosing any sort of standout is difficult, though if I had to say, When Paul and his band flowed seamlessly from Jimmy Cliff's "Vietnam" into Paul's own classic, "Mother and Child Reunion," I was pleasantly caught off guard.

The real treats, however, came during the encores. After a massive end to the initial set, Paul and band left the stage only for Paul to return with nothing more than an acoustic guitar. He provided some foreshadowing guitar which eventually built into an extremely intimate version of the Simon & Garfunkel staple "Sounds of Silence." Contrasted with a largely upbeat set, that small dose of melancholy left the audience still, silent, and possibly even more captivated. The impact that song holds almost 50 years later isn't matched by many, and Paul Simon's still-strong deliverance is matched by even less. Paul's band returned to the stage and the encore continued for three more songs including a rendition of the George Harrison-penned "Here Comes the Sun."

When the first encore finished and the stage crew scrambled to set up another mic stand, it was obvious that the band was returning for a second encore. But little did I know, the second mic was being set up for none other than David Byrne. The fellow worldbeat loving New Yorker sounds like the most appropriate guest on paper (except for maybe Art Garfunkel) and it was even more than that in real life. As mentioned, David, Paul, and band performed Talking Heads' "Road to Nowhere" and Graceland favorite "You Can Call Me Al." Byrne left the stage and Paul Simon and band played two more, appropriately including "Still Crazy After All These Years," before taking their final bows and exiting the stage after playing "Crazy Love, Vol. II".

Check out more pictures from the show below...

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PAUL SIMON + DAVID BYRNE Road To Nowhere WEBSTER HALL NYC June 6 2011

Paul Simon + David Byrne - You Can Call Me Al - Live In NYC

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Comments (28)

Brought it. Period. End of discussion. Full Stop.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 2:10 PM

Who the fuck is this Paul Simon guy you people keep posting about? He wasn't in LCD Soundsystem you know!

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 2:11 PM

yeah, this Paul Simon dude needs to learn that you need tattoos to make it in show business....

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 2:13 PM

Hey, anyone hear the new DAWES album? Do they sound anything like Mumford and Sons?

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 2:27 PM

Mumford and Sons are a homeless man's DAWES. Does Mumford have the stroke to get a hot 16 from Jackson Browne? I think not....

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 2:41 PM

Was great to see paul for the last time.
Certain lines he can't sing anymore though.

Posted by Me | June 7, 2011 3:05 PM

hahahaha 2:11

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 3:06 PM

Great show, but where the fuck are all the pictures of me? Mean to say that being in the front row I had pictures snapping up in my mush all night long, and budkis to show for it on BV?!?!? WTF, BV ... where are the pictures of me?!?!!??!~

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 3:06 PM

2:10, Graceland long sleeve or coffee mug?

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 3:35 PM

That Video Permit is a good find. That's what this small venue tour + guests + long sets is about. He's making another concert DVD. Cha-ching. Hope you're getting a cut, BV.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 3:39 PM

Finally, a musician who:
does not have a beard or moustache, doesn't wear flannel shirts or ironically put together clothing,
was born and raised in New York City, didn't move here for college or after college.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 4:08 PM

thanks again for the presale BV!! it was a dreamshow come true...

Posted by AL | June 7, 2011 4:11 PM

Please, for the love of god Dave, put the talking heads back together.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 4:12 PM

"Finally, a musician who: does not have a beard or moustache, doesn't wear flannel shirts or ironically put together clothing, was born and raised in New York City, didn't move here for college or after college."

Yes, finally! I hope this Simon guy sticks around for a while.

Posted by streetdude | June 7, 2011 4:16 PM

the sooner you stop referring to them as "the talking heads" the soon they will reunite.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 4:34 PM

4:34

the sooner you stop writing inane shit on BV the sooner you'll have peace of mind

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 4:52 PM

there goes rhyMEHn' siMEHn

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 4:54 PM

y'all forgot to snap a pic of Edie Brickell (dopey Annie Hall hat and all) behind the glass in the VIP booth on stage left.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 4:54 PM

Right on, 4:08.

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 5:12 PM

THAT'S who that was?!? dopey is right, 4.54

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 5:22 PM

this looks awesome

Posted by frustrated with haters | June 7, 2011 6:38 PM

Dave Byrne's hairpiece looks wonderful

Posted by Anonymous | June 7, 2011 10:53 PM

You too can sound like Paul Simon, go to google search paul Simon MIDI files choose the song you'd like to steal for a template load that 25kb file into Pro Tools or Logic amazing aye ! Now mess around with the bpm the effects and you can barely recognize the origins of what you just stole now add your own vocals with your own lyrics and you should have a hit, call yourselves hmmmmm Vampire Weekend or something.
A NYC company has developed software in BETA that strips current billboard singles down and analyses where the music may have come from ie the midi files stolen, timberlake, Adele basically every under 24 year old in the iTunes chart you're all gonna get fucked over very soon we know your song/songs sounded too reminiscent now we can tell who you took from, get ready for the biggest milli vanili revolution the music industry will ever see coming Feb 2012 when this software goes public

Posted by Anonymous | June 11, 2011 8:52 AM

Great pics, I have also photographed Paul Simon live, but about 20 years or so ago in London, he's still looking good, thanks for this.

Posted by Universal Riches | August 28, 2011 4:47 AM

Great music. Great show. It really feels good listening to this kind of music.thanks!

Posted by Dee @ Remote Tech Support | October 20, 2011 10:35 PM

i Love Paul Simon ! good work !

Posted by Associacao | May 25, 2012 4:34 PM

awesome show. Will not miss next one

Posted by iherb coupon code | July 15, 2012 3:36 AM

What I will give to see Paul Simon's in his prime. I think he's still awesome and all but I think we all want to see entertainers at their best.

Posted by ontario honey | November 1, 2012 8:02 PM

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