Watch Paul Simon’s surprise performance at Global Citizen Fest in Central Park
Governors Ball was not the only big festival happening in NYC on Saturday (9/25). Global Citizen Fest returned to Central Park's Great Lawn after a pandemic year off, for a star-studded show featuring sets from Coldplay, Billie Eilish (who played GovBall on Friday), Lizzo, Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, Jennifer Lopez (who brought out LL Cool J and Ja Rule), Meek Mill, Jon Batiste, Cyndi Lauper, and more.
There was also a surprise for those who stuck it out the whole day and past the 10 PM curfew. “We’re going to bring up one of the greatest of the greats, Paul Simon,” Chris Martin told the crowd, having just finished Coldplay's headlining set. Just a week past the actual 40th anniversary of Simon & Garfunkel's historic reunion show in Central Park, Paul, who is 79 and mostly retired these days, came out with his acoustic guitar to play "The Boxer" from S&G's Bridge Over Troubled Water. He then bought out famed sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, and then closed out Global Citizen Fest 2021 with "The Sound of Silence." You can watch video of both songs, and see pictures by Sachyn Mital, below.
Paul was supposed to perform at Central Park's Great Lawn this summer, too, as part of We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert, but his set was one of those that was cancelled when the show was cut short because of inclement weather.
This was one of eight Global Citizen events on Saturday in cities around the world -- including Lagos, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, London, Los Angeles, Sydney, and Mumbai -- raising money and awareness for poverty, famine, climate change and Covid-19 initiatives.
Coldplay's Global Citizen performance capped off a week of intimate shows, that included The Apollo and City Winery. For their set they brought out Billie Eilish and FINNEAS for "Fix You," Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello for "Yellow," We Are KING for "Human Heart," and, via satellite, BTS for their new collaborative track "My Universe."