Simon & Garfunkel, the Everly Brothers
Reviewed by Christopher Gray, Fri., July 9, 2004
Simon & Garfunkel, the Everly BrothersFrank Erwin Center, July 6
For all their pleasant melodies, pastoral imagery, and harmoniously finger-picked guitar, many of Paul Simon's songs are born of a profound sense of loss. Green leaves turn to brown, a boxer loses everything but his dignity in New York's asphalt jungle, Joe DiMaggio departs for parts unknown. If rhymin' Simon and junior-high pal Art Garfunkel's appearance Tuesday before a well-heeled Erwin Center crowd of nearly 10,000 didn't gloss over that sense of loss, it gave equal weight to the duo's happier side: the whimsically playful "Feelin' Groovy," rousingly jubilant "Cecilia," and hard-won reconciliation of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," which closed out the main set with a full-throated turn by Garfunkel that drew a well-deserved standing ovation. Whatever animosity once existed between the pair ("We started to argue when we were 14," joked Simon) has receded like Simon's hairline, and the depth of their friendship radiated through "The Only Living Boy in New York," which Simon wrote in 1969 when Garfunkel was away filming Catch-22. Over the years, their twin tenors Simon's a mellow Merlot, Garfunkel's a smoky Shiraz have intertwined so completely they could be brothers, so first hit "Hey Schoolgirl" made a perfect introduction for primary inspirations the Everly Brothers. Don and Phil, dapper in matching black blazers, delighted the crowd with a four-song miniset of "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Let It Be Me," and "Bye Bye Love," which brought Paul and Artie back out for some excellent four-part harmony. The Everlys' influence cropped up elsewhere, mostly on more rocking numbers like "Keep the Customer Satisfied," which followed an equally driving "Mrs. Robinson." Joe DiMaggio may be gone, but for Simon & Garfunkel, any loss is never total. "Preserve your memories," advises "Bookends." "They're all that's left you." After Tuesday, no problem there.
"Hazy Shade of Winter"
"I am a Rock"
"At the Zoo/Baby Driver"
"Wake Up Little Susie" [Everlys]
"All I Have to Do is Dream" [Everlys]
"Let It Be Me" [Everlys]
"Bye Bye Love" [both]
"The Sound of Silence"
"Slip Slidin' Away"
"El Condor Pasa (If I Could)"
"Keep the Customer Satisfied"
"The Only Living Boy in New York"
"My Little Town"
"Bridge Over Troubled Water"
"Leaves That are Green"