When you go to see Paul Simon & Sting on tour together you are actually going to see 4 artists, Paul Simon, Sting, The Police and Simon & Garfunkel, this is the wealth of recorded material that these two artists can draw on for this show.
No Art Garfunkel on stage tonight but Sting is here to fill that space and what a good job he will do, also no Police boys tonight guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland are missing in action, but 14 musicians fill the stage and Sting’s band fill the Police void with the brilliant master class Vinnie Golaiuta on drums and the tasteful classically trained Dominic Miller on guitar add to these on keyboards David Sancious and Jo Lawry who is featured on the film ‘ 20 feet from Stardom” on backing vocals with young new kid Peter Tickell on electric violin who is an outstanding talent.
The first thing I notice is Sting is still in strong voice hitting all the notes and still has his vocal power and is first and foremost a great musician with the chance to play bass with some stellar musicians tonight which he seems to relish and to sing some of Paul Simon’s songs as they merge their material and verses and voices together being very gracious to each other between songs.
Starting in with “Brand New Day” all of Sting’s solo songs and Police goodies are on display here tonight and the crowd are right there for the sing~a~long Roxanne and Walking on the Moon including yours truly supporting a fellow English boy in Vancouver!
Paul Simon acknowledges the Canadian Woman’s Hockey team win over the USA and gets a big cheer in our home town hockey stadium.
Next thing I notice is Paul Simon’s band ~ Wow! every one of them are up to brilliant and deserve a special mention ~ Mick Rossi on Hammond keyboards, Bruce ‘Sunpie’ Barnes on Accordion and Harmonica, Bakithi Kumalo on bass, Vincent Nguini on guitar, C.J. Carmerierion trumpet and French Horn and Andy Snitzer on Saxophone and Flutes who are a brass section to end all brass sections and the three who really sparked my interest, Mark Stewart who would join the brass section on Saxophone and played a mean guitar as well, also Jamey Haddad on percussion who nearly stole the show with his solo and last but not least young drummer extraordinaire Jim Oblon who I think will be much in demand in the future and is also a fine guitarist.
The songs of Paul Simon carry him through the night, surly one of the best songwriters in the last 50 odd years, he has adapted his voice to suit the all time classics ~ Slip Slidin Away, Stll Crazy, My and Julio, Bridge Over Troubled Waters, Mother & Child Reunion and the beautiful drum intro into 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover and the crowd are on there feet and in seventh heaven at this point.
Then next up you have the Graceland songs to wow the crowd and again they are up on their feet again for every note and word ~ Boy in the Bubble, Diamonds on the Soles Of Her Shoes and You Can Call Me Al with bass player Kulamo showing the audience that he can play just a bit and kissing his bass guitar after a standing ovation at the end of the song. Follow that!
Great show boys ~ Paul Simon at 73 & Sting at 63 ~ Good Friends and happily Still Crazy After All these Years and with smiles on their faces