Paul Simon and Sting: On Stage Together

New York City, NY, US
Madison Square Garden
Paul Simon, New Wave's Sting Find Harmony in Diverse Styles Generated Solid Chemistry on Recent Tour...

Folk-rocker Paul Simon and Sting from '70s new wave rock band The Police seemed like an odd couple if there ever was one. But the legendary wordsmith and king of pain were positively intriguing on their recent tour.

I caught their second show at Madison Square Garden in New York City earlier this month as part of a 21-date tour that just wrapped in Florida.

At first, they were too serviceable for my taste. After all, Sting is 62 and Simon is a decade older at 72.  But little-by-little, the two musicians erased visions of old men onstage in the twilight of their careers.

Rather the blended like a fine wine.

The opening numbers, "Brand New Day" and "Boy In The Bubble," were good, but you could see everyone was just settling in.

Simon welcomed everyone to their little experiment and totally wowed the crowd with stunning versions of "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" and his much-overlooked song "Hearts And Bones."

His "You Can Call Me Al" and "The Obvious Child" were terrific, too. Also, "Graceland" which has become a deserved classic, sounded great; much like the first time I heard it.

Sting's versions of "Driven To Tears," "Hounds of Winter," and "Roxanne" were simply outstanding. For sentimental reasons, "Walking On The Moon" was a added treat.

Their two vocals blended brilliantly on Sting's "Fragile" and, on Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Sting more than ably filled-in for Art Garfunkel, who teamed with Simon as Simon & Garfunkle on many of their classics from the '60s and '70s.

Both musicians had their full bands with them (special kudos to Sting's awesome drummer Vinnie Colaiuta). At times there were 17 musicians onstage playing wonderfully together.

Sting's guitarist, Dominic Miller, who's been with him for years, is just stupendous.

Two horn players added some brass for both musicians and although at times it was a tad too much; but one of the horn players also played a mean violin and his solo during "Tears" was just outstanding.

The very last s0ng they performed was The Everly Brothers "When Will I Be Loved." And that was the highlight of the show.

Simon said that's how this music started - a voice and a guitar. It was a fitting close to an excellent show.

(c) Improper Music by Winchester