Paul Simon and Sting: On Stage Together

New Plymouth, NZ
TSB Bowl of Brooklands
Paul Simon and Sting show why their songs have stood the test of time...

Dear New Plymouth, I wonder if you have considered moving to Wellington?

We can give you as  warm a welcome as you did us. You can bring your Bowl of Brooklands with you and we can re-establish it on the old Hutt racecourse.

Please bring all your Len Lye sculptures with you and yes you can bring your precious Mt Egmont which we will re-install at the harbour entrance. But we must have your WOMAD festival and the organisers behind Saturday's concert.

Over the years, a lot has been thrown at Sting - his tantric sex ideas, saving the Amazon forests and his balmy wedding day - so much so that he's almost as disliked as Bono. Yet on stage he comes across as the most charming and likeable person you could meet. And, you really would like to take him home and have a good chin-wag.

Stunningly handsome and in good fettle, he rips through a well thought out set of Police and solo material then bows as Paul Simon makes his entrance. An entrance worthy of rock royalty he, like Sting, doesn't disappoint with his repertoire of old and new.

Wisely neither bothered with tracks from their colossal Broadway failures, The Last Ship (Sting) or Capeman (Simon); this is about the massive contribution of songs that have truly stood the test of time.

Neither of these artists needs to work again but here they are giving a three-hour concert and genuinely loving it.

There is a wonderful working rapport between the two different bands, as in 'Day By Day' (a song I'm not familiar with), and by using two drummers and four percussionists it was sonically brilliant.

No-one can replace Art Garfunkel's voice in many of Simon's songs but Sting carried many of them with aplomb and Simon was equally magnanimous in returning the favour.

Did I mention the sing-a-longs: 'Roxanne', 'You Can Call Me Al', '50 Ways To Leave Your Lover', 'Message in A Bottle'. Yes, 11,000 people left the venue hoarse.

(c) The Dominion Post by Colin Morris