Paul Simons band did run up on stage and started to play without the main man. After warming up the public Paul Simon went up and played som classics.. But honestly? It didn't do much for me. Nothing wrong with the actual playing nor choices of songs but the show didn't really hit me until they started with That Was Your Mother. Then Paul Simon did a little dance and started to give more of himself.
Paul Simon like many other musicians claims that he is more musical today being 75 years old (!) than he ever was. Usually that sounds like a cliché from someone that has played covers and done the exact same show for decades. However.. Paul Simon is certainly not one of those. I saw Paul Simon & Sting more than one year ago and regardless of Sting or some of the songs being the same this evening had a different vibe. When most think Paul Simon then pop, rock or sing-songwriter would probably come up in their heads but this show was more jazz-influenced.
"Play a classic hit 1 2 3 go!" was not the thing about this performance. Every little part seemed thought of and with this setlist (to many songs to mention..) Paul Simon skips some of his biggest hits and do play several new or lesser known songs instead. Most older musicians just play the same sort of setlist year after year.. Paul Simon probably played several songs most in the audience never had heard. From a artistic standpoint that make sense and I do understand Paul Simon for the decision. Though it's hard to escape "The Ghost of Art Garfunkel"..
The Werewolf from his latest release Stranger to Stranger worked very well.. It was so "out there" that it captured the audience and became one of the highlights. Other "unknown" songs like Rewrite also worked better live than on record but being played among his other classics is not easy.
Stockholm Waterfront was a good choice of venue. The size is just big enough and the actual sound is very good.. But I must say that the POWER often felt missing. I am not sure why but for in my ears the band didn't quite sound as powerful as I would have liked which I guess has more to do with the acoustics than the actual music. So a "good sound" but not as powerful as can be. This is just a minor fault though. You Can Call Me Al certinly made an more rocking impact!
Paul Simon used his rather big band with full force. Everyone got to shine and odd instruments turned up here and again. We even got shorter solos from a handful of them. But what maybe amazes me most is that Paul Simon alone with only his guitar still can create magic. This was never more evident than on The Sound of Silence. The audience really became all silent and the man still sounds like he could be in the years of Simon & Garfunkel or in the 1970's. Seeing a old man with a guitar doesn't sound so fun on paper but please believe me when I write it might been THE performance of the whole night.