Still Crazy After All These Years

I was lucky enough to see Paul Simon in concert the other night.  The arena was packed to the rafters and his performance was amazing — several days later, I’m still feeling slightly amped from the music. Though there are a few other performers that are still hanging around, Paul Simon has outlasted many of those that came of age with us baby boomers, in the 1960’s — partly, I think, because his sound has evolved. The quality of his voice is still wonderful and I believe, even stronger than when he was younger, and the additions that he has made to his music — the Caribbean, African and South American rhythms and instrumentations — are truly magic. A fair number of young people were in the crowd, but the vast majority of concert goers were men and women in their 60’s — because, after all, that’s the age of those of us who grew up to the music and lyrics of Paul Simon. Though there was a lot of grey hair in the audience, a lot of people moving more slowly because of knee or hip replacements and a lot of bifocals and trifocals, those old dudes still totally had the moves, getting up and dancing during songs like “Late in the Evening” and “That Was Your Mother”. And when, at the end of the evening, he closed the concert alone on a darkened stage with just a spotlight, an acoustic guitar and a pure, solo version of “The Sounds of Silence”, I cried. We were all eighteen.

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