Soooo, jumping back a week…on Presidents’ Day I saw Paul Simon in concert for the 3rd time, but this time was unique because he shared the bill with Sting. Not gonna lie, I was skeptical of this pairing, but after hearing a lot of good reviews and learning that Paul and Sting are like BFFs, I warmed up to the idea. It also meant that Lauren and I spent an entire drive from Bakersfield to Oceanside listening to The Police’s entire discography, which is probably an important musical milestone to have experienced. I can say that I definitely appreciate Sting’s catalog more now, but I have to admit that there were still parts of the concert when I completely forgot that he was part of the show at all. I wonder if the Sting fans felt the same about Paul Simon?
A few tweet-sized observations:
- Being the auxiliary percussionist for Paul Simon’s band might just be the best job in the world.
- Never would’ve thought that it was possible to transition from “America” to “Message in a Bottle,” or that I would ever hear it.
- Sting’s drummer was Vinnie Colaiuta, who in my opinion, bears a striking resemblance to 2013 Christoph Waltz. Now, in some far corner of my mind, I’m convinced that Christoph is a really good drummer.
- Also, I kept mistaking Sting for Captain Jean-Luc Picard. He really has that look to him (the hair, the face, the stance). Very amusing to imagine Captain Picard singing Police songs.
- Paul Simon’s stage banter is sparse, so I feel very jealous of the guy he addressed directly: “You’re a drummer, aren’t you? Yeah, I saw you during ’50 Ways’…” LUCKY GUY.
- That night I learned that “Desert Rose” is in fact a Sting song (not Enya), and so is “I Hung My Head,” which was covered by Johnny Cash in 2002 (fun fact: Sting’s version is in 9/8).
- “That Was Your Mother” is one of my favorite live songs, because Paul always puts down his guitar and busts out his dance moves.
- Another favorite was “Call Me Al.” I remember being sad that he didn’t play it when we saw him in LA, but this definitely made up for it. Here’s a video I took from my phone (I’m impressed that my dancing isn’t more obvious…good job, iphone video stabilization!).
How about a video where you can actually see the performers, eh? In case you ever wanted to see Paul Simon sing “Every Breath You Take” (followed by one of my all-time favorites, “Late in the Evening”), enjoy: