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by Paul Simon
I’m not a guy who usually goes to concerts, but I was depressed to hear that Paul Simon would not be touring again after this year. I’ve never seen him and he didn’t stop in Phoenix. So that was that.

Then I saw the last night of his tour - after last night’s show at Madison Square Garden- was listed as TBA with no time and no venue. I figured he would do another concert in Central Park but instead he announced a date at Corona Park in Queens. (Remember the lyric “Goodbye Rosie the queen of Corona”? This is the place!). It was the site of the 1964 Worlds Fair and was featured in the movie “Men in Black”. Simon is originally from Queens so it is a perfect bookend to his career.

I bought tickets online and flew in yesterday. I’m sleeping on a blow up mattress in my sister’s tiny apartment in the Bronx. We were missing one detail from our prep - we had no idea when the venue opened. Fearing a massive crowd we arrived at 4:15. We were probably in the first 500 people who got in and wound up less than 50 feet from the stage with tens of thousands behind us. The VIP folks got seats but off to the side. We were front and center! , Necer have I ever felt better about a general admission ticket. We scored.

What was funny is that we walked up to our spot by the stage and sat down - the show started st 7. About 6:50 people stood up and the five-foot tall lady behind me realized that I’m 6’5” (and my sister is six feet) tall and she wasn’t going to see a thing. Aside from the guy who was immediately in front of me (and was 6’2” or so) I had shrimpy New Yorkers all around me. I had great sightlines for the whole concert. They panned the crowd with video cameras and all of the short people were excited when they spotted me on the giant video board - I did stick out in the shot. If there is ever a video released, I’ll be the tall guy surrounded by short folks wearing a black shirt with the cover art from “The Nightfly” on it.

Simon played almost three hours - he’s 76 years old! He waxed nostalgic at times, played catch by throwing a baseball into the crowd, and stared longingly at every airplane that flew over on approach to LaGuardia. (One even flew over right as he sang “Sail on silver bird” during “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”). He even pointed off to the east as “The moon rose over an open field...” during the show. It was magical.

The set list was a mix of old and new (did you know he released a studio album last week called “In the Blue Light”?) and this is one of my favorite new tracks he played. This video was apparently filmed at a rehearsal for this tour because all of the touring band musicians are in it. You probably don’t know the song but it’ll make you tap your feet. Try it.

Anyway, I have now seen Paul Simon in concert. It feels good. I try keep my phone put away but I did take the two photos in this post. I was that close to him.

I typed this all on my phone at 2:30am local time. Please forgive any grammar, spelling, or mental errors.
2016 - Concord Records - United States - Live version; Original song appears on the album “Stranger to Stranger”
Posted: About 21 hours ago
He doesn't look a thing like Jesus, but he talks like a gentleman. Continually amused by the algorithm that selects artists for the "Into" field on the search page... mine currently says, "Into: Florida Department of Commerce, Hayley Westenra, Val Kilmer "
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