Paul Simon, after all these years

Two good concerts during the last couple of days: first Maria Schneider playing at Brosella Folk & Jazz, and then Paul Simon at Forest National. The former I’ve seen before in Finland many years ago, but the latter never. Paul Simon, glad you came to the cold, humid Brussels.

There’s only one thing I hate more than the “hockey arena sound”: the sound of the bass drum in a hockey arena. I never considered Paul Simon as a hockey arena act, but that’s what it sounded, unfortunately. Why mix Paul Simon like a rock band (in a hockey arena)? Anyway, I enjoyed it as much as I could, without hearing the nuances. That recognizable voice was there from the start.

The setlist was a mixture of old and new songs, obviously. I remember when I saw U2 in Helsinki in 1997, many people reacted strongly to their ’80s stuff, and when they played songs from the Pop album, the reaction was lame. A shame, because Pop is U2’s best album by far. I don’t like what they did in the ’80s… Well, the same happened at Paul Simon’s concert: all that Simon & Garfunkel and early Paul Simon stuff got the greatest applause. No problem there, I pretty much like everything Paul has done during his long career, but still, I miss the Gadd, Tee & Brecker years.