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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 8, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 14
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Where It's At: Paul Simon still relevant after all these years

by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Paul Simon
April 15 at WaMu Theater
April 17 at The Showbox SoDo (SOLD OUT)


It's not unusual for Seattle to be picked as the opening city for a major tour. Usher launched his 'OMG Tour' in November at Key Arena, Latin star Juanes kicked things off at WaMu Theater last month, and rumor has it Jennifer Hudson is considering the area for an upcoming bow.

Paul Simon is a whole other matter altogether. This guy is legendary. This man was chosen by Time magazine in 2006 as one of the '100 People Who Shaped the World.' He owns 12 Grammy Awards and was nominated for an Oscar (Best Original Song, 'Father and Daughter' in 2003).

The folk icon is set to appear twice in Seattle before anywhere else on his 'Coast to Coast' itinerary, playing at WaMu Theater next Friday and then treating fans to an intimate performance at The Showbox Market a couple days later, which is completely sold out. Simon will promote his newest album, So Beautiful or So What, already being called his best effort since Graceland by Rolling Stone magazine ahead of its April 12 release. No doubt he'll introduce songs from it on his two nights here.

Simon's music has always resonated with the times, while brilliantly incorporating sounds from around the universe - 'Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes' featuring the South African ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the entire Rhythm of the Saints album, fusing Latin American percussion and guitars with stories from back home, are just two examples of the singer-songwriter's deep creative well.

The music of Paul Simon is so good that even covers of his songs are on my iPod, like a rendition of 'The Boxer' by Alison Krauss and Shawn Colvin, who feted the New York-based artist in a PBS special a few years back. But there's nothing like the real thing, and come April 15 and 17, the man himself will be in town to play, quite possibly, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water,' '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,' 'Mother and Child Reunion,' 'The Cool, Cool River,' 'Late In the Evening,' 'Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard,' 'Kodachrome,' or if we're lucky, 'The Sound of Silence.' These songs never get old.

At press time, some tickets for the WaMu Theater concert appeared to be available. No opening act has been announced, so it's likely Simon will soak up the entire time - amen to that.

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