Live In Boston 2001 (Palm Drive PDCD-017/018)
Tweeter Center, Boston, MA – July 13th, 2001
Disc 1 (58:42): That’s Where I Belong, Graceland, You’re The One, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, That Was Your Mother, Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard, The Teacher, Spirit Voices, Diamonds In The Skies Of Her Shoes, You Can Call Me Al, The Sound Of Silence, Homeward Bound, I Am A Rock
Disc 2 (61:28): The Boy In The Bubble, Cool Cool River, Late In The Evening, Hurricane Eye, Proof, Still Crazy After All These Years, Mrs. Robinson, The Boxer, Love Me Like A Rock, Hearts And Bones, Kodachrome
Paul Simon hit a watershed in 2000 with the release of You’re The One. Coming several years after the disappointing Songs From The Capeman, the new work was his strongest since 1990’s Songs Of The Saints.
The twenty-eight date tour comes, according to the press release at the time: “The Paul Simon Summer 2001 tour comes hot on the heels of Simon’s Grammy Nomination for Album of the Year for You’re The One(recently certified gold), a prime-time PBS special, his induction as a solo artist into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame (Simon was inducted earlier as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel) and being named the Musicares (the charity event of NARAS and the Grammys) 2001 Person of the Year (at which Brian Wilson performed ‘The Sounds of Silence’).”
He went on a twenty-eight city tour of the US beginning on June 9th in Seattle and was joined by Brian Wilson as support. Boston is during the final week of the month long tour.
Palm Drive, a minor label who released several titles in 2001-2002, utilize a very good to excellent professional recording taped from an ALD. It is rather dry, but is very clear and an excellent document. It emphasizes some mistakes that would escape audience detection and lacks atmosphere. But it is enjoyable to hear Simon in such clarity.
The show starts off with the opening song from the latest album “That’s Where I Belong” which serves as a mission statement with the lines “Sound becomes a song / I’m bound to tell a story / That’s where I belong.”
After “Graceland,” one of Simon’s personal favorites, is the title track from the newest album and a superb amalgam of styles ranging from Arabic harmonies to American bluegrass. Much of the show displays his interest in interpreting various styles such as “That Was Your Mother,” which is a zydeco tune with a Carl Perkins guitar solo in the middle.
“Diamonds In Her Shoes” segues into “You Can Call Me Al.” Simon becomes very enthusiastic by the end with loud shouts of “alleluia.”
Simon follows that with several Simon & Garfunkel tunes played in a row. He attempts intimacy by strumming on the acoustic guitar with minimal input from the band. The arrangement sound strange without Garfunkel, however, with “The Sounds Of Silence” faring the worst.
The show ends with a performance of “The Boxer.” In the encores he plays “Hearts And Bones” which he says hasn’t been played in ten years (probably not since the Central Park show in August 1991). The fast paced “Kodachrome” closes what is an enjoyable show.
Live In Boston 2001 is packaged in a double slimline jewel case and is one of the very few Paul Simon silver releases from the era. The sound quality is excellent as is the performance.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)