16 July 2012

Paul Simon Hard Rock Calling

I booked tickets to see Paul Simon at Hard Rock Calling, Hyde Park quite a while ago and it seemed like it would never actually happen. Then I assumed it would be rained off and yet all of sudden we were there in the sun listening to the 25th Anniversary concert of what is surely one of the most iconic albums of all time.

You may have read or been to the slightly chaotic Bruce Springsteen concert the night before where the sound was switched off by the police mid-song to conform with the curfew. Although I realise the importance of the curfew if concerts are to be allowed in Hyde Park at all, and it would be an incredible shame if there weren't, I do think the way it was handled must have put a real dampner on the evening and I think all of us at the Paul Simon event were hoping that the same thing would not happen. However, I was seriously impressed by the organisation of the venue, the choice of food and drinks, the crowd management and the hygiene of the loos which I was slightly dreading due to the frequency that I pee at the moment. I even managed to find a glass of prosecco for me and my sister for whom we'd bought a ticket as her birthday present in May.

As soon as Paul Simon walked onto the stage all of that was forgotten. As Joe kept saying it was something a lot of us thought we'd never see - Graceland live with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Not only that but special guests including Jimmy Cliff and Jerry Douglas. It was an awesome, once in a lifetime night. For a man of 71 his singing and stage presence were awe-inspiring. I could have listened all night. I didn't take any videos but here are some from You Tube...


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