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In Action: Paul Simon at the Vic and the Chicago Theatre

Paul Simon played at two different venues in Chicago this week, Monday night at the Vic and Tuesday night at the Chicago Theatre. Let's take a look.

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"In one sense, the two-hour, 24-song performance played like a mini-history of rhythm, spiraling out from the doo-wop of Simon's native New York to West Africa down the coast to Capetown and then out to the Caribbean, into Brazil, Memphis and New Orleans," Greg Kot wrote for the Tribune.

"His band of multi-instrumentalists was versatile enough to keep pace with Simon's game of continental hop-scotch, the singer demonstrating how he synthesized his rhythm journeys into durable pop songs."

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"[O]ver the course of his two-hour set he made a convincing, sometimes intriguing case for a common thread connecting not just his catalog but from his catalog to the world of music at large," Joshua Klein wrote for Time Out Chicago.

"A cover of Jimmy Cliff's 'Vietnam' segued into 'Mother and Child Reunion,' which was originally recorded back in 1972, in Jamaica, with Jimmy Cliff's band.

"The accordion-driven zydeco rhythms of 'That Was Your Mother' were later echoed in the South African dance groove of 'Gumboots,' while one imagined Simon had the street corner doo wop vocals of his youth in mind when he incorporated Zulu a cappella harmonies into his 'Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes.'

"An earlier rendition of 'Hearts and Bones' transitioned into Junior Parker's 'Mystery Train,' slyly a song made famous by another prominent white singer borrowing from black music."

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1. Sounds of Silence at the Vic.


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2. 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover at the Vic.

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3. Kodachrome & Gone at Last at the Vic.

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4. Vietnam & Mother and Child Reunion at the Vic.

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5. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes at the Vic.

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6. Obvious Child at the Vic.

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7. Still Crazy After All These Years at the Chicago Theatre.

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8. Slip Slidin' Away at the Chicago Theatre.

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9. Only Living Boy in New York at the Chicago Theatre.

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10. Rewrite at the Chicago Theatre.

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on May 19, 2011


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