Paul Simon: Live In New York City 2011 (Blu-ray) 2012 DTS-HD Master Audio


Paul Simon Live in New York City is an affable and very enjoyable trip through Simon's long and storied career. There's a certain "distance" that Simon always seems to keep from his audience, even when they're not more than an arm's length from him, and that tendency is still at least somewhat on display here. 

That said, Simon is in mostly fine voice and the band sounds spectacular, especially the battery of percussion instruments (when was the last time you saw a glockenspiel at a pop-rock concert?). This concert should easily satisfy fans from most eras of Simon's multifaceted contributions to popular music, though many will no doubt be wondering about the lack of a surround mix, not to mention the dearth of supplementary material. With caveats noted, this release comes Recommended.

 UPC: 602527949871

The band's set list consists of: 

The Obvious Child 

Dazzling Blue 

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover 

So Beautiful or So What 

Mother and Child Reunion 

That Was Your Mother 

Hearts and Bones 

Crazy Love, Vol II 

Slip Slidin' Away 

Rewrite 

The Boy in the Bubble 

The Only Living Boy in New York 

The Afterlife 

Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes 

Gumboots 

The Sound of Silence 

Kodachrome 

Gone at Last 

Late in the Evening 

Still Crazy After All These Years 

 

Those who are old enough to have been introduced to Simon's music way back in "The Dark Ages" of the sixties may understandably gravitate to some of the more nostalgia provoking songs in this concert, including a beautiful rendition of "The Sound of Silence," but the concert manages to remind audiences just how lively Simon has been at virtually every stage of his career. 

Early solo Simon outings like "Mother and Child Reunion" still bristle with a palpable energy and more recent tunes like "So Beautiful or So What" or "Dazzling Blue" reveal Simon's penchant for intelligent lyrics blended with just slightly off kilter, asymmetrical song writing structures. While Simon is obviously the force holding all of this together, he does allow the band some freedom to stretch out, at least now and then, and Mark Rossi, Andy Snitzer and Mark Stewart all contribute some nice licks along the way. 

 

The musicians performing in this concert are: 

Paul Simon: guitar, vocals 

Tony Cedras: horns, accordion, keyboards, guitars, vocals 

|Jamey Haddad: percussion 

Bakithi Kumalo: bass, percussion, vocals 

Vincent Nguini: guitars, vocals 

Jim Oblon: drums, guitars, vocals 

Mick Rossi: piano, Hammond organ, percussion, harmonium 

Andy Snitzer: saxophone, synthesizer, flutes, glockenspiel 

Mark Stewart: guitars, saxophone, wind instruments, vocals 

 

Paul Simon Live in New York City is presented on Blu-ray courtesy of Hear Music and Concord Music Group with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 1.78:1. This is a nicely sharp and well detailed looking concert offering that benefits from the relatively intimate setting of Webster Hall. Camera coverage is often up close and personal, which helps to amplify fine object detail. While a lot of the concert is rather dark, resulting in minimal shadow detail at best, perhaps because of the progressive presentation, posterizing is really at a minimum despite the penchant for bathing the stage in cobalt blue lighting.

 

Video

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Video resolution: 1080p

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Audio

English: LPCM 2.0

English: LPCM 2.0 (less) 

Subtitles

None 

(less) 

Discs

25GB Blu-ray Disc

Single disc (1 BD)

Playback

Region A (B, C untested)

Unavailable

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