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.
The band's set list consists of:
The Obvious Child
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
The Boy in the Bubble
The Only Living Boy in New York
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
The Sound of Silence
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 codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Original aspect ratio: 1.78:1
English: LPCM 2.0
English: LPCM 2.0 (less)
25GB Blu-ray Disc
Single disc (1 BD)
Region A (B, C untested)