Musical icons Paul Simon and Sting take the AAC stage together
By Chuck Cox
Armed with brilliant catalogs both as members of groups and as solo artists, Paul Simon and Sting are embarking on a tour together for the first time in their iconic careers too, as Sting told Rolling Stone, “raise each other’s game.”
Consider the games raised.
The second stop of the “On Stage Together Tour” was on Sunday night at American Airlines Center. Watching the two amazing musicians share the stage was a blissful experience. Hefty ticket prices appeared to have kept some fans away, though. More than half of the upper deck of the AAC was curtained off.
But the price tag was well worth it, as far as I’m concerned.
The show was divided up almost evenly between songs performed together and solo. Simon played 12 songs, while Sting played 10. They played 11 together to round out a two-hour, forty-five-minute show without an opening act.
And there were plenty of highlights from each portion of the show. Among Simon’s songs he played solo, I really enjoyed “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard” and “You Can Call Me Al.” He also sent Dallas some hometown love from his wife, Edie Brickell.
With Sting, of course The Police songs he did, like “Roxanne” and “Message in a Bottle” were incredible, but so were “An Englishman in New York” and “Hung My Head.” One really cool surprise was Sting doing Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” solo.
Pretty much every song the duo did together made the show well worth attending. The first round, which opened the show, included “Brand New Day,” “The Boy in the Bubble” and “Fields of Gold.” Next was a short, two-song collaboration on “Love is the Seventh Wave” and “Mother and Child Reunion” after Sting’s first solo round.
Simon also joined Sting on “Fragile” and for the four-song double encore. After playing “Every Breath You Take,” “Late in the Evening” and a beautiful rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in the first encore, Sting and Simon came back out and honored the late Phil Everly with “When Will I Be Loved.”
It was the perfect end to a perfect evening of music. As I’ve mentioned before, I got to see Simon and Garfunkel with the Everly Brothers back in 2004 at the AAC.
After the show, I thought about how I would have liked to have heard a few more Simon and Garfunkel songs and Police tunes. But, truthfully, it was perfect the way it was. It was fun, loose and incredibly entertaining. And the musicianship by the headliners and the incredible band they played with was outstanding.
I hope more artists will also decide to do similar tours together. When two great performers get together, something magical is bound to happen.