Concert Review: Paul Simon at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens
With the dark clouds throughout the day and the threat of Tornados on 1010wins, I didn’t think the Paul Simon concert at Forest Hills Stadium would happen. But, at 4 pm, I met my husband back at my house and headed out to Queens in my new SUV.
As we drove in, we got droplets of rain but nothing heavy, until we got to Forest Hills. As we were parking the car, the rain came down in buckets!
Thankfully, we were prepared with our raincoats, waterproof hiking boots and baseball caps. (Well, I didn’t have a cap but took Brian’s off his head….)
There were crowds getting into the show. We moved along slowly like a herd of cattle.
When we got in, after dashing in and out of people, we got to our seats which were on the floor in the center. (Forest Hills is a small stadium and anywhere you sat you had a good seat!)
At 7:30 pm, it started to pour again. The rain came and it went. But, when it came, it was heavy! We took cover under the stadium and when we tried to get back to our seats, we were instructed to wait. There, we met Mary, who was vaping. “This is smoke,” she told me, “it’s not the other thing!”
She shared that she was on a date with a man she met on the internet who has two children. She didn’t have any children. As she was telling me a story about a recent date she had, someone yelled, “MOVE BACK!”
The sewage was coming up and the rain was so heavy that there was major flooding. “Lovely,” I thought. “This is going to be a long night and I’m not sure why he’s not calling the show!”
I’m sure many people left at that point but we stuck around. As we were gathered as a large group waiting to get to our seats, I shouted, “let’s sing a Paul Simon song.” But no one listed. My husband started to sing a little but then he stopped.
By 8:30ish, the security guards let us back in our seats. The rain was down to a drizzle. We sat and waited.
At nearly 8:50 pm, the show went on. We were all concerned that Paul wouldn’t play a full set because the night before the concert ended at 10 pm. But he did.
The concert was incredible. I’ve seen Paul Simon several times — once at Central Park when he played with Art Garfunkel; once during the Graceland tour and one other time. But there was something special about this show that was unlike the other shows. I think with the rain, the camaraderie, the amazing music, and the rumor this was Paul Simon’s last US performance of his long career, called for a very special night at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens.
Here was the set list:
The Boy in the Bubble
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
That Was Your Mother
Honky Tonk (Bill Doggett cover)
Slip Slidin’ Away
Mother and Child Reunion
Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
The Obvious Child
Stranger to Stranger
El Condor Pasa (If I Could)
The Cool, Cool River
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
You Can Call Me Al
I Know What I Know
Late in the Evening
Still Crazy After All These Years
That’s All Right (Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup cover)
The Sound of Silence
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Bridge Over Troubled Water never gets sung in concert, so hearing Simon’s performance brought chills through me. As a matter of fact, the last encore, made me feel very emotional. The songs brought up memories of growing up in a small town and sitting in my room listening to his greatest hits album.
Paul Simon was spot on. At age 74, he is better than ever. He looks great and his sound is perfection. As one of the women in the audience kept screaming, “we love you Paul!” I think we all do!
In conclusion, here’s The Sounds of Silence: