Flushing Meadows Corona Park
September 22nd, 2018
On September 22, 2018, Paul Simon said goodbye in Queens, New York at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Paul was introduced by Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. He started the 2 and 1/2 hour show with Simon & Garfunkel classic”America”. His setlist pretty much remained the same as it was the rest of the tour.
“This is like, two miles from where I used to play high school baseball,” he said after the first song. He then took out a baseball and glove and started playing catch with the massive audience. You can hear the sound of passing planes from above. “I was worried about that,” he said at one point. “Well, Welcome to New York he joked as the plane can be seen landing in nearby LaGuardia Airport.
The show continued with more classics like “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” “Boy in the Bubble” and “Mother and Child Reunion”. During the Goodbye Rosie part in “Me and Julio”, the crowd went crazy when he said “Queen of Corona” Paul’s wife Edie Brickell joined him on stage for the whistling part of the song. After the song, he said to the crowd “How much fun is it to sing a song about Corona, in Corona?!” Obviously, the crowd really enjoyed that.
Even though this was his farewell concert, Paul still sprinkled in some songs from his new album “In the Blue Light”. Although this is his fourteenth solo studio album, the album consists of re-recordings of lesser-known Simon songs like “Can’t Run But” And “Rene and Georgette Magritte with Their Dog after the War”, which were both performed.
Paul then started talking about a song he had an “interesting relationship” with. He talked about writing this song and “giving it away” to someone, but being able to reclaim it for his final tour. The song he was talking about was “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. After performing it with a slightly different arrangement with YMusic, who Paul worked with on his new album, he thanked Aretha Franklin who covered the song in 1971.
The show ended with two encores. The first encore started with “Late in the Evening” but the highlight was “Still Crazy After All These Years”. The second encore started with “Homeward Bound” followed by “Kodachrome”, “The Boxer” and “American Tune”. The show ended with Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence” performed by Paul with just an acoustic guitar. Paul then thanked the crowd and walked off stage and the last show of the final tour ended.
Out of the 26 song set, only 5 songs were Simon & Garfunkel songs. Not one mention of Garfunkel was made during the entire show other than a picture of the duo that flashed briefly during a video montage during “Homeward Bound”.
Although this was his final “tour”, Paul has stated that he may still do an occasional performance.