Paul Simon and Brian Wilson performed Tuesday night before a throng of music fans at Sandstone Amphitheatre near Bonner Springs. Headliner Simon is touring to promote his latest release, the Grammy-nominated "You're the One."
Simon's multi-national, multi-ethnic 11-piece band brought its diverse musical flavors to bear on a rousing rendition of "Graceland" and "You're the One" before quieting things down for a relaxed reading of his 1975 hit "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover."
The Zydeco-flavored "That Was Your Mother" was followed by a raucous "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard," "Love," "Spirit Voices" and "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes." "You Can Call Me Al," a song that has aged beautifully, followed a delightful three-piece percussion jam.
Simon then quieted things down with an acoustic interlude, which included "The Sounds of Silence," "Homeward Bound" and "I Am A Rock." The full band returned to raise the energy level with "The Boy in the Bubble," "Cool Cool River" and "Late in the Evening."
He closed with "Proof" and "Still Crazy After All These Years," pausing before his encores. After muffing the lyrics to "Mrs. Robinson," he performed the breathtaking "The Boxer" and a soulful version of "Loves Me Like A Rock," with his band members in the role of gospel harmony group.
During his second and final curtain call, Simon sang a verse of "Kodachrome" to an at-home fan through a cell phone of a front-row patron, who had been sharing the concert via the airwaves.
Simon invited Brian Wilson, the eccentric Beach Boys auteur to open the tour, after they took turns honoring each another at events earlier this year. Though served by Teleprompters and appearing to never touch the keyboard, Wilson deserves this victory lap. It's a treat to hear songs like "In My Room" and "God Only Knows" outside the trite confines of what a Beach Boys concert has become, and without the smarmy personality of Beach Boys front man Mike Love.
-- Online entertainment manager Michael Newman can be reached at 838-7906.