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Review: A Magical Evening with Paul Simon in Sioux Falls

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Leave it to a music legend to transform the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center into an intimate club for a night.

Playing on a stage complete with an area rug and decorative pillows, singer/songwriter Paul Simon brought his summer tour to Sioux Falls, Sunday (June 18), elevating cool to a whole new level.

No big screen monitors. No fancy laser light shows. Just an evening filled with some of the most memorable music ever written.

When you’ve been relevant in the music business as long as Simon has you need an abundance of talent and versatility. Both were on display in this show.

From Simon and Garfunkel classics like “The Boxer”, “Homeward Bound”, and “The Sound of Silence” to some of his biggest solo hits like “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover”, “Mother and Child Reunion”, and “You Can Call Me Al”, Simon took the crowd on a musical journey that included stops in Brazil (“The Obvious Child”, “Spirit Voices”) and South Africa (“The Boy in the Bubble”, “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes”).

That talent and versatility extended to Simon’s eight-piece backing band. This tight knit combo featured musicians wearing a number of different musical hats thorough out the evening.

At one point during the set, Simon’s drummer had put down his sticks and was sitting at his kit playing a guitar. Later, no fewer than five members of the band were playing some sort of drum during one song.

There was a washboard, accordion, french horn, and even a recorder being featured from time to time. When all of those weren’t enough, Simon ever treated us to his whistling ability.

The whole vibe of the evening was set early on when Simon told his Sioux Falls fans –  “I’m happy to be here. No particular reason. Just happy to be here.”

The feeling was certainly mutual.

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