Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Simon Garfunkel - Old Friends Live on Stage|
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
"Right from the opening montage that juxtaposed scenes from the duo's careers and other world events, the message was clear-Simon & Garfunkel were sharing this show with their generation." (David Wild, Liner Notes) For an ... more »
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Old Friends or Central Park?
mashny | New York | 06/18/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I own this DVD as well as the Concert in the Park DVD; I was also at both concerts -- each had a different feel, and each DVD has a different feel. Several reviewers have compared the two DVDs and, like most of them, I prefer the "Old Friends" DVD, which isn't to say that the Central Park concert is not worth owning.
The sound quality of Old Friends is superior, but that may be a function of the venue as well as of the updated recording technology -- at an outdoor concert, some of the sound is lost to the open air, while at a place like Madison Square Garden the sound is contained by the venue, and thus feels richer.
Though Simon & Garfunkel were backed up by a band in both concerts, the Central Park concert is more folky, with a peaceful outdoor concert feel (which is exactly what it was). The Old Friends concert, on the other hand, often seems to emphasize the rock aspect of "Folk Rock," which is a nice change from the Simon & Garfunkel sound I'm used to hearing. Its venue, better sound quality, and lighting effects, also give it more drama. On a flatscreen TV with excellent sound, the Old Friends concert provides the richer experience. My choice of which to watch, however, depends on my mood: I was at the Central Park concert the day before my first day of highschool, so if I'm feeling nostalgic I'll watch the Park concert; if I want more of an energetic, arena feel, I'll watch Old Friends.
As far as I remember, the only song they did at the Garden that was cut from the DVD was the Everly Brothers' "Let it Be Me." This isn't a big deal for me, though I'm sure some Everly Brothers fans aren't happy.
Other than this, there's little I can add to what's already been said about this DVD."
Old Friends ensnare a New Fan
Gerald Heffner | Pennsylvania | 03/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll admit I wasn't around during the 60's. I wasn't here for the 70's either and Regan was just finishing up when I was born. That doesn't mean I can't appreciate good music when I hear, and in this case, see it as well. My tastes range from Bebop to Blues, Rock to Reggae, and pretty much all points in between.
I've held Paul Simon in the highest regard with the other musical geniuses of our time (Pete Townshend, Brian Wilson, Lennon & McCartney, etc.) but only recently has the duo attracted my serious interest.
I bought the "Concert in Central Park" on a whim after seeing a short clip on a forum I frequent and was enthralled with the tight production and high, though sometimes awkward, energy. True to my nature as a musical "guru" I set out to research all I could about the duo, learning of their beginning, the breakups, the animosity and so forth. By Central Park it seems much of the past was beginning to be just that, the past, and the future was starting to matter again.
By the time this concert rolls around the two have aged a good twenty years and have had that time to reconcile. I'm reminded of The Who in this regard, as only Townshend and Daltrey are left and share a similar history. Two old men and a guitar. Once the music starts flowing all personal problems and grudges seem to disappear. Indeed, Paul and Artie (as they refer to each other throughout the night) seem closer than they have been since arguably their first meeting in the 6th grade play, a story which they elaborate on rather humorously.
There are smiles in quanitity as well as a few sideways glances between the two old friends throughout the show and I tend to think the only uneasy vibes they put off come from the fact that they haven't PERFORMED together in quite some time. That's a rather different angle than not having TALKED to, or SEEN each other in that span of time. I hardly believe the last time they spoke was at the Grammys, or the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, whichever came first.
But anyway, the concert itself is spectacular covering an array of classics as well as some lesser known material for good measure and a few Simon-Solo tunes that "would've made a good Simon and Garfunkel record" in his own words. Paul himself is in fine form, gesticulating wildly when not playing his array of guitars and grooving with the beat all night. Artie seems beside himself for most of the show, clearly enjoying it more than any man should have a right to.
Standout performances (which are difficult to nail down in such a superb set) include "I Am a Rock" with a slightly slower tempo and different arrangement but nonetheless enjoyable. The beginning of the song is a little shaky, but tightens up at the second verse. "Kathy's Song" allows Art to shine vocally. The Everly Brothers even show up for a short set, recognized as the models for Simon and Garfunkel. The four share the stage for a rousing "Bye Bye Love."
"Homeward Bound" recieves a wonderful treatment with a bit of an extended middle section allowing the members of the supporting band to solo. The band is comprised of some of the best musicians in the industry though nearly every camera shot of drummer Jim Kletner showed a completely blank face, almost disinterested face though his drumming was superb.
The second act opens with a montage of footage from various sources including Art's acting career and "The Graduate," leading into "Mrs. Robinson" and a jazzy, perfect take on "Slip Slidin' Away." A few lesser-played numbers follow including a bouncy "Keep the Customer Satisfied." "American Tune" sets a new standard in concert performance.
It's difficult to tell where the concert ends, as it is comprised of two separate dates. (You can tell which concert you're at by Art's trademark vest, or lack thereof.) "Bridge Over Troubled Water" seems to be the closer, and a hell of a closer at that. This is where I see the dissolvement of the duo's problems as they share a song that was traditionally Artie's. Though, Paul looks like he's trying to upstage Art with his solo second verse.
My greatest impression with this concert is how the two seem to age BACKWARDS as the night progresses. The show opens with two old men, thinning hair, wrinkles, and straining voices. By the time we reach "Cecilia" we're back in Central Park. It's a testament to the timelessness of the music that its originators can still capture, and even improve on the connection it makes, thirty, even forty years after the fact. "Leaves that are Green" sees a stage revival for the first time since the 60's and the show ends with the anthemic "Feelin' Groovy" featuring some ... odd instrumentation.
If the two men were at odds, or at the very least unconversational with each other we might have ended up with something akin to the Roth/Hagar Van Halen concerts of a few years back, in spirit anyway. It shows through the music on stage and the ambient, laid back atmosphere of the entire show that they still are, as the title implies "Old Friends." I see no reason why this DVD should be viewed as a farewell, or a swan song. With talks of a new studio project or more touring, the sky's the limit for these icons in the new milennium.
As long as Paul Simon can write songs and Art Garfunkel can sing they'll be our bridge over troubled waters."
One of the Best Live Concerts on DVD Ever!
Dhruv Bhate | Purdue | 12/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I pressed play on the DVD player and settled down in my couch full of sympathy for two 60 year old men who sounded great in the studio recordings that we all own on cds and LPs. Having seen 2 CSN DVDs before this, I knew vocal harmonies were one thing to get right in a studio, but doing it immaculately on stage was an enormous task.
S&G do it with enormous ease. How? How can two men, at this age, playing a live show, surrounded by thousands, with just a guitar on occasion...master the ups and downs of each melody with such precision it is unreal at times.
This is one of the best DVDs I have ever seen. Get a high quality headset or route it through a 5.1 system and this will blow you away. Listen to it again and again and watch as Art Garfunkely rises and falls in perfect pitch and in perfect time with Paul Simon.
Sheer genius captured on immaculate sound and well crafted video. Great technology and great performers...we ARE a blessed generation to have the best of both."
See if this sounds familiar...
orson | LFP WA | 11/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What did you think of the Central Park concert? Did you think the energy was awfully odd at times? Think it seemed like the two principals really didn't want to be there with each other? Think S&G's harmony left something to be desired, compared to the old days? Think most of the arrangements of their classic tunes sounded as if they'd been forced through a "Southern Cal/mock-jazz/lazy-swing" processor, much to their detriment? Think the idiot racing on stage during "Johnny Ace" was by a long shot the concert's single most compelling moment?
Yeah, me too.
Which accounted in large part for my hesitation in picking up this "Old Friends" DVD. I figured, who needs more such disappointment from these two? Let it go.
But, it would appear I read just enough from fellow reviewers to make me think this show might be different. And boy is it.
All wrongs have been righted, and the result is an illumination of who these guys are and where they've been that could hardly be improved upon. Their voices, though clearly withered a bit by age, are nonetheless delightful from beginning to end. The band is unimpeachable. The arrangements are a sublime and frequently moving blend of the familiar and the better than familiar. Paul has dispensed with his wig, Artie's having so much fun it should be a crime, and the direction/production choices by the film crew always serve and never distract from this amazing concert.
Listen...forget that Central Park mediocrity. Give the lads a mulligan. Try this disc. Tap into what's going on between these two guys as you watch the show unfold. For god's sake, it's got a Theremin in it - what more do you need?"