On September 22, 2018, at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, Paul Simon said goodbye.
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. “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 solo. After the song, he said to the crowd “How much fun is it to sing a song about Corona, in Corona?!” Looking back, that was pretty cool moment.
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 referring to 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. He then thanked the crowd and walked off stage and just like that, the last show of the final tour ended, and Paul Simon said goodbye.
Out of the 26 song set, only five 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.
Setlist: America, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, The Boy in the Bubble, Dazzling Blue, That Was Your Mother, Rewrite, Mother and Child Reunion, Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard, Rene and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After the War, Can’t Run But, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Wristband, Spirit Voices, The Obvious Child, Questions for the Angels, The Cool, Cool River, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, You Can Call Me Al
Encore: Late in the Evening, Still Crazy After All These Years, Graceland
Encore 2: Homeward Bound, Kodachrome, The Boxer, American Tune, The Sound of Silence