Paul Simon and Sting at Amway Center...

March 16, 2014

It doesn't seem like a union that would work.

Paul Simon, the introspective singer-songwriter known for pop classics from "The Sound of Silence" to "Graceland," trading harmonies with Sting, MTV-friendly frontman of the Police known for rafter-rattling vocals and jazz-tinged world music.

On Sunday at Amway Center, the duo even looked like an odd couple: The diminutive, balding Simon next to the lanky rock star with the angular features.

Musically, however, the concept was inspired. For a spirited, skillfully executed 2-1/2 hours, the two men showed the potential of artful sharing, unveiling nuances in familiar hits, nudging material into new directions and mingling resources of two bands loaded with top-notch musicians.

Simon and Sting spent about one-third of show on stage together, including an opening salvo that set the collaborative tone. After a minor delay in the show time (Sting cut himself shaving, he explained), the two men strolled out casually to share vocals on Sting's "Brand New Day," Simon's "The Boy in the Bubble" and another Sting solo hit, "Fields of Gold."

Backed by the combined ensembles, songs often rose above familiar studio versions, such as the fiery interlude in "Boy in the Bubble" powered by Sting's forceful bass. Sting showcased his upper register in Simon's "Bridge Over Troubled Water," while Simon's velvet tenor slipped smoothly into Sting's "Fragile."

The duets bridged mini-sets by Simon and Sting that offered more hits. Sting moved into rock ("Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You," "Message in a Bottle") and took other stylistic turns. His horn-fueled attempt at country, "I Hung My Head," sounded more like classic R&B, but was still wonderful.

Simon focused faithfully on his solo career with "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," "Graceland," "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Dazzling Blue" (off 2011's "So Beautiful or So What").

Along the way, the similarities became more apparent. Whether it was the Algerian influences in Sting's "Desert Rose" or the Brazilian drums in Simon's "The Obvious Child," the approaches are surprisingly alike.

Even better, they looked like old friends, also the title of a Simon & Garfunkel oldie. While no one can replace Simon's original partner, this promising team shows that a guy can't have too many friends.

(c) Orlando Sentinel by Jim Abbott

For more reviews from the Orlando show please visit where you can view the setlist, leave your comments about the show, post images of your ticket stub and your photos from the show!


Mar 14, 2014
They were an odd couple, standing together on stage in a massive arena. A 62-year-old man whose physique is better than many half his age towered over his collaborator, a somewhat frumpy looking 72-year-old who wore a fedora to mask his "thinning brown hair." While it may have been unexpected for Sting and Paul Simon to join forces for a tour, it's no surprise that this pairing resulted in a fantastic concert. After all, they have over 100 years of music making between them, not to mention the fact that these men composed some of the most enduring songs of the 20th century...
Mar 13, 2014
Paul Simon and Sting have spent a good part of the winter on stages together. By reputation, to find a roadshow packed with more ego you'd have to go back to, well, a Simon and Garfunkel tour. But these two folk/pop/new-wave/world-beat legends, who have about 135 years and record sales in the hundreds of millions between them, checked their self-importance at the door at Strathmore Music Hall on Wednesday. Simon and Sting abbreviated and deviated from their standard act for charity, specifically to help raise funds for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. The high-wattage bill in the ornate but intimate hall was supposed to pack even more power: An Ellington official announced from the stage just before showtime that Stevie Wonder, who was listed on the cover of the concert's program, backed out at the last minute because of a death in the family. The official said the event raised $1.2 million for the public school, a training ground for young entertainers and artists that opened in Georgetown in 1974...