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Every Little Thing They Did Was Magic ....
March 12, 2014 - Phyllis Sigal
What a night ... Sting and Paul Simon. Paul Simon and Sting. On stage together.
They said it was an "experiment," — they sang a couple songs on stage together for a fundraiser — that turned out to be "fun."
Both are giants at what they do, and it was fitting they played at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. And while Hershey claims to be "the sweetest place on Earth," it certainly was sweet to be there on Sunday, March 9.
The concert began with Simon and Sting sharing the stage and their songs: "Brand New Day," "The Boy in the Bubble" and one of my favorites, "Fields of Gold."
Once Simon left the stage, Sting offered: "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," "Englishman in New York," "I Hung My Head," "Driven to Tears" and "Walking on the Moon."
Simon came back and alone sang such hits as: "Mother and Child Reunion," "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," "Graceland," "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "Me and Julio Down by the School Yard."
Simon joined in on Sting's "Fragile," and Sting helped out on Simon's "The Boxer." And of course, the audience joined in on that song's "lie-la-lie" chorus.
Sting sang Simon's "America," noting it reminded him of his lean and early years on tour in this country.
So many great songs, and so little time. Even in the nearly three-hour concert, they couldn't get to everyone's favorites, although they did play around 32 numbers. ... "Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes," "Every Breath You Take," "You Can Call Me Al," "Desert Rose," "Late in the Evening," "Graceland," "They Dance Alone," "Bridge Over Troubled Water" ...
I was missing Sting's "All Four Seasons," and my friend, Betsy Bethel, who was at the concert, too, wanted to hear Sting's "Fortress Around Your Heart" and Simon's "Feeling Groovy." I can just imagine the crowd going crazy on "Feeling Groovy," because we all were.
Together, Sting and Simon were funny — Simon joking that Sting's "Adonis" qualities would soon rub off on him. They were complimentary of each other's talents — their mutual respect and admiration were obvious.
The musicians on stage couldn't have been any better; Simon and Sting each brought their own band, members merging on this song and that.
Sting's band was made up of: Dominic Miller on guitar; Pittsburgh's Vinnie Colaiuta on drums; David Sancious on keyboards; Peter Tickell on electric fiddle. Jo Lawry was an incredible vocalist.
Simon brought with him: Mark Stewart, who appeared to play EVERYTHING, played guitars, saxophone, wind instruments, vocals and cello; Bakithi Kumalo, bass, percussion, vocals; Vincent Nguini, guitars, vocals; Jamey Haddad, percussion; Jim Oblon, drums, guitars, vocals; Mick Rossi, piano, Hammond organ, harmonium, percussion, celesta; Andy Snitzer, sax, synthesizer, flutes; C.J. Camerieri, trumpets, French horn; and Bruce "Sunpie" Barnes, accordion, harmonica, vocals.
Lighting — all red on "Roxanne" and lots of white spots on other songs — was simple yet dramatic.
The encore — never long enough, right? — ended with an acoustic "When Will I Be Loved" by the Everly Brothers. Right then, at that moment — they certainly both were loved by the appreciative audience.
Suffice to say, the "experiment" worked.