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Reader: Old Scolds Nearly Ruined Paul Simon's Retirement Concert

Paul Simon performed at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre on May 30.EXPAND
Paul Simon performed at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre on May 30.
Brandon Thrift
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"The Paul Simon farewell concert on May 30, 2018, was one of the hottest Denver tickets in recent memory," wrote Adam Perry, reviewing Simon's May 30 concert at Fiddler's Green.

Readers who were at the concert tended to agree — at least regarding Simon and his performance. But when it comes to his fans, our readers are less wowed.

In an email dubbed "Goodbye, Paul Simon. Good riddance, Paul Simon fans," Logan writes:

As sharp as Paul Simon is at 76, his crowd, especially the reserved seating crowd, is every bit as dull. Despite explicit encouragement directly from Mr. Simon early in the show to stand and dance, the audience was full of uptight scolds outraged at the prospect of someone dancing to music in their seated sight line. After being made to feel so uncomfortable at my (rather expensive) seat, I ended up hanging on the concourse between the GA and the reserved so I was able to dance. Somehow along the way, the generation of free love, Vietnam protests and social upheaval became a generation of bad wine, Land Rovers, and contempt for dancing to Paul Simon, who can't be moved to even a head bob for "The Obvious Child." It made me sad that I had to move so the people behind me "could see," but it makes me sadder that not even a genius like Paul Simon can make them feel.

Megan adds:

If only the older fans would have let loose and had fun.... never seen so much shushing in all my life! But like Paul himself said, "This music was meant to be danced to!" This avid concert goer was not deterred and danced all night!

Gloria, on the other hand, appreciated everything about the night, as well as the review:

It was such a great concert - and this is truly a wonderful review, totally capturing the mood and gems of the night.


Read on for more of our coverage of Simon and how 2018 is shaping up to be a year of retirement tours.

Paul Simon performed at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre on May 30.
Paul Simon performed at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre on May 30.
Brandon Thrift

"Review: Goodbye, Paul Simon, a Genius as Big as New York City"

Paul Simon performed at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre on May 30.EXPAND
Paul Simon performed at Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre on May 30.
Brandon Thrift

"Paul Simon Bids Farewell to Colorado"

"Five Retirement Tours of Music Icons Hitting Denver"

Simon had written an open letter to fans in February effectively announcing that the Fiddler’s Green date would be part of a tour aimed at "bringing my performing career to a natural end." Bringing out a fourteen-piece band steeped in jazz, rock and orchestral music, Simon opened his May 30 show with the 1967 classic “America,” and showed he could "still nail all the sweet, strong vocals of his historically dynamic songs at age 76," Perry notes.

He also nailed 1975's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," and promised the audience that he doesn’t intend to stop writing music. "If I stop," he said, "I don’t know what to do."

Read Perry's full review, "Goodbye, Paul Simon, a Genius as Big as New York City," here. Do you have thoughts about Simon, his fans and the concert? Post a comment or send a note to editorial@westword.com. 

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