Paul Simon and Sting sharing a stage is a very intriguing combination even if my instinct on the matter, is the same as let’s say, pizza and pineapple; wonderful as separate foods but together?!
‘They’ got together in 2013, both involved with the Robin Hood Foundation and evidently an affinity between them both artistically and as gentlemen was established, so much so that 2 years later they are still touring Europe together after numerous successful American live shows.
Lasting over 2hours forty minutes and comprising 35 songs, it works like this. Joint set, Sting set, joint set, Paul Simon set, joint set, repeated twice over.

Sting is a natural, a born performer whose stance is to get the crowd to partake whilst Paul Simon(PS) has a more reserved approach, almost frail and gentle with the crowd and his musicians, the onus is on listening both to his poetic words and sublime arrangements.

Consequently on stage together, not due to one upmanship thoughts or sinister design, Sting simply dominates, even his physical aspect making its presence felt. So the partnership is flawed from the start really I feel, but ultimately saved by the intelligence and generosity of each one’s band members, intermingling skilfully with each other. There are sometimes 16 people on stage playing everything from a viola to a washboard with wonderful piano, violin, saxophone and guitar solos.

Sting’s solo sets are masterful in their execution, it’s all too easy for him to win over this ‘Milanesi’ crowd. PS creates intriguing rhythms, master of world music that he is, a rather lesser known set list, concentrating on letting the music breath and space for his band, compared to Sting’s chorus rallying set.

The big problem together is that on the Simon and Garfunkel songs, Sting is not Art and it just really brought home that Paul Simon although being the super talented one, needed AG to make those songs magnificent. Sting just can’t do harmony with PS to give a song like ‘Bridge Over Trouble Water’ or ‘Mrs Robinson’ their majestic brilliance and I now understand fully why even Paul Simon as a solo artist rarely played them if not radically altering them somewhat. It does get a bit karaoke consequently in places, sometimes embarrassingly so.

But what charm these guys have and the best moments are truly great. Sting with some really wonderful bass playing on the superb ‘When the world is running down’, singing ‘America’ with just his band and no PS and so being able to give it plenty of blood and guts; Paul Simon with a superb rendition of ‘Hearts and Bones’, the truly beautiful’ Still Crazy After All These Years’ breaking everyone’s heart, the elegance and catchiness of ‘Diamonds On The Soles of Her Shoes’.

On stage together the songs that came off best were probably ‘Fragile’ sung by PS giving it a tenderness that originally only belongs to the guitar part, played by Sting on stage, and a heartwarming rendition of ‘Mother and Child Reunion’ with all band members on stage.

It was an honour to see two artists of such caliber on stage at the end of the day and even if the overall lasting effect was not one of wonder, it was pleasurable and entertaining.


Paul Simon & Sting
1. Brand New Day
(Sting cover)
2. The Boy in the Bubble
(Paul Simon cover)
3. Fields of Gold
(Sting cover)
4. Mother and Child Reunion
(Paul Simon cover)
Sting
5. So Lonely
(The Police cover)
6. When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around
(The Police cover)
7. Englishman in New York
(Sting cover)
8. Shape Of My Heart
9. Driven to Tears
(The Police cover)
10. Walking on the Moon
(The Police cover)
Paul Simon & Sting
11. Mrs. Robinson
(Simon & Garfunkel cover)
Paul Simon
12. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
(Paul Simon cover)
13. Dazzling Blue
(Paul Simon cover)
14. Graceland
(Paul Simon cover)
15. Still Crazy After All These Years
(Paul Simon cover)
16. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
(Paul Simon cover)
Paul Simon & Sting
17. Fragile
(Sting cover)
Sting
18. America
(Simon & Garfunkel cover)
19. Message in a Bottle
(The Police cover)
20. The Hounds of Winter
(Sting cover)
21. The End of the Game
(Sting cover)
22. Roxanne / Ain't No Sunshine
23. Desert Rose
(Sting cover)
Paul Simon & Sting
24. The Boxer
(Simon & Garfunkel cover)
25. Paul Simon
25. That Was Your Mother
(Paul Simon cover)
26. The Cool, Cool River
(Paul Simon cover)
27. Hearts and Bones
(Paul Simon cover)
28. Mystery Train
(Little Junior's Blue Flames cover)
29. Wheels
(Chet Atkins cover)
30. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
(Paul Simon cover)
31. You Can Call Me Al
(Paul Simon cover)
Paul Simon & Sting
32. Cecilia
(Simon & Garfunkel cover)
33. Every Breath You Take
(The Police cover)
34. Bridge Over Troubled Water
(Simon & Garfunkel cover)
35. When Will I Be Loved?
(The Everly Brothers cover) (Acoustic, without the band)

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