Paul Simon Gives Tour de Force and a Sermonette

In a concert at the riverside pavilion in Cleveland last week, Paul Simon gave the crowd a tour-de-force — and a sermonette.

The tour-de-force was made up of a strong choice of songs from Simon’s 53-year-long career. Five Simon and Garfunkel songs, five songs from the lush “Graceland” album, a couple from last year’s “Stranger to Stranger,” and 13 more carried the crowd through a 2 hour and 10 minute musical trip. Throughout, Simon hit the right notes, while his band put out striking strong rhythms and soaring psychedelic sounds.

The sermonette came just before the last song:

I feel a little bit funny about saying these things, but I’m giving, I’m allowing myself the privilege of it due to my advanced age. For years it is my observation: Anger is addictive. And we are becoming a nation of addicts. Ask yourself, “Who are the dealers? Who are the pushers? Where, where is that anger coming from?” And be aware of — when you hear it, when you see it — be aware of its source. It’s not, it’s not that we aren’t gonna have reasons to be angry. Of course we do. But decision-making and best choices are made with a cool and a calm mind. And in a well-knit community, practice kindness.

Then he played, in acoustic solo, “The Sound of Silence.”


Image credit: screen grab from video by Youtube user Max Tetsoshvili


Paul Simon said that he is giving all the profits of his tour to the Half-Earth project. The Half-Earth project aims to save 85% of Earth’s species from the rapid extinction that is now happening. The Half-Earth organization figures that that can be achieved by setting aside half of Earth’s surface to nature. Half-Earth says that about 15% of land surface and 3% of ocean surface is protected in nature preserves so far.

Video: Sermonette + “Sound of Silence”

by Youtube user Max Tetsoshvili

Set List

Here is the set list from the Paul Simon concert at Nautica in Cleveland, 13 June 2017:

  1. The Boy in the Bubble
  2. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
  3. Dazzling Blue
  4. That Was Your Mother
  5. Rewrite
  6. America
  7. Mother and Child Reunion
  8. Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard
  9. Spirit Voices
  10. The Obvious Child
  11. Stranger to Stranger
  12. Homeward Bound
  13. El Condor Pasa – instrumental part only
  14. Duncan
  15. My Little Town
  16. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes
  17. You Can Call Me Al
  18. Wristband
  19. Graceland
  20. Still Crazy After All These Years
  21. Questions for the Angels
  22. The Boxer
  23. One Man’s Ceiling Is Another Man’s Floor
  24. Late in the Evening
  25. The Sound of Silence


concert at the riverside “The Sound of Silence – Paul Simon @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica in Cleveland, OH – Jun 13, 2017; video by Youtube user Max Tetsoshvili

giving all the profits “Paul Simon Announces Tour to Support the Half-Earth Project” – Mar 13, 2017 by E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation staff

Half-Earth project

protected in nature preserves Half-Earth Project – What We Do

set list “Paul Simon Setlist at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, Cleveland, OH, USA; 2017-06-13; posted to

Paul Simon concert Paul Simon Tour Archive – 2000’s Events

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By Quinn Hungeski,, Copyright (CC BY-ND) 2017

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