Paul Simon’s Live in New York arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.78:1 encode on a single BD-25 disc. This concert was captured during the first leg of Paul Simon's 2011 U.S. tour, when he played a special club performance for hometown fans at New York City's Webster Hall. The picture was quite sharp with lots of details, especially during close-up, filmed in the intimate environment of Webster Hall. While a lot of the concert is rather dark, resulting in minimal shadow detail at best, perhaps because of the progressive presentation, posterizing is really at a minimum despite the penchant for bathing the stage in cobalt blue lighting. (4/5)
Perhaps surprisingly, Paul Simon Live in New York City features only an uncompressed LPCM 2.0 stereo mix, with no lossless surround mix on tap. What's especially odd is that the legendary Phil Ramone, a frequent Simon producer - collaborator, aided in the mix. And I just can't imagine he wouldn't have preferred a DTS surround mix for the concert. Nevertheless, the LPCM track here offers excellent fidelity which, while narrow, manages to ably present all of the percussion instruments with ease while never sacrificing Simon's sometimes gentle vocalizing or the rhythm section. All frequency ranges are reproduced with clarity and precision, and while many no doubt will be desirous of a surround mix, the stereo mix is fine within its own limited sonic space. Remember, this is not a Katy Perry concert (reviewed elsewhere) (4/5)
SONG LISTING (with source, chart position, year):
01 The Obvious Child (US 92/1990)(from The Rhythm of the Saints album)fr
02 Dazzling Blue (from So Beautiful or So What album - #4/2011 on Billboard 200)
03 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (US 1(3)/1975)(from Still Crazy After All These Years)
04 So Beautiful or So What (from So Beautiful or So What album, 2011)
05 Mother and Child Reunion (US 4/1972)(from Paul Simon album)
06 That Was Your Mother (1986)(from Graceland album)
07 Hearts And Bones (b-side to Graceland)*I wish he sang Graceland instead
08 Crazy Love, Vol. II (1986)(from Graceland album)
09 Slip Slidin’ Away (US 5/1977)(from Greatest Hits, etc)
10 Rewrite (from So Beautiful or So What album, 2011)
11 The Boy in the Bubble (US 86/1987)(from Graceland album)
12 The Only Living Boy in New York (US 1970)
13 The Afterlife (from So Beautiful or So What Album, 2011)
14 Diamonds on the Soles Of Her Shoes (US 1987)(from Graceland album)
15 Gumboots (b-side to You Can Call Me Al, 1986)(from Graceland album)
16 The Sound of Silence (US 1974)(from Paul Simon in Concert)
17 Kodachrome (US 2/1973)(from There Goes Rhymin’ Simon album)
18 Gone at Last (US 23/1975)(from Still Crazy After All These Years album)
19 Lat in the Evening (US 6/1980)(from One Trick Pony album)
20 Still Crazy After All These Years (US 40/1976)( from Still Crazy After All These Years album)
01 No DTS-HD Master Audio track
02 This concert supposedly was longer, with many other treasured tracks done in the concert, but not included here: Here Comes The Sun, Mystery Train, Wheels, Peace Like a River, plus his latest single Getting Ready for Christmas Day from his latest album. I feel a little short-changed.
The above omissions reminded me of the recent Bette Midler blu ray concert. (review elsewhere) We again were short-changed quite a few songs, and Bette Midler was the Producer. That means that she had the control as to the contents of the disc.
Paul Simon released his latest album So Beautiful or So What in 2011 on Hear Music, under the Concord Music Group. This 2011 tour was partially to support this latest release. It is semi-greatest hits tour. Paul Simon has 22 charted singles on Billboard Hot 100. The only Top 10 song not performed was Love Me Like A Rock. I was hoping that he would have performed Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard and You Can Call Me Al (instead of the b-sides). The entire concert lasted 95 minutes and was quite enjoyable. It can be forgiven that lossless track was noted included, considering the concert was within a small cozy environment. I feel that the percussion sound will be improved with a DTS-HD soundtrack. The inclusion of the missing songs as Special Features will make this set even more valuable!
When I first pre-ordered this set, the price was $17.99. Then, it was lowered to $14.99, the same price as the standard DVD set. This set is the only Paul Simon concert on blu ray, and even with the negative points above, it is still recommended.