We can't say whether or not iconic singer/songwriter Paul Simon is still crazy after all these years, but after his Friday night performance at Summerfest's American Family Insurance Amphitheater, we can report that the 75-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's voice is intact and so is his activism.
The Milwaukee show is part of a month-long U.S. tour, proceeds of which are benefiting the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation's Half Earth Project, which aims to make half the planet into what it calls "inviolable natural reserves."
The performance was Simon's first at the Big Gig since 2006, where he's played a number of times, including in 2001, 1999 and 1987. His most recent Milwaukee show was in 2011 at the Riverside, and this year's show marks the 51 years since he played at Marquette University with his then musical partner Art Garfunkel.
Early on in the show, Simon mentioned that he and his youngest son are on a pilgrimage to every baseball stadium in the country and that last year they made it to Miller Park.
"I'm so happy to be here," he said to a roar from the crowd, which was not sold out. The grass seats were closed, and the half-full bleachers were occupied by folks who got free wristbands earlier in the day.
"Of course, I always say that," he quipped. "But here I mean it."
In a 90-minute set (and two lengthy encores that lasted a bit more than a half an hour) Simon performed hits from as early as his Simon & Garfunkel days through his solo records from 1972 to present.
He played "The Boxer" and "America" – tunes recorded with Garfunkel – and he played "Duncan," "Still Crazy After All These Years" and "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" from 1970s-era solo sets.
Bobby's complete review here > Rhymin' Simon reprises a career's worth of hits at Big Gig