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Paul Simon

With Brian Wilson. Friday, July 6, at Gund Arena.

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Brian Wilson
  • Brian Wilson

Since Paul Simon has already toured with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, and Joni Mitchell, it's only natural for him to hook up with Brian Wilson, the brilliant beached boy who visited the Cleveland area on his first solo tour a mere year ago. This won't be a co-headlining date, perhaps because the paradigmatically insecure Wilson is still gingerly working his way back toward relevancy. Instead, Wilson will open for Simon, who is touring behind last year's Grammy-nominated album, You're the One. Wilson, meanwhile, is trying to breathe at least one more year of life into Live at the Roxy Theatre, a double CD that's actually a reissue of an album that was until now available exclusively online. Word is, the two icons won't mingle, though they've sent each other love letters: Simon sang Wilson's "Surfer Girl" at a late-March Wilson tribute at Radio City, and Wilson sang Simon's "The Sound of Silence" the month before at a record industry charity event. Wilson will lead the 10-piece Wondermints, a wonderful L.A. band that sparked his show last July at Cain Park. It's doubtful he'll unfurl all of Pet Sounds, as he did then, so expect a more singles-oriented presentation. Simon, meanwhile, will lead an 11-piece group. God only knows these guys have classic pop tunes to fall back on, so they'll likely trade on nostalgia. Whether the music will be dynamic, let alone spontaneous, remains to be seen, though the professional level is sure to be high. In any case, the psychodynamics of the show will be fascinating, putting two of the '60s most creative (and in Wilson's case, most troubled) pop auteurs into high relief -- and, one hopes, high contrast.

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