Greg Brown

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Paul Simon kicks off farewell tour TONIGHT

Paul Simon kicks off his “Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour,” tonight (May 16th) in Vancouver at Rogers Arena. The first North American leg runs through June 20th at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, and after that, Simon will play his final shows in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Scotland, and England, before another round of North American dates, which will wrap on September 20th and 21st at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

A yet-to-be announced Manhattan venue penciled in for September 22nd has more than a few people guessing that Simon’s gearing up for his third free concert in Central Park — despite no announcement being made.

Paul Simon tour dates (subject to change):
May 16 – Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
May 18 – Seattle, WA – Key Arena
May 19 – Portland, OR – MODA Center
May 22, 23 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
May 25 – Oakland, CA – Oracle Arena
May 27 – Las Vegas, NV – MGM Grand Garden Arena
May 28 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Bowl
May 30 – Denver, CO – Fiddler’s Green
June 1 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Arena
June 2 – Houston, TX – Toyota Center
June 4 – Austin, TX – Frank Erwin Center
June 6 – Chicago, IL – United Center
June 8 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
June 10 – Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Center
June 12 – Toronto, ON – Air Canada Centre
June 13 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
June 15 – Boston, MA – TD Garden
June 16 – Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
June 19 – Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Coliseum
June 20 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
June 30 – Stockholm, Sweden – Ericsson Globe
July 1 – Oslo, Norway – Spektrum
July 3 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena
July 5 – Antwerp, Belgium – Sportpaleis
July 7, 8 – Amsterdam, Holland – Ziggo Dome
July 10 – Manchester, England – Manchester Arena
July 11 – Glasgow, Scotland – SSE Hydro
July 13 – Dublin, Ireland – RDS Arena
July 15 – London, England – Hyde Park, BST Festival
September 5 – New Orleans, LA – Smoothie King Center
September 7 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
September 8 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – BB&T Center
September 11 – Orlando, FL – Amway Center
September 12 – Atlanta, GA – Cellairis Amphitheatre
September 14 – Washington, DC – Capital One Arena
September 15 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
September 17 – Pittsburgh, PA – PPG Paints Arena
September 20, 21 – New York, NY –  Madison Square Garden
September 22 – New York, NY – Venue TBA

In February, Paul Simon spoke about his decision to retire from the road in a statement posted on his website (PaulSimon.com):

I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end. Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating, and something of a relief. I love making music, my voice is still strong, and my band is a tight, extraordinary group of gifted musicians. I think about music constantly.

Sadly, we lost our lead guitarist and my friend of 30 years, Vincent N’guini, who died last December. His loss is not the only reason I’ve decided to stop touring, but it is a contributing factor. Mostly, though, I feel the travel and time away from my wife and family takes a toll that detracts from the joy of playing. I’d like to leave with a big Thank You to the many folks around the world who’ve come out to watch me play over the last 50 years.

After this coming tour, I anticipate doing the occasional performance in a (hopefully) acoustically pristine hall, and to donate those earnings to various philanthropic organizations, particularly those whose objective is to save the planet, ecologically.

Once again, I am very grateful for a fulfilling career and, of course, most of all to the audiences who heard something in my music that touched their hearts.