Paul Simon has announced the initial dates of his “Homeward Bound – The Farewell Tour,” which, as of now, will consist of 28 shows spread across North America and Europe. The North American dates kick off on May 16th in Vancouver, BC at Rogers Arena and run through June 19th at Greensboro, North Carolina’s Greensboro Coliseum. After that, Simon will play his final shows in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Scotland, and England. It should be noted that several key U.S. territories — namely New York — have yet to be announced, lending fans to speculate about a second U.S. leg, or possibly a third free concert at New York City’s Central Park. Tickets for the North American dates go on sale on Friday, February 9th at 10 a.m. local time.
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.
Although Paul Simon’s earliest tunes are still beloved and performed, he admits that he has little in common with the young man who wrote them: “These songs that I wrote when I was in my 20’s, which are, like ‘Kathy’s Song,’ I almost don’t, y’know, remember who that writer was. They were very natural. They were whatever was on my mind. They’re sort of straightforward. That period came to its conclusion, maybe with the end of Simon & Garfunkel.”
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 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 30 – Stockholm, Sweden – Ericsson Globe
July 1 – Oslo, Norway – Spektrum
July 3 – Copenhagen, Denmark – Royal Arena
July 5 – Antwerp, Belgium – Sportpaleis
July 7 – 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
Photo Courtesy of Mary Ellen Matthews