When Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel began to play "The Sound of Silence" midway through the kickoff of their Old Friends tour last night (Oct. 17) in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., fans grew so frenzied it froze th

When Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel began to play "The Sound of Silence" midway through the kickoff of their Old Friends tour last night (Oct. 17) in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., fans grew so frenzied it froze the singers. The two shared a smile as Simon improvised on guitar until the din died down.

Breaking a two-decade drought without a concert tour, Simon and Garfunkel took the stage last night before an enthusiastic audience that seemed happy to relive the popular songs of their youth.

Before the concert, a video montage showed scenes of Simon and Garfunkel and news events from years past: the duo in their youth with full heads of hair, a shot of the first moon landing, a peace sign made of airplane contrails.

When the lights came up, Simon, with guitar in hand, and Garfunkel, wearing his signature black vest, took the stage to a standing ovation to kick off the 40-date tour, their first since 1982.

The show opened with "Old Friends," whose lyrics could serve as a reminder that their friendship, strained at times, dates back to childhood. A sold-out crowd of 9,000 cheered loudly for such favorites as "Scarborough Fair," "America," "Mrs. Robinson," "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "The Boxer."

Midway through the show, the Everly Brothers made a surprise appearance to perform "Wake Up Little Susie," "Dream" and "Let It Be Me," before being joined by Simon and Garfunkel for "Bye Bye Love."

Later, as he introduced his solo cut "Slip Slidin' Away," Simon told the crowd he's recorded many songs as a solo artist "that I wished I had Artie's voice on." Before the end of the last song, officially "The 59th Street Bridge Song" but better known as "Feelin' Groovy," the duo shadowboxed before holding each other's hands above their heads.

The Old Friends tour continues tomorrow in Auburn Hills, Mich.


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