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Info 101: Musicbits 57: Get ready for Simon and Sumner

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PAUL SIMON AND STING "ON STAGE TOGETHER"

8 p.m., Sun., Feb. 23, 2014, Xcel Energy Center, corner of W. 7th St. & Kellogg Blvd., downtown St. Paul, MN, doors open at 6:30 p.m. $42, $82, $127, $252.

TICKETS GO ON SALE at 10 a.m. Mon., Nov. 18, 2013. www.excelenergy.com, www.ticketmaster.com, or the Energy Center box office.

This pairing may not be the ultimate combining of talents but it's close. Let's not pretend it's better than Elton John and Billy Joel, OK? Still, it's pretty great. Paul Simon and Sting both incorporate many styles of music into their presentations and both can belt out a tune like no tomorrow. How great will this playlist be with the combined catalogues to choose from? It boggles the mind.

Paul Simon got his start in the late 1950s, singing with Art Garfunkel from the age of 11. Though they've spent more time apart than together, they made a lasting impression with their albums "Wed. Morning 3 A.M.", "Sounds of Silence", "Parsley Sage Rosemary and Thyme", "Bookends", "The Graduate Soundtrack" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water". The last album included four singles and sold incredibly well. The remastered CD with additional tracks actually outsold the vinyl.

Sting's journey to fame began with the new wave rock band The Police in the late 1970s. With a touch of reggae and a flair for power ballads, The Police also made a lasting impression with their five albums, most notably "Reggatta de Blanc" and "Synchronicity". Their performances during the Synchronicity tour were among the most energetic and exciting ever witnessed by this writer. Many shows ran over two hours and Sting was at his best.

Sting's solo career has produced some of the most complex and intricate music, all very interesting although not always commercially appealing. His understanding of harmonies and theory surpasses many of his contemporaries. In particular, "Sacred Love" and "Songs From the Labyrinth" are far from party albums but that complexity makes these albums stand out as works beyond art.

Simonand Sting have performed together prior to this and this will be a show to look forward to. There will unquestionably be a DVD but the live version will be better. It's the hope that they find a way to combine "Celia" and "Roxanne" that keeps one going.

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