Setlist History: Simon & Garfunkel Kick Off Old Friends Tour 2003

On this day in 2003, dynamic folk-rock duo Simon and Garfunkel embarked on their full-scale reunion tour, aptly titled “Old Friends.” It had been ten years since their residency at Paramount Theater in New York, which was followed by a short run of dates that wrapped up in Singapore. 

On opening night in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, S&G kicked off the 24-song set with the tour’s namesake, “Old Friends / Bookends". The setlist wasn’t exactly full of surprises—the pair’s final studio album, Bridge Over Troubled Water, was released in 1970—but a collection of fan favorites, ripe for reliving. The bulk of the set catered to the aforementioned final album, along with a handful of Paul Simon’s solo songs ,“I Am a Rock” and “Slip Sliding’ Away” among them. Twenty solid sing-alongs, an appearance by The Everly Brothers, their most-performed tracks (“Homeward Bound” “The Sound of Silence” and “Mrs. Robinson”) wedged together in the middle, led to set-closing title track, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

They played two encores, leading with “The Boxer” and into the lesser performed track “Song For The Asking” (only played twice more after this tour date). The second encore was just one song, “59th Street Bridge (Feelin’ Groovy)” with closed not with a bang, but with some sage (pun intended) advice: “Slow down / You move too fast / You got to make the morning last.” 

Check out the full setlist:

Simon & Garfunkel setlist

The December shows in Madison Square Garden were recorded for a live album and documentary, which were released the following year.

See fan footage of “The Sound of Silence” from the tour kickoff:

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