This Saturday, Oct. 15, Art Garfunkel was the featured performer at the Colonial Theatre in downtown Keene. Joined on the stage by guitarist Tab Laven and keyboard player Cliff Carter, Garfunkel played to an enthralled audience waiting to hear a member of the renowned 1960s music duo Simon & Garfunkel.
Alec Doyle, executive director of the Colonial Theatre, said, “As far as I can tell, this is Art Garfunkel’s first performance at the Colonial Theatre.” Since Garfunkel is such an iconic figure in the music industry, Doyle remarked that the concert “will be somewhat of a nostalgic trip for the audience.” Doyle also said that hosting such a prominent artist at the Colonial Theatre “raises the water level for local artists and brings lots of people from far and wide to Keene, which helps to make the downtown vibrant.”
The concert, “Art Garfunkel: In Close-Up”, featured renditions of famous Simon & Garfunkel songs such as “The Sound of Silence,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Scarborough Fair.” In addition to standard Simon & Garfunkel songs, Garfunkel also performed selections by Jimmy Webb, Randy Newman and George Gershwin. Garfunkel strolled onto the stage and said, “I can’t believe I’m still doing this. It’s addicting.”
Throughout the concert, Garfunkel established a conversational rapport with the audience. In between song sets, Garfunkel shared some of his original prose poetry with the audience. An avid writer, Garfunkel remarked that he has signed a book deal with Alfred A. Knopf Publishing Company for an autobiography expected to be released later this year.
Garfunkel also elaborated on some of his thoughts about music and performing. He said while he has been performing for many years “stage nerves… never go away.” Regarding his own musical compositions, Garfunkel said that “when you write the tune yourself, it’s your exact taste.” After his performance of the familiar “Scarborough Fair,” which sparked a standing ovation, Garfunkel touched on the nostalgia of the concert with the remark: “Musicians live out of time, except our faces which fall.”
During the second half of the concert, Garfunkel performed “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” after quipping that the “[audience] won’t let me leave town without performing it.” Following another standing ovation, Garfunkel concluded the performance with the simple statement, “goodnight Keene.”
The audience devored his performance. Audience member from Rindge New Hampshire Rose Eochicchio, said the performance was “simply awesome, a step back into history.” Eochicchio said she particularly enjoyed the “very good, very personable stories about his buddy Paul [Simon].” She also said that she was impressed how “he [Garfunkel] tied it all up in the end of the concert.” Regarding Garfunkel’s personable manner throughout his performance, Eochicchio said, “[I] liked how he referred to Keene, showed that he wasn’t just going through the motions.”
Other audience members Brenze and Kairn Goldstein from the Boston area lauded Garfunkel’s performance with a “thumbs up.” The Goldsteins said that they felt “very blessed to be in this venue [and] up close to the performance.”
Throughout the season, the Colonial Theatre brings the art scene to the Keene community. Upcoming events include an appearance by comedian Brian Regan and a performance by virtuoso ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro.
Ethan Chalmers can be contacted at email@example.com