Sounds of silence: Tech issues plague Simon & Sting concert

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Sounds of static and silence haunted legendary musicians Paul Simon and Sting during their joint concert at the Xcel Energy Center Sunday night in St. Paul, the Star Tribune reports.

Music critic John Bream says Sting had to leave the stage 90 minutes into his performance after "cover-your-ears" static took over the entire sound system during his song "The Hounds of Winter."

The Pioneer Press says the noise came at the beginning of Sting's second solo set of the evening – the musicians played sets together and apart on stage – when the former Police front man's microphone out of nowhere "started squealing like it was caught in a wind tunnel, and the sheer noise brought the show to a halt."

The microphone then went completely dead as Sting was performing the Police's breakthrough hit, "Roxanne," the paper said. The musician was reportedly embarrassed by the incident and left the stage as the crowd of 7,000 people at Xcel took over vocal duties for the song.

Judging the concert overall, Pioneer Press critic Ross Raihala praised the duo, who have reportedly been friends and neighbors in New York City for years.

"While there wasn't any immediately obvious chemistry between them, they both seemed relaxed and amiable, especially since both of their backing bands shared the stage for the evening," Raihala says.

Like Raihala, Bream was complimentary, but didn't rave about the show.

The critic says the Simon & Sting combination "certainly wasn’t the gorgeous, rooted-in-childhood vocal marriage of Simon & Garfunkel, but these neighbors found a way to make the blend work."

According to Bream, among the songs Simon and Sting played together were "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "The Boxer," "Late in the Evening" and "Fields of Gold."

The Current music critic Jay Gabler was also underwhelmed by the concert, but found some highlights to write about: "Though it wasn’t a great live show -- and wouldn’t have been, I suspect, even if there hadn’t been any audio glitches – the pairing of Sting and Simon was undeniably fascinating as an illustration of what separates a great songwriter from One of the Greats."

Simon & Sting are in the middle of their "On Stage Together" tour, where the duo is playing 19 cities across the country. Ticket prices for Sunday night's show at the Xcel Energy Center topped out at $252.

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