Reviews: Blink-182, Guns N’ Roses, Culture Club, Jim Lauderdale, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel

Today’s reviews include Blink-182 in Bethlehem, Pa., Guns N’ Roses in the Motor City, Culture Club in Tokyo, Jim Lauderdale in Worthington, Ohio, Paul Simon in Montreal and Art Garfunkel in Surrey, England.

Guns N’ Roses @ Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., June 23 – “Squint, and it was the Guns N’ Roses of yore: Axl darting across the stage like he’s trying to up his Fitbit numbers, doing that side-shuffle-in-place move, and looking like a demon serpent while howling into his microphone; Slash, virtually unchanged in appearance from the Appetite for Destruction days, ripping solos in a sleeveless black T-shirt, black leather pants, a black top hat and mirrored sunglasses; and Duff, bass slung low (and adorned with a Prince symbol), somehow looking 10 pounds leaner than he did in 1987 and still every bit as cool.” – Adam Graham / The Detroit News

Blink-182 @ Sands Bethlehem Event Center in Bethlehem, Pa., June 23 – “In a surprisingly sharp and strong performance, blink-182 gave easily the event center’s best concert this year, and the best blink-182 show an area audience has seen at least since the band reunited in 2009 – and perhaps in more than 15 years, since it played  Allentown Fair in 1999.” – John J. Moser / The Morning Call

Photo: John Salangsang / Invision / AP
"iHeart80s Party," Forum, Inglewood, Calif.

Culture Club @ Zepp Tokyo in Tokyo, Japan, June 21 – “As Culture Club tore through its set list, it became obvious that the 13-piece band’s newer arrangements are the aural highlight of its current tour, sounding amazingly fresh by keeping things clear and simple.” – Laurier Tiernan / The Japan Times

Jim Lauderdale @ Natalie’s in Worthington, Ohio, June 23 – “Lauderdale promised an hour and a half of country, bluegrass, gospel and a few other styles, and delivered them all with an unmistakable, singular identity.” – Curtis Schieber / The Columbus Dispatch

Paul Simon @ Places des Arts in Montreal, Quebec, June 22 – “Somewhere between the unexpected funky organ solo in ‘50 Ways to Leave Your Lover’ and the Elvis pose struck by Paul Simon during a wonderfully spirited ‘That Was Your Mother,’ it became obvious that one of popular music’s most enduring catalogues has never sounded so alive.” – Bernard Perusse / Montreal Gazette

Photo: Anna C. Jones
BJCC Concert Hall, Birmingham, Ala.

Art Garfunkel @ Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, England, June 22 – “Garfunkel was at his best when he allowed himself to commit to his reedy, high-pitched tones on ‘The Sound of Silence’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ – the latter of which was met, inevitably, with rapturous applause.” – Patrick Smith / The Telegraph