Neil Diamond 2001-2003 Concert Reviews / Photos
Uniondale, New York
- September 17, 2002
DIAMOND NO 'SOLITARY MAN,' SAY FANS
New York Post
LIKE the red, red wine in his famous song, Neil Diamond has gotten better with age. At the Nassau Coliseum Tuesday, the Brooklyn boy who made good played a three-hour concert that spanned his long career - from the songs he wrote for others, like "I'm a Believer," to his recent disc, "Three Chord Opera."
Elitist tastemakers have trashed him since the beginning, but it takes nothing more than a visit to one of his concerts to see and hear how devoted his fans are.
The audience at the Long Island arena was a surprising mix of the expected geezers plus young people - including some girls who would have looked more at home at a Britney gig.
Diamond described his close relationship with the fans in one of his many between-song chats, telling the sold-out house, "You're the squeaky door - I'm the oil."
Granted, it didn't make loads of sense, but when he said he was going to lubricate the audience, his fans came unhinged.
One of the most underrated performers in show business, Diamond may never get inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but this concert was a showcase that screamed that he belongs there.
For the many ballads, Diamond knitted his brow, squeezed his eyes shut and wailed; on the upbeat numbers, he worked the stage and the audience, making as much eye contact as possible.
He performed "Solitary Man" like he did in the '60s - strapped into am acoustic six-string guitar - then topped it with one of his earliest hits, "Cherry Cherry."
There wasn't a song the fans didn't know by heart.
The ballads all started to sound a little alike - until he delivered "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" in a duet with one of his backup vocalists.
That song - which found him in his best voice of the night - was the concert showstopper.
Of the rock-influenced material, "Holly Holy " was excellent - though it could have been better had the percussionists reconsidered the tomahawk chop beat they set the tune to.
Diamond was intense as he sang, and his raw nerve agitation was enhanced by his sexy all-girl string quartet.
Forget the snooty, schlock 'n' roll comments about Diamond's music - in concert, he gives his fans everything he's got, and they get everything they want.
Apparently, he's even willing to change their oil.
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