Neil Diamond 2001-2002 Concert Reviews

Oklahoma City, OK November 23, 2001


Concert Review: Diamond dazzles Myriad

From the Oklahoman / - Please visit their website!

Neil Diamond is, above all, an entertainer. He proved that Friday night when he played to a packed house at the Myriad Convention Center.

With an enormous American flag suspended above center stage, the 60-year-old singer- songwriter from Brooklyn, N.Y., opened the concert with "America" from his 1980 movie "The Jazz Singer." From there, he launched into "Solitary Man" and two solid hours of music. Most of his songs were old favorites, to the delight of his fans.

Among the crowd-pleasers were "Red Red Wine," "Play Me," "Forever in Blue Jeans," "Sweet Caroline," "Holly Holy" and "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon," which he crooned to a pretty blonde girl from the audience. At the end of the song, he added a touch of humor by kissing the young lady and feigning a swoon. When he rose to his feet, he joked, "Phew, anybody got a cigarette?"

Diamond then offered a medley from his new CD "Three Chord Opera."

A solemn note was reached when Diamond introduced "Captain Sunshine" in tribute to Vince Charles, a percussionist and steel drum virtuoso who played in the band for many years and died last summer.

Another tribute was dedicated to "our heroes, policemen, firefighters and the armed forces who are, as we speak, fighting for our freedom." The song was "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother."

The most poignant moment of the evening came when Linda Press joined Diamond for the tender ballad "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." Diamond's deep baritone was like the scratchy- smooth sensation of warm sand sifting through one's fingers. Press' crystal-clear soprano was a perfect complement to that quality.

For his encore, Diamond offered two high-energy numbers, "Cracklin' Rosie" and "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show," both of which were received enthusiastically.

Throughout the evening, Diamond appeared to enjoy the concert as much as the fans did. One of his hallmarks is an obvious respect for his audience. That respect was more than appreciated by his Oklahoma City audience, and returned in kind. He left knowing they loved him.

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