Neil Diamond

Concert Reviews - Omaha, NE
November 30, 1999

Omaha World-Herald

December 01, 1999

Review: Diamond Again Shines In Omaha

BY JIM MINGE

WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

A Diamond in the round. A sell-out audience of 10,043. It was repeat

rapture Tuesday night at the Civic Auditorium Arena, where veteran pop star

Neil Diamond performed.

The 58-year-old Diamond's nearly 2 1/2-hour, no-intermission concert fell

almost on the same day that he played Omaha in 1998. That, too, was in front

of a sell-out crowd.

Diamond obviously saw something he liked because the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born

singer returned for not one but two shows. His second show tonight also is

sold out.

"We're happy to be back in Omaha," Diamond told his boisterous, adoring

fans. "You must have been one heck of an audience because we usually don't

come back for three or four years."

Dressed in familiar black pants and a sequined shirt, Diamond was the

consummate showman Tuesday, playing to his fans' desires with hit after hit:

"Hello Again," "If You Know What I Mean," "Solitary Man," "Shilo" and a big

crowd-pleaser for the females in attendance, 1972's "Play Me."

The Grammy Award-winning songwriter was backed by a nine-piece band,

including three percussionists. All of them surrounded Diamond on the

brightly lighted, rotating, in-the-round stage.

The most impressive aspect of Diamond's concert - both last year and

Tuesday - was the audience's zealous reaction after each number, and the way

Diamond fed off it by striking the familiar one-arm-in-the-air pose he made

famous in "The Jazz Singer" movie.

Clapping, stomping their feet, screaming, shouting, whistling - the full

house made plenty of noise. According to my hand-held Radio Shack digital

decibel reader, the applause after Diamond's 1979 hit "Forever In Blue Jeans"

reached 105 decibels. A Learjet takes off at about 100 decibels.

"America," from "The Jazz Singer" soundtrack, topped that level as four

U.S. flags dropped from the lighting rig above the stage to an ovation that

reached 110 decibels.

Fans got their $25- and $45-a-ticket's worth Tuesday, as Diamond sang

most of his popular tunes, such as "Love on The Rocks," "Song Sung Blue,"

"You Don't Bring Me Flowers" (a duet with his female backup singer) and "I Am

. . . I Said."

Diamond also offered a little holiday spice with a version of Mel Torme's

"The Christmas Song," as well as Elvis Presley's "Can't Help Falling in Love."

While "America" might have drawn ear-to-ear grins and rang high on the

decibel meter, the night's show-stopper came before the extended encore,

which included "Cherry Cherry." The concert highlight was during the three

versions of "Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)."

After Diamond sang a full version, he led the crowd through two more

impromptu takes, with the audience supplying the "whoa, whoa, whoa" and the

"so good, so good, so good" chorus parts, making the arena one super-size

karaoke joint.


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