Neil Diamond

Concert Reviews - Rotterdam March 1999

Review in the Rotterdams Dagblad (Rotterdam Daily) of the Neil Diamond concert in the Rotterdam Ahoy' sportspalace on Wednesday 17 March 1999.

 

NEIL DIAMOND STILL SPARKLES

Diamonds are forever. This also refers to the one called Neil. For almost 10 years the American singer (58) could not be seen at this side of the ocean, but yesterday he sparkled in a packed Ahoy' sportspalace in Rotterdam like in his best years. It is true that Mr. Romantic Lovesong had to polish his voice for a while and he was leaning very much on his hits from the seventies, the renewed acquaintance was nevertheless very memorable. Radiating so much joy in what he's doing, this well preserved veteran belongs undiminished at the top of world entertainment. Or to put it differently, Neil Diamond is not to be subsumed under the vulgar Las Vegas entertainment, as meanwhile silently had been presumed during his absence from Europe. For this however, the New York singer, who was born as Noah Kaminsky, is still too much a musiclover. His radius of action as a concertartist may have been diminished, but once on stage (this time in the centre of the arena) he wants to offer his fans the maximum. That is why almost all of his successongs like Beautiful Noise, Hello Again, If You Know What I Mean and Solitary Man were served to the audience as real jewels. This rope of pearls was only taken out of the show-window after one and a half hour to make room for a few borrowed show-pieces from Diamond's latest cd The Movie Album. Surprisingly enough, during this excursion to Hollywood, Neil Diamond took the opportunity to pay tribute to two deceased colleagues: Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. His tribute to The Voice (I've got you under my skin relieved by pieces of One for my baby) may have come across as a bit artifical, his tribute to The King (I can't help falling in love) however, had so much "soul" that over 9,000 fans could hardly wait for the end of it, before bursting out in an overwhelming (and typically Dutch) bit of Olé, Olé community singing. After this public outburst, Neil Diamond looked even more at ease, which resulted in an interactive extension of Sweet Caroline into the most exuberant part of the evening. Nevertheless, the singer saw to it that things didn't go over the top and that it remained tasteful. This also applied to the presentation of the hymn of praise to his fatherland America: perhaps unnecessary framed with two national flags of his own country plus three Dutch flags, yet only introduced with a minimum of patriotic words. And this has been different with Neil Diamond in the past.


Fan Reviews

Hello Again! This is again a review from the 2 crazy swiss guys, who

travelled many miles to see Neil in concert! After still

NOT hearing Neil sing songs like "Long fellow serenade" and "I've been

this way before", we finally made it to the Ahoy Hall in

Rotterdam, Netherlands. The dutch fans love Neil very, very, very much!

So we hoped to see another exciting show at one of

the most special places in Europe. After arriving at the hall, we

noticed many people in their 40ies and upwards - but hey, a few

youngsters were also there! Shortly before 7pm, the doors were opened

and we entered the building. Security, compared to

Dublin and Birmingham, was extremely low and the local staff was very

nice. We quickly found our seats in the 3rd (!) row

near the stairs, where Neil would enter and exit the stage. We again

noticed the big recording-desk that was installed. During

the whole tour Neils staff (Bernie Becker) made professional recordings

of the shows. Let's only hope, we will get some of

these performances on CD in the near future! But let's talk about the

show now. So if Caroline and Nigel recently thought, the

show Neil did at Wembley on Sunday, March 14th, could not be repeated,

think again! In Holland, he not only repeated it, he

was even better in any ways! Thanks also to the enthusiastic audience!

You must remember that Neil didn't perform in Holland

for 10 years! So the opening melody started almost 25 minutes past 8.

Then the very weak opening-intro came and Neil made

his way to the stage. He was greeted with thunderous applause and he

looked gourgeous. Not tired at all. The second song

after "Beautiful Noise" was "Can anybody hear me". He got the words

confused, but what the heck! Then we almost suffered a

heart-attack when Neil went into "Longfellow Serenade", the song we've

been waiting for years to hear and see him do! What

a great rendition he did that night. Then it was up to his regular

programme with lots of talk in between. He joked a lot and was

in great spirits. The next surprise came with the band-intros. Neil

introduced every member of his band individually for the first

time! Then came "Sweet Caroline" with the audience starting their "OLÉ,

Olé"-chants and the house was almost completely

falling apart! Neil and band enjoyded this very much. What would that

special concert be without a special ending and so it was

"I've been this way before", again for the first time for us. So this

concert ran for 2 1/2 hours, which makes the longest

Neil-concert we've ever seen! P.S.: Here's the complete songlist in

order: BEAUTIFUL NOISE, CAN ANYBODY HEAR

ME, LONGFELLOW SERENADE, HELLO AGAIN, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, DOUG AND

HADLEY

GUITAR INTROS/SOLOS, THANK THE LORD FOR THE NIGHT TIME,NEIL TALKS ABOUT

THE NEW

"N.D.-GUITARS", CHERRY CHERRY, GIRL YOU'LL BE A WOMAN SOON, SOLITARY

MAN, SHILO, PLAY ME,

BROOKLYN ROADS, FOREVER IN BLUE JEANS, I'M A BELIEVER, JLS-MEDLEY,

AMERICA, LOVE ON THE

ROCKS, DANCE OF THE SABRES/BAND INTRO, MOVIE-MEDLEY, SONG SUNG BLUE,

CRACKLIN' ROSIE,

SWEET CAROLINE, OLE,OLE-CHANTS FROM AUDIENCE, SWEET CAROLINE WITH

"WOE,WOE,WOE/SO

GOOD,SO GOOD"-CHANTS, YOU DON'T BRING ME FLOWERS, I AM, I SAID, WALK

OFF, HOLLY HOLY,

BROTHER LOVE'S TRAVELLING SALVATION SHOW, I'VE BEEN THIS WAY BEFORE,

WALK OFF.


Back to the Neil Diamond Home Page || 1998-99 Concert Review Page