For a "Solitary Man," Neil Diamond sure has a lot of friends.
About 12,000 fans filled the E Center Monday night for his concert -- but it
sounded like 25,000. And you thought the Backstreet Boys had a loud fan base.
The two-hour show kicked off with the fitting "Beautiful Noise" and continued
with "Can Anybody Hear Me" before slowing down for "Hello Again."
In short, the band played well. (It was comprised of keyboardists Alan Lindgren
and Tom Hensley, guitarists Doug Rhone and Hadley Hockensmith, bassist Reinie
Press, vocalist Linda Press (Reinie's wife), percussionists Vince Charles and
King Errisson and drummer Paul Leim, who is taking over Ron Tutt's duties while
Tutt recovers from a heart attack he suffered earlier this month.)
Hockensmith and Rhone cranked it out with a couple of rousing, bluesy rock solos
before Diamond strapped on his recently crafted Gibson "Neil Diamond" model
black acoustic guitar during "Cherry Cherry." Diamond moved like he was 35, not
A couple of surprises included "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" and a "Jonathan
Livingston Seagull" medley, which featured excerpts from "Be," "Lonely Looking
Sky" and "Skybird." Diamond also sang "If You Know What I Mean" and "Thank the
Lord for the Nighttime."
"Solitary Man," "Shiloh," "Brooklyn Roads" and "Play Me" touched the reminiscing
spirit, as did "Unchained Melody" and "As Time Goes By" from his recent "Movie
"Forever In Blue Jeans" was nice but didn't quite fit Diamond's attire of a
sequined Navy shirt and black slacks. Then there was "Song Sung Blue" and
The show capper was a sing-a-long to "Sweet Caroline" and "You Don't Bring Me
Flowers," which Diamond sang with Linda Press. (I wonder what Reinie thought
when Diamond kissed Linda at the end of the song).
"America" and "Love On the Rocks" wrapped up the "Jazz Singer" singles while "I
Am . . . I Said" wrapped up the set.
The encore consisted of the rousing African high-life-inspired "Soolaimon" and
the gospel rant of "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show."
Copyright 1999, Deseret News Publishing Co.
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