I was at the Portland, OR show on Monday, July 29 and I would like to give my review :

Neil Diamond, no matter where he plays is always a real croud-pleaser. Ever since the sold-out shows at the Troubador in 1969, seats have been packed to see the man who does the music in person. And Monday night's show was no exception. 20,000 screaming fans fit their way into the Rose Garden to catch a glimpse of Neil Diamond, perhaps the best entertainer that has ever lived. Although I was in the 2nd row from the top, I could see and hear him as if I was sitting in the first few rows, which was very surprising! His round stage provides a great view for all, even those in the nose-bleed seats like me.

It started with a beautiful laser show, mainly blue and white, shown in a cylinder form above the stage. Seagulls from "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" could be seen, along with clouds and other sky-oriented objects. Although only lasting a minute or two, the lasers were spectacular. Playing during this showing was some great music I have never heard before, probably emitting from a synthesizer somewhere. From there, Neil wedged his way into great versions of "Crunchy Granola Suite" and "Hello Again". Lots of parts of the show were like other shows in this tour, such as the "Forever In Blue Jeans" trick where he complains that there are 19,872 people and 3 didn't stand up!

Although alot like his Seattle 1992 show which I also attended, he put on quite a different show than what I have seen. One of the many wonderful parts of the concert was a great version of "The Last Picasso" played when he introduced himself as Neil, the singer of the band. Nearly 3 hours in length, as in his shows in the "Live In The Round" tour were, this show was as lively, if not more, than any of his previous shows that he played when he was younger. During the ending of "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show", when the lights were shined onto the audience, I spread out the huge 15-foot-long banner I made earlier which read "Diamonds are forever, and you're living proof!", which he may or may not have seen, as he was on his way off the stage. The audience was very happy to help hold it up!

All in all, this was one of the best concerts that I have ever attended (Right up there with the Seattle show). Even in the second row from the top, a huge Diamond fan like me feels so lucky to hear him live that it doesn't matter how far I am from the stage! From the huge news coverage that the city gave the concert, to the nearly 40,000 people that came on Monday and Tuesday, that event quickly became a large part of Portland history.

Ryan Ball, Forest Grove Oregon, 15 years old


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