As you know, I'm a big Neil Diamond fan, going back years. I'm from the Beautiful Noise generation, but I quickly discovered all the old songs. Amongst my favourites are Kentucky Woman, Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon, Do You Know What I Mean?, Soolaimon, Lady Magdalen, I'm a Believer, Dear Father. OK, I'd better stop here, the list could go on. I quite like the 12 Songs album, and I think I will love his new album Home Before Dark (I don't know yet, as I'm eagerly awaiting my birthday to find out, but the few songs I've heard from it are good. I particularly like Pretty Amazing Grace).
All this to say that we went to his concert in Croke Park last night, with Padraig and Mary, and had a great night. A pity we got soaked in the only shower of the day, just as we arrived. I warmed up pretty quickly, once I started dancing and jumping, but Mary couldn't shake the cold through the whole show. We got pretty good seats, in block B, not close enough to see faces, but at least the band and himself didn't look like stick insects in the distance. Croke Park is such a big place (my first time there, by the way).
He played all the old goodies (except Kentucky Woman, much to my disappointment) and 3 songs from the new album and a couple from 12 Songs. A good mix of slow and fast, old and new. As usual, Sweet Caroline got the crowd going (apart from a grumpy woman behind me who wasn't happy when I started dancing at the first song, Cherry Cherry! Apparently, she left soon after telling me to sit down! Ah well. She didn't spoil my night. I got dancing again soon after, as other people ahead of me got on their feet.)
A great night. I'll go again next time he's in Ireland. As he's 67, you never know when he'll decide to retire! I think his voice is better than it was a few years ago, by the way. A pity about the sparkly shirts, though. I thought he had given up on those. He was just keeping it hidden under a sober (and warm) jacket!
I can't get onto the neildiamond.com site right now, but have a look at the videos on the neildiamondhomepage (a fan site). And if you want to hear the new songs, check out MySpace, where you'll also find a link to the concert at The Bitter End in New York. (note that there are some popups on MySpace, and plenty of advertising).
PS: I think the picture above has been air-brushed! He didn't look that young in reality.