Columbus, Ohio - Value City Arena

Sep 28, 2001

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  1. The first concert on the Three Chord Opera tour! WOW! He blew us away with Starflight and Captain Sunshine. I never thought I’d ever hear Lady Magdelene and Yes, I Will in concert. It was total magic! And then to throw in He Ain’t Heavy… What more could you ask? Well, there are some, but there’s always the NEXT tour!!!!!


  2. Set list for Columbus
    Sat Sep 29 00:14:32 2001

    Mission of Love
    Solitary Man
    Cherry Cherry
    Red Red Wine (slow & Reggae)
    I’m a Believer
    If You Know What I Mean
    Beautiful Noise
    Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon
    I Haven’t Played This Song in Years
    You Are the Best Part of Me
    At the Movies
    I Believe in Happy Endings
    Forever in Blue Jeans
    Band Intro to Star Flight (Neil also sang at the end)
    Captain Sunshine (after talking about Vince)
    Holly Holy
    Sweet Caroline (2 repeats)
    September Morn
    Yes I Will
    Lady Magdelene
    These two songs were combined, beginning and ending with Yes I Will. Neil played the piano while singing!
    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
    Love on the Rocks
    He Ain’t Heavy
    I Am…I Said (sitting on a stool)
    (Walk off)
    Skybird (and then right into…)
    Brother Love (as the platform rose)
    Cracklin’ Rosie (1 repeat)


  3. Scott Neal just called me…
    Fri Sep 28 22:11:20 2001

    …he was walking out of the concert. He said it was unbelieveble! I took notes as he was talking and so I am going to try to get them somewhat organized in this post.

    Songs he sang (not in order after America):
    Opened with America
    Mission of Love
    Solitary Man
    Cherry Cherry
    Red Red Wine (combo of his version and UB40’s version)
    I’m A Believer
    Starlight from the Heartlight album (band intro, I think)
    Captain Sunshine (dedicated to Vince)
    Brother Love
    Cracklin’ Rosie twice (he ended with that)
    Sweet Caroline three times
    Love On The Rocks
    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers sitting on a stool, Linda also sitting on a stool.
    He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother dedicated to all the heros involved with the terrorists attack.
    I Believe In Happy Endings
    You Are The Best Part Of Me
    At The Movies
    I Haven’t Played This Song In Years
    Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon
    September Morn

    About a third of the way through the concert, this big grand piano rose out from the stage. Neil sat down and played Yes I Will and Lady Magdalene!!

    He was wearing gray pants, a light blue shirt with just a few sequins. There was a huge American Flag sort of draped on the stage. Then 3 more flags dropped down during America. Scott said he mentioned the terrorists attack several times during the show. During Amercia he didn’t change the words but at one point he kept sayign “Stand up America!” Scott also said he did forget some words to a few of the new songs. At one point during I Haven’t Played This Song In Years, he was looking at Linda, hoping she could help him and she was busy digging in her purse for something!! After about 30 seconds he remembered the words and the rest of the song went well. Neil also has earplugs in and was wearing a battery pack so if the audience yells anything at him, Scott felt he would not hear it. Scott said that Neil is hearing the band in those earphones instead of hearing the music from the speakers. The stage has a part that rises and that’s how Neil appears at the beginning of the show. Those risers is also where some of the strings and horns are in certain songs. Also one of the Watter women is singing backup with Linda. Scott said that Neil talked about losing a very good friend and mentioned Vince and then dedicated Captain Sunshine to him!

    That’s it for now. If I can think of anything else Scott said, I will post a P.S.


  4. lefi
    Review of Columbus
    Fri Sep 28 23:43:47 2001

    The concert was the best one I have gone to. ITs Neil at his best. He had a light blue sequin shirt on and black pants. He sang old songs he hasn;t played in concert for a very long time…including Solimon, Shilo, Skybird, He ain;t Heavy He my brother (for the Hero;s in New York)-Standing overation, You Know What I Mean, also- a real treat…Neil sat at the piano and sang YES I CAN, Lady Madeline (what a treat that was), He also sang a tribute to Vince by singing Captain Sunshine. He also played 3 or 4 songs from the new album and some of his best including Sweet Caroline, Brother Love, You Don;t send me flowers, etc. The stage worked out so well. The orchestra was to his side and the sax playeer was terrfic….He sang so well and look fit and sounded so good. The mood of the concert was not flashy at all but a romatic, relaxed mood. It was Neil at his best. There was a huge flag in front of the stage and he opened with America. He referred to New York through the night. Sovernier include coffee cups, t-shirt with the TCO picture, T-shift with a flag on it and his image in the background, minature flags with his picture on it. T-Shift with I am a believer(blue) on it….the T-shirts were gray and black, frogs, The souvnier books are great, alot of old and new pictures of him. Great, great pictures……a keeper for sure…If you have any questions just ask…..The columbus crowd was great…they gave him a great, great, reception…….


  5. lefi
    Re: Reviews of Show
    Fri Sep 28 23:22:11 2001

    Neil show was great…He receive a great response from the audience. We all gave him a standing ovation after he sang He ain;t heavy , he;s my brother. Neil was so relaxed and that set the mood for the concert. The concert wasn;t flashy but a relaxed , romatic mood. He did sing with Linda and they did kiss at the end of the song. The souveiurs are great this year. T-shirts that are black and gray, some with flags on them with his shadow in the background, also a light blue t-shift with I am a believer on it. They also have neat coffeee mugs, a a frog prince. the sizes were small to fit so check them out first. The souvenior books have great pictures old and new of neil. He looked great tonight. He look well and fit. His voice was in great shape. The dedication to Vince was so touching. He did referr to New York many times tonight. It was great when he sang YEs I can , and Lady Mageline….what a great surprise!!!


  6. Linda
    I salute you, Mr. Diamond
    Fri Sep 28 23:32:43 2001

    This show was totally awesome. Many suprises throughout the show, most of which have already been mentioned here by Jean.

    At the beginning if I Haven’t Played This Song In Years, the string gals rise up from center stage right behind Neil. It was so, so awesome.

    Never in my life did I ever imagine seeing Neil sings some of the songs that he did tonight. His dedication and performance of Captain Sunshine were so moving and beautiful. One could almost feel Vince in the arena.

    And who would have thought that we would see Neil playing the piano on stage and singing Lady Magdelane and Yes I Will. Neil did an awesome job!!!

    What a great show. Neil, the band, the songs….all were totally, totally awesome!!!

    Neil, if you or any of your staff our reading this….I salute you!! What a great job you did given the circumstances presented to you! God bless you all!


  7. Bruce
    Columbus (again)
    Fri Sep 28 22:48:31 2001

    Sorry, I forgot to mention the great tribute to Vince Charles as well. And, the arena was pretty full, for any who read postings during the week about not selling out. The end stage of course eliminated some seats behind the stage.


  8. Bruice
    Fri Sep 28 22:42:14 2001

    Columbus one hour later…fantastic concert, 2+ hours. Lots of good old ones, but a few notables missing like “Hello Again”. But the voice is still tremendous and the strings joined with the regular band were a great addition (and easy on the eyes, too 🙂 A few very pleasant surprises to watch for if you are expecting the ususal Neil concert of the last ten years…some wonderful tributes as well to NYC. Enjoy, America, as I know you will. Met and sat next to Joyce from Columbus…neat time. Goodnight, Joyce


  9. Caroline in Cleveland
    It was awsome…totally unbelievable and to me
    Sat Sep 29 01:00:15 2001

    the best concert I have gone to of his.

    He sang Lady Mag, Cracklin, Forever…, Sweet Caroline (My fav), Capt Sunshine and dedicated it to Vince.

    It was a concert to remember of feeling and emotion…very much I feel one of his best.

    He was spectacular


  10. Columbus concert
    Sat Sep 29 01:43:34 2001

    Oh My God…it was absolutely wonderful….I just got home
    Sat Sep 29 00:56:27 2001

    It was unbelievable and I am so tired I don’t think my eyes can see much more. Jamie and I just got home and its 2 a.m.

    It was a concert that I will never ever forget. He played piano…he sang Lady Mag….Capt. Sunshine was dedicated to Vince…dedicated “He Ain’t Heavey….” to the Hero’s of the WTC.

    Opening was so moving….America -as it should have been.

    Then…then….he sang “I Am I Said”

    This I have to say before I fall asleep – was the most emotional and moving concert I have ever been too….it was spiritual in ways and very very healing.

    There where songs done I never heard performed before…he talked – laughed – played with the crowd.

    I was what Neil was in the 70’s – It kidna reminded me of “Love At The Greek” for somereason.

    It was awsome. I can’t say enough…and I am so tired…that I think I’ll go to bed….

    Jamie..I know you’ll see this and laugh – Did everyone know —-she is in Neil’s program – That’s my Jamie


  11. Joezz
    Columbus – fantastic!
    Sat Sep 29 03:54:19 2001

    Neil Diamond Columbus, Ohio….
    (2hrs ten minutes on stage)
    I’ll try and recall as best I can this extroardinary concert…

    Neil the singer sounded wonderful, Neil the performer was magical, and Neil the songwriter touched our hearts. I suppose because of so much trajedy lately, this was going to be a special concert – it was. The Columbus fans (probably around 15000) were fantastic. The band looked very comfortable on the huge end stage, and Neil had plenty of room to walk around. Neil has on a light blue sparkled shirt with black pants.

    The distant sounds of “AMERICA” start the show with a huge American flag hanging down. Then from the blackened stage Neil appears and starts singing. In the final chorus he changes the words to “STAND UP FOR AMERICA” STAND UP FOR AMERICA” …. Everyone stands and Neil gets a huge ovation. Neil then says some nice words about the healing power of music, and how maybe in some small way this tour can help. Next he goes into the fast part of Mission of Love – the new song seems to go over pretty well.

    Solitary Man (guitar) now appears along with cherry cherry(guitar), I’m a believer, girl you’ll be a woman soon, red red wine, and If you Know what I mean, Soolaimon and Beautiful Noise.

    Neil says he has a new album out called Three Chord Opera. Backed by five string players, he sings Haven’t played this Song in Years, you are the Best part of Me, and at the Movies. Now he kind of stops and says that maybe we all need an optimistic song like this next one. He sings Happy Endings from the new album. It gets a huge ovation. Neil looks a bit suprised at the reaction – and the ovation just gets louder. Now he says it’s time to do one that everybody knows. The band starts Forever in Blue Jeans. Again – a huge reaction everyone is standing and cheering. What a great time now for Holly Holy.

    Next Neil very quickly thanks his band gets them to start playing a song. Long time Diamond fans recognize the sounds of Starflight. Neil listens and slowly walks to the back of the stage and suddenly he starts singing the final chorus. Starflight never sounded so good.

    Now the lights are dimmed, Neil walks to the front/center of the stage grabs a chair and says you know my core band has been with me for twenty five years travelling all over the world. He then talks about how much Vince Charles meant to the band and how he would like to dedicate the next song to him. He slowly starts singing “Captain Sunshine”. You can hear steel drum like sounds in the musical interludes and you hear the wonderful words “oh to be such a man as he – to walk so pure between the earth and the sea”. Neil Diamond has chosen the perfect song to honor his friend.

    In a very strange moment, Neil walks over and sits down at a piano that is now on the stage. No one could have guessed that Neil would sit there and sing “Yes i Will” /Lady Magdeline/ and return again to Yes I Will. He’s given Columbus a special Serenade.

    Sweet Caroline is next. It gets a huge reaction. Neil does TWO encores. He’s really enjoying this song. Shiloh, Love on the rocks, Sept Morn, You Don’t Bring Me Flowers all follow.

    Neil quietly says he would like the next song to be devoted to our “heroes”. He sings He Aint Heavy He’s my Brother. Once again, Neil Diamond has chosen the perfect song.

    Neil sits down and sings I am I said. He finishes, thanks Columbus and exits the stage. Soon everyone is thrilled to hear the music of Jonathan Seagull and Neil coming back on stage TO SKYBIRD.

    Finally Brother Love and Cracklin Rosie finish the concert. Yes CR is the last song.


    Diamonds fans owe Neil a huge thanks for doing this tour. This was a concert filled with special moments, (America, Captain Sunshine, LadyMagdeline, He Ain’t Heavy…). I’m sure the rest of the tour will be just as special. Joe/Cincinnati


  12. Caroline
    Oh My God…it was wonderful – just got home now
    Sat Sep 29 09:16:41 2001

    Oh My God…it was absolutely wonderful….I just got home
    Sat Sep 29 00:56:27 2001

    It was unbelievable and I am so tired I don’t think my eyes can see much more. Jamie and I just got home and its 2 a.m.

    It was a concert that I will never ever forget. He played piano…he sang Lady Mag….Capt. Sunshine was dedicated to Vince…dedicated “He Ain’t Heavey….” to the Hero’s of the WTC.

    Opening was so moving….America -as it should have been.

    Then…then….he sang “I Am I Said”

    This I have to say before I fall asleep – was the most emotional and moving concert I have ever been too….it was spiritual in ways and very very healing.

    There where songs done I never heard performed before…he talked – laughed – played with the crowd.

    I was what Neil was in the 70’s – It kidna reminded me of “Love At The Greek” for somereason.

    It was awsome. I can’t say enough…and I am so tired…that I think I’ll go to bed….

    Jamie..I know you’ll see this and laugh – Did everyone know —-she is in Neil’s program – That’s my Jamie


  13. ….Just Got Home From Columbus……

    I haven’t read the reviews or comments of others yet, but I see that they go back several pages. Let me just say something here and then I’ll be off to read what everybody else thinks.

    I know you know by now that there were some very special moments in this show.

    The “Captain Sunshine” tribute to Vince was by far the absolute best and most perfect thing Neil and the band could do. I know in my heart they will do this one every day of this tour as they find in themselves the strength to say good-bye to their dear friend and colleague. (Look for a message from me later regarding a “LETTER FROM VINCE.” I’ll have to type it out but I really want to read everybody’s messages about the show first.)

    Neil’s tribute to our fallen heroes “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” and his singing “STAND UP FOR AMERICA” in his most recent version of “AMERICA” is the most perfect thing he could have done to lift HIS FANS right out of their doldrums in the wake of this national and world tragedy.

    Does Neil’s music ever let us down?????

    And last but not least……..

    What do you say about “Yes I Will/Lady Magdelene?” I can only find these words: The friend I shared this concert with and I were looking at each other after this show, not knowing exactly what to say……and I finally found these words: “You know….we know what each other is thinking, but neither of us can find the words to describe it.” He simply nodded. But let me tell you this: During this most special part of the show, my heart felt like it was coming out of my chest. I could NOT believe what I was seeing. And if I never see another Neil Diamond concert or never hear his voice again, I will be in awe of this man until the day I die.

    And I know for a fact that I am NOT alone!


  14. Shirley
    My review
    Sat Sep 29 19:11:55 2001

    I was stunned by the wonderful show!!! I went in and found my seat and as usual worried right up unitl the last minute if my husband was going to get there in time to sit with me. He was waiting for out kids to arrive from Cincinatti because he had their tickets. He came in and sat down right before the show started. There was the huge U.S. flag stage across the entire stage which made quite an impact on all the concert goers and was very fitting for this year in particular. I kept wondering where Neil would enter from. The lights dimmed and the spotlights went on in smokey looking red, white and blue and the band entered. The stage got real smokey looking and Neil rose from below the stage on a hydrolic lift through the smoke and began to sing America. Powerful! I have to admit that I don’t keep track of the set list because when I keep notes, I don’t enjoy the concert as much. I am sure some of the notes below will provide that information. I commented to my family before the show that I sure hoped Neil didn’t dress in black or charcoal this time because it would be too depressing considering the times we are going through as a nation. Sure enough, Neil did not disappoint me. He wore a light blue sparkly shirt with black slacks–very classy and uplifting. I cried when he sang Captain Sunshine in memory of Vince. I raised my hand high and made a V sign during the song. I love “Captain Sunshine,” and I thought I would never hear it in concert. Once again, Neil did not disappoint me. He played three other songs that I wanted to hear in concert last night, “Starflight,” “Lady Magdalene” and “Yes I Will.” The latter two I really wanted to hear and never thought I would hear them in concert, but again, Neil did not disappoint me. Of course he sang “He Ain’t Heavy” in tribute to the rescue and recovery workers in NYC. I just can’t begin to tell everyone how much this concert meant to me. I also want to take this time to thank all those who helped me get tickets for my Navy son who was home on leave and my daughter—–mainly Eydie and Trish. Thanks a million!!! And congrats to Trish for getting a front row seat! Hey, I saw Neil singing right to you. Way to go girl!! All I can say is, DON’T MISS THIS CONCERT TOUR!!


  15. Scott Neal
    Very Detailed Review of Columbus
    Sat Sep 29 21:44:54 2001

    Most of you have seen the setlist and heard bits and pieces, so I thought I’d elaborate and add more “production” notes, rather than emotions.

    The stage is similar in size to the one used on the 1988-89 tour, with ramps going up each side, although he never utilized the side ramps. The black curtain at the rear of the stage forced Neil to perform solely at the front of the stage, which is a real treat if you’re up close.

    The sound system is much smaller (physically) than those used in the past. Likewise, the lighting rig is also much smaller than tours past. Nonetheless, the sound and lights were just as effective as other tours, which, like technology proves, nowadays you can get the same result with less “bulk”.

    Now, to the show…

    Stan Miller announcement – Standard announcement, although he now requests that all cell phones and pagers be turned off. You never would have heard that request at the Greek Theater in 1972.

    Overture – It’s a new Overture (probably composed by Alan Lindgren) that incorporates snipets of Diamond hits. This one is much more upbeat that the 98-99 Overture. As the Overture starts, The enormous flag rises slowly and the band enters. The last note of the Overture is held as Neil is lifted through the stage floor, front and center. From there he begins…

    America – This was an identical version to the one he did on A&E “Live By Request”. During “my counry tis of thee”, three smaller flags unfurl. These are the same flags that were used in the round stage. Neil’s mic was not turned on for the first word of the song.

    Mission of Love – Same as A&E

    Solitary Man – Neil started the song at stage right singing as Greg Lopez came up on stage and attached Neil’s mic stand. Neil walked back, put the mic in the stand , picked up the guitar and finished the song.

    Cherry, Cherry – same as A&E, with guitar. After the song, Greg came back on stage and too the stand away.

    Red Red Wine – Starts off with the 1967 version, then slides into the 1988 reggae version minus the rap.

    I’m A Believer – Same as A&E version

    Soolaimon – Very similar to the 1988-93 version with added drums by Ron.

    If You Know What I Mean – Same as 98-99

    Beautiful Noise – Much slower than the 98-99 opener version. More “traditional”. The song starts off with sound effects from King (train tracks, sirens, etc). This version was almost acapella with little backing.

    Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon – Standard

    I Haven’t Played This Song In Years – As Neil mentions he’d like to do a few songs from the new album, the downstage center platform rises from beneath the stage, with all four string players backing Neil. Solid performce. It was during this song that, unfortunately, the sound faltered. It was as if Neil’s mic would not work or there was an incredible delay in the sound and this lasted for 5 songs. As a result, most fans could barely hear the vocal. Of note, Neil could not remember the first words to the song. The band must have played 16 bars before he remembered. All he had to do was look at the fans down front for his cue.

    You Are The Best Part Of Me – Standard version from 2001 with strings still front and center.

    At the Movies – It was nice to see Neil have a sense of humor about an opening night glitch. He asks “Hey, does anyone want to go to the movies”? The crowd cheers and we all wait for the song to start. It doesn’t.
    Neil: “Ok, any minute now”
    Neil: “OK, any couple of minutes now”
    The crowd laughs then after a long pause the movie reel sound starts.

    I Believe In Happy Endings – This one got the loudest aproval from the audience.

    Forever In Blue Jeans – Standard

    Starflight – Ron starts the song off with a drum solo then is followed by all the band members individually joining in. The strings do a solo together (oxymoron?) as do the horns. The solos end with Linda a Julia Waters (from Xmas 93 tour) singing the lyrics to the song as Neil makes his way back downstage and sings the entire song.

    Captain Sunshine – Neil makes a few poignant remarks about how the band is his family and they all lost a member suddenly last summer. In the instrumental Alan (I’m guessing it was him on synthesizer) plays some steel drums and Neil says “I can hear you now”. It was at that part that most people “lost it”.

    Holly Holy – Same as A&E version

    Sweet Caroline – Standard with 2 repeats.

    September Morn – Unfortunately, he spoke most of this song (as he did 91-92) rather than sing it. This song would sound wonderful and be a nice change if he sang it.

    Yes I Will – WOW!!! The best. As Neil stood stage right during September Morn, a baby grand piano rose from the same platform beneath the stage as the string section did. Neil walked over and sat down on the small stool and began playing the first chords to “Yes I Will”. I never in my life thought I would hear that and Lady Magdelene live. During “Yes I Will” he slid into…

    Lady Magdelene – Hearing those chords live was incredible. And Ron NAILED the drums parts to that song that add so mch of the power. As Lady Magdelene wound down he went back into and finished “Yes I Will”.

    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers – Linda sat on a stool stage left as Neil began center stage. He slowly walked over to Linda as she stood up. Typical performce with the kiss. If you sit stage left on the floor, you have a prime seat for this song.

    Love On The Rock – Standard

    He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother – Very emotional. Musically, it was identical to the version he has done on past tours, although performed sporadically.

    I Am…I Said – Neil sat on a stool center stage and performed the entire song. The Walk Off music was the same as every other tour. The crowd did erupt when he sang “Well I’m New York City born and raised”. You would have thought this show was in New York.

    Skybird – Very similar to the 1988-89 version, very upbeat.

    Brother Love – After Skybird Neil screams “Brothers and Sisters” as the band begins the song. During the “sermon” the stage front platform elevates Neil about 5 feet high as spotlights on the drum riser backlight Neil

    Cracklin’ Roise – Standard version. When the song ends, it was as if Neil wasn’t sure it was a repat or Walk Off music. He walked all across the stage as the band played, then came center stage to sing the last chorus, before walking off.

    As the band wrapped up the Walk Off music, the enormous flag dropped back down to cover the stage as the crowd exited.

    -He only used the guitar for 2 songs
    -No Hello Again (nice change)
    -No Song Sung Blue (Very nice change)
    -Sam Cole sat stage left in the monitor booth with cue cards for Neil and the band with each song title that was to be played next.

    It’s worth $75 just to see Neil sit at the piano and play rarities from “Serenade”. Request that from everyone at NDRRRT when you can. If they know fans want it, they will continue to do it.


  16. MidnightTrisha
    Columbus review
    Sun Sep 30 23:56:10 2001

    Neil, in Columbus, was the best I have seen him in any form – TV, bootleg, regular release, in person – since
    1978. YES, including LIVE BY REQUEST and the TODAY SHOW. Neil MAY have been better than he was in ’78, but there were some other memories with that concert that make it a special favorite.

    Neil MUST be reading the board. He has done everything we asked of him and more. He SANG instead of shouting. In SWEET CAROLINE, “We fill it up with only TWO….” (And looked over toward me and held up 2 fingers….WEIRD!! Maybe he read my rants….lol) He did seem to like the whoa whoa whoas & so goods….but didn’t instruct the audience on them this time. Neil’s demeanor was open and vulnerable, not plastic or schmaltzy. He moved naturally along with the music, and the gestures seemed very natural, instead of overblown. It was an absolutely stunning performance.

    Neil’s voice was the best I’ve heard it since maybe 1984. MUCH better than in NYC. MUCH, MUCH better. He nailed CAPTAIN SUNSHINE. He nailed YES I WILL – did the Quad version!!! He nailed LADY MAG. Neil DID speak the first verse of BEAUTIFUL NOISE. I think it was a very hard song for him, since the NYC attack. But it was JUST a speak, not a speak/sing. He toned the gestures waaaaay
    down….moving naturally to the music. He did 2 reprises to SWEET CAROLINE, but they were just the chorus, not the whole thing over and over.

    When the piano came up through the stage floor, I was puzzled…..was Alan going to come around and play “Home is a Wounded Heart”, like he & Neil did in the Canadian Promo video? I had never even DREAMED that Neil would play the piano in concert, but he did….BEAUTIFULLY. When Neil played the first chords to YES I WILL…..I said, “Oh, YES!” fairly loudly. All I could think was OMG! It was the highlight of the show, for me.

    Neil’s shirt was either a powder blue or a dove gray (looked gray to me, but everyone else said blue) with sparkles through it, much like the one he wore on LBR. It was understated and classically elegant. Neil looked
    really good. He appears to be in excellent physical condition, and wasn’t showing huge drenches of sweat like he has in years past. I could tell because I wound up with FRONT ROW SEATS!!!!!!!! (Front and to the side, but front row, just the same! THANK YOU SUZIE AND DIANA!!!!!!!)

    Linda and Julia were priceless! They were obviously having a blast! The interactions between them were wonderful to watch, and both of them have voices that add alot to the show.

    Hadley looked like he was having fun, too. His solo during STARFLIGHT RIDE was outstanding, as was Doug’s. Leather watchers… Doug Rhone! He was in black leather pants!!

    Ron looked like he is back in form, and did a great job on the drums.

    I really liked the addition of the horns and the strings on this tour. They add a lot musically….and in the case of the “catgut gurrls”, add alot visually for the guys in the audience. I heard at least one guy comment about the great split skirts….

    From where I was sitting, I really couldn’t see Alan, Tom, Reine or King much. I did see that King was wearing a scarlet and white shirt, and he was leading the clapping with his drumsticks on a a couple of the songs.

    There were a few technical problems with the show. From where I was sitting, I could only halfway hear the quieter parts of some of the songs….including parts of the opening number, AMERICA. Whatever Neil said as he sat down at the piano, I couldn’t hear at all.

    When I HAVEN’T PLAYED THIS SONG IN YEARS started, it appeared that Neil came in with the lyrics on time – and the mic was dead. Others seemed to think he had forgotten the lyrics and was looking to Linda for help, but I was looking dead at him and it appeared that he had been singing the first line and quit…..the band played an extra 8 bars getting things going.

    The sound for AT THE MOVIES was screwed up. Had trouble getting the film projector sound at first, and then the special effect sounds (like the laser zip) were missing. That was the only song that was poorly received, but I think THAT was because of the sound problems.

    On THE BEST PART OF ME, it seemed that maybe Alan was off with the steel drum synthesis….timing was off about 1/4 to 1/2 beat. Otherwise, the light show and what special effects that Neil had were very well done. I was very pleased. I think these were glitches, that are pretty much expected for an opening night.

    You didn’t hear it here FIRST, but……it is a review of good and bad, and I give this concert a 4 1/2 out of a 5 star rating.

    It was a magical night, and it would be absolutely wonderful if Neil would release his recordings of it for sale to us. Please, Neil??


  17. Diamond Jim
    Stand up for Neil Columbus
    Fri Oct 5 07:58:47 2001

    Stand up for Neil
    The Ohio State Buckeyes certainly did stand up for Neil Friday night.
    They stood for 3 rounds of Sweet Caroline, Forever in Blue Jeans, America,
    Skybird, Brother Love, Cracklyn Rosie, after I am I Said and He Aint Heavy.
    There were no empty seats in this 20,000 + arena except for behind the stage.
    The crowd was in to this concert from beginning to end.
    There was no ladies and gentleman Neil Diamond announcement. Neil just magically appeared on stage. For a few seconds just as the concert started Neil just stood there and you could hear the music to America starting. I was totally Diamonized before the man even started to sing. When Neil changed the words to America from coming to America to stand up for America everyone stood up. It was so special. Here was America’s greatest musical treasure in all his glory. I have seen Neil Diamond live 30 times but never have I felt the power of the man’s music more. I got the feeling early in the week that Neil would open his show with mission of love. Well , it came after America and was the perfect song for the perfect situation. Neil dedicated Captain Sunshine to Vince Charles again it was one of those special moments . It felt like the spotlight on Mr. Diamond was the sunshine of Vince reaching between the earth and the sea.
    One of my Neil Diamond favs is He Aint Heavy and Neil’s version of this song alone was worth the $37. Neil seemed more at home with his old stage. As usual I Am I Said was one of those special moments made even more special since Neil (like he used to) left the stage and came back. Yes he is moving a little slower than 20 years ago but his voice still sounds great. All the new songs went over very well except for the movie song which I think some people would have enjoyed more if they knew the words. I liked it. There are a couple of surprises from the Seranade album that I won’t mention. Some of his songs were older than some of his fans but everyone cheered the new, the old and the unexpected. At first I was a little worried about Neil touring in this troubled year but now I feel that this must be part of Gods plan to heal this nation. As Mr. Diamond said: I’m on a mission of love. Let the healing begin. So Stand up for Neil ; Stand up for America; and thank the good lord for Neil Diamond’s Traveling Salvation show. Diamond Jim


  18. Columbus Dispatch Review
    Wed Oct 3 07:34:18 2001

    Columbus Dispatch Review

    Diamond unleashes ‘healing powers’
    Saturday, September 29, 2001
    Aaron Beck
    Dispatch Pop Music Critic

    Jeff Pouland / Dispatch
    Neil Diamond hits a patriotic note at Value City Arena. “We’re going to show that America still has heart,” he said last night.

    The giant American flag was hoisted. The 17-piece band made its way to the stage. Neil Diamond rose slowly on a hydraulic lift to the stage through an opening in the floor. The overture swelled and Diamond — white light reflecting off his beaded, open-collar blue shirt — let fly with, “Far / We’ve been traveling far . . . Everywhere around the world / They’re coming to America / Every time that flag’s unfurled / They’re coming to America.”

    After Sept. 11, what other than America, his grand 1980 statement, was the 60-year-old going to use to open his first concert in nearly two years? Cherry, Cherry? That tune and many, many more from Diamond’s lengthy career and four from his new album, Three Chord Opera, would come later.

    After he finished America, and the 14,500-odd audience members at Value City Arena promptly sat down, Diamond said, “We’re going to show that America still has heart.”

    Before launching into the third tune, Solitary Man, one of Diamond’s first hit singles, the Jazz Singer said, “If music has any healing powers, let the healing begin.” Solitary Man, recently covered by Johnny Cash, isn’t the first song in Diamond’s songbook that one might use to “heal” people. The song is a minor-key brooder. But who cares? The song, like all the tunes from Diamond’s work in the late ’60s work, stood tall last night.

    Cherry, Cherry, with its chunky chords and memorable melody, had the bulk of the place dancing ever so gently. Forever in Blue Jeans, Beautiful Noise, I’m a Believer — they all moved the crowd to sway and sing. They all moved Diamond — who, with those formidable eye brows, spangled shirt and flat-front black slacks, resembled Richard Nixon in figure-skater gear — to elegantly rock from side to side.

    Sweet Caroline flat-out rocked the crowd as hard as it has been rocked, which probably occurred when Diamond last played in Columbus — the arena’s grand opening in 1998.

    Photo caption:

    Jeff Pouland / Dispatch
    Neil Diamond hits a patriotic note at Value City Arena. “We’re going to show that America still has heart,” he said last night.


  19. It has all be said in the preceeding postings–I really can’t add much to the beautiful words you have read. I again am so pleased Neil launched this tour in my town – and at such a pivotal moment in the history of our nation, and the world- only weeks after 9/11—none of us knew what in the world to expect so soon after the tragedy. However, we were stunned to tears once again, when that giant American flag dropped and Neil appeared with ‘AMERICA’–sending chills through our souls–and again with the tribute to Vince with ‘Captain Sunshine’ and again, with the tribute to our heroes at Ground Zero with
    ‘He Ain’t Heavy’ – ripped at our hearts with gracious emotion. This was an incredible concert, that I am certain no one who was in attendance will ever forget. Thanks, Neil for touching us so personally that special night.



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