Washington, DC - MCI Center

Sep 30, 2001

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  1. amfb1968
    Complete Set List
    Sun Sep 30 23:38:05 2001

    I took notes, so here is the complete set list:

    America
    Mission of Love
    Solitary Man — with Neil on guitar
    Cherry Cherry — Neil on guitar
    Red Red Wine
    I’m a Believer
    Soolaimon
    If you know what I mean
    Beautiful Noise
    Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon
    I haven’t play this song in years
    Best Part of Me
    At the Movies
    I believe in happy endings
    Forever in Blue Jeans
    Band Intros with Instrumental Starflight and then Neil Singing
    Captain Sunshine — Tribute to Vince
    Holly Holy
    Sweet Caroline
    September Morn
    Yes I will — with Neil on Piano
    Lady Magdalene — with Neil on Piano
    Yes I Will (reprise)
    Shilo
    You Don’t Bring me Flowers
    Love on the Rocks
    He ain’t Heavy, he’s my brother — tribute to the Heros of 9/11 and the rescue
    I am, I said

    Encore
    Skybird
    Cracklin’ Rosie
    Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show

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  2. NMGirl
    Just got back from the DC Show
    Sun Sep 30 23:24:54 2001

    It was absolutely FABULOUS!!!! Neil was everything…and more!!

    The show started a little late and we were getting a little ansty to say the least.

    He started out just like Columbus with America and it really hit home for all of us here.

    Then he said, in effect: “If music is healing..then let the healing begin.”

    The set list was pretty much the same as Columbus but he ended with Brother Love instead of Cracklin’ Rose.

    There were a couple of times where the band drowned him out a little bit but they compensated for it pretty quick.

    My highlights:

    *America…of course…awesome way to start the show…
    *Neil at the piano for Yes I Will and Lady Mag..it was fabulous to hear those two songs!
    *Sweet Caroline where we did the refrain 3 times so we could ‘get it right’…awesome…
    *Captain Sunshine for Vince…
    *Soolamon..Skybird…all the oldies he did…especially I am I Said…got me right where I live…
    *I’m sorry but I loved “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”…brings back great memories…
    *Loved the string quartet!

    Our seats were pretty good..except for the guy who decided to wear a cowboy hat…don’t ask me..dunno why he wore it…

    Neil looked superb in a red spangled shirt and black pants.

    I’m curious to know what the song was that they played for the band intro….

    One of his best comments: “We flew commercial..and we’ll do it again and again…”

    The announcer said “Being the true performer, Neil will not have an intermission…” loved that…

    I was just too fabulous for words…I’m still on cloud 9 and will be for a while…I did pick up my Frog King…couldn’t resist…

    I’m anxious to hear what everyone else thought about it…I’m sure I’ll remember more tomorrow…

    Oh my goodness…I’m a happy camper now…I can die a happy woman!!! ROFL

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  3. KrisK
    Sunday’s Concert in DC
    Sun Sep 30 23:27:57 2001

    Guess I’m the first home! Great concert by Neil – I didn’t take notes, but believe the set was exactly as described for the Columbus show. No problems tonight – songs flowed smoothly from one number to another. No mic problems, or problems remembering words. However, I think the sound mix guys need to tone down the instruments some on certain songs – for instance, when Sept Morn reaches a climax, the strings + synth get very ear piercing, shrill, and overbearing. This type of thing happens on 3 or 4 songs. I was sitting up high in the arena – how did it sound on the floor? Note – any of you sitting behind the stage at future concerts – Neil visits you several times during the concert. You got up much closer to him then most of the rest of us!

    Thanks Neil! Great show – you sounded terrific! – KrisK

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  4. Mike
    DC CONCERT AWSOME!!!!!!
    Sun Sep 30 23:26:04 2001

    Tonight was just fantastic! Had not been to the MCI Center before and using METRO made it so easy. Neil was at his best and really put on the show that he loves to do! I have been to many of his concerts and I have never seen him play the piano before…that was great. What energy he has and what a showman.
    Gee do you think I liked it?

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  5. Lois
    Awesome isn’t enuf
    Mon Oct 1 11:42:55 2001

    I just got home and let me tell you all – what an incredible, awesome – show it was – Neil was at his best – to see him sitting at a piano and playing those songs from serenade was the best

    Neil also had us in tears – with his tribute to VInce and his tribute to the Heroes of the 9/11 disasters –

    can’t wait to be in boston on wednesday to experinece this again

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  6. Betty K.
    Neil in DC
    Mon Oct 1 15:49:07 2001

    The DC concert was wonderful. Neil’s voice is in great form–it’s the best I’ve ever heard it in concert. From beginning to end, the concert was a moving experience. The MCI Center was full. My sister hadn’t thought she’d be able to go to the concert and found out she could go about an hour before it started and called Ticketmaster. They told her that there were about 20 tickets left and if she got there right away, she might be able to get one (they weren’t selling over the phone at that point). When we arrived at MCI, we found a woman selling tickets outside for under face value–she said that a couple of family members were unable to go at the last minute so she had extras. So, my sister got a ticket from her and had a good seat. My other sister and I had gotten tickets the first day they were sold and were on the floor, in the middle section–great seats. Neil looks good and sounds good. I am so thankful that this tour wasn’t postponed or canceled. Security in DC was fairly tight–cars were being checked carefully before they could park in the garage under our hotel. We were about a mile from the MCI Center and rode Metro to get there and back. It worked out well. I am on a definite concert high! As Neil says, “Let the healing begin.”

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  7. Patti Leonard
    DC was a WINNER
    Mon Oct 1 20:16:13 2001

    I have been attending Neil concerts for 25 years and I gotta tell you, I think this concert was the best one ever! He was full of energy, looked awesome, sounded terrific, and played some wonerful songs I haven’t heard in years! Thank you, Neil for a wonderful birthday! Hope you enjoy the lipsinc video I left for you!

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  8. Jane/VA
    Here’s my take on the DC show…
    Mon Oct 1 22:03:39 2001

    It was very possibly the best show I have ever seen Neil do.

    To me, it was just what we needed. We have all had our hearts broken in the past months I think, by first losing Vince, and then the horrible attacks and loss of lives. I think many of us were really feeling guilty at the possibility of going to a concert to laugh and sing and dance when so many people have lost so much.

    But these particular concerts are just what we needed. He gave us such a pure outlet for our emotions. The show was such honesty. I mean, Neil selecting the perfect song to pay tribute to Vince, and then another appropriate one to honor the heroes from the tragedy.

    I wept for Vince as Neil simply stood and sang such a touching choice for Vince, “Captain Sunshine”. I wept for 6,000+ lost lives and people who were so heroic when he sang “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”. And you know what – I finally cried for sheer joy at seeing Neil ‘bathed in blue reflection’ when he sat down at the piano and sang “Yes I Will” and “Lady Magdalene”.

    People in the audience who had no idea how special those songs are, or how rare to hear from Neil sing them, seemed to sense that something special was happening – there was total silence in the arena. The fact that he treated them with such care – playing the piano, and just quietly letting the songs carry the moment. I was blown away.

    The fact that so many of us relayed our reactions in such simialar ways proved that the healing has begun, I think. Think about it – even if Vince were still with us, and the Twin Towers were still standing and those 6,000 people where home with their loved ones, we’d have still cried for sheer joy that Neil could give us such a special treat.

    I am still not able to sing along or fully appreciate the songs from TCO, I suppose, but they were great to hear live. And of course, “Sweet Caroline”, “Holly Holy”, “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”, “I AM, I Said”, “Crackling Rosie” and “Forever in Bluejeans” were like old friends I always welcome.

    By the time I got back to the hotel, my eyes were shot, my mascara was on tissues in my pocket and I was totally drained. BUT WHAT A FANTASTIC FEELING. Three weeks ago I didn’t think I’d ever feel so emotional for a concert again.

    To paraphrase Neil’s statement at the concert’s beginning, music can help the healing begin.

    We are on the mend. Thank you, Neil and band. You are all quite awesome.
    Originally posted on main board Mon Oct 1 21:31

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  9. Washington Post Review
    Wed Oct 3 07:43:17 2001

    Music
    Neil Diamond, Low-Tech & Uplifting

    By David Segal
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, October 2, 2001; Page C05

    Pop stars have been postponing recent shows, but thankfully Neil Diamond kept his Sunday date with 17,000 fans at MCI Center. We need this sequined old-school crooner, now more than ever. We have nerves that need soothing, tears that need jerking, and we’re bottled up with exactly the sort of emotions that Diamond knows how to uncork. His songs — easy to whistle, uplifting and a little corny — are perfectly suited for this moment of national anguish.

    “In these troubled times I’m told music has a way of healing,” said Diamond, one song into his 2 1/2-hour performance. “And if that’s the case, then let the healing begin.”

    He brought little more than a 15-piece band and his melodies; for an arena show, this was a low-tech, understated operation, tastefully restrained and, aside from Diamond’s sparkly red shirt, surprisingly un-Vegas. Now 60, he sings stooped ever so slightly at the waist and he pads around the stage slowly and carefully, as if he’s worried that he’ll pull a hamstring or twist an ankle. When he gets carried away, or needs to underscore an emotion (“I am, I cried”), he’ll slowly sweep an open palm around the arena. He takes applause with gestures of dignity and appreciation, like an ice skater at the end of a long program.

    From the first chords of “America,” his paean to immigration and an inevitable show opener, it was clear that Diamond is still the optimist who believes that nothing ails the world that a catchy chorus couldn’t cure. Unlike, say, Barry Manilow, he can spot the five-inch line that separates him from kitsch, which is why there are Neil Diamond tribute bands out there paying sincere homage to the man. He comes off as the sort of guy who’d lend you his lawn mower if you knocked on his door.

    Though hardly a spectacle, the concert demonstrated the strength of Diamond’s claim to pop songwriting immortality. Yes, he authored “I’m a Believer,” a hit for the Monkees. Yes, “Red Red Wine,” which plenty of reggae-pop fans assumed UB40 had penned, was his creation. “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” did not come from Urge Overkill, whose version added assassin cool to the “Pulp Fiction” soundtrack. That was Neil’s handiwork, too.

    Some of the remakes have exceeded the originals. Johnny Cash produced a more convincing “Solitary Man” on his last solo album. And Diamond’s band, a polished outfit that included four female violinists in slit skirts, sometimes overwhelmed the material with pure muscle. During his midlife crisis tunes, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” and “Love on the Rocks,” which were paired in the middle of the set, it was sometimes hard to hear Diamond above the multi-instrumental din.

    A few of the songs have acquired an unexpected emotional punch. “September Morn,” a lover’s lament, seems even more poignant and wistful after last month’s tragedy. But Diamond let the songs connect to this crowd without hinting often at any newfound resonance. And why not?

    The point of “Forever in Blue Jeans” and “Sweet Caroline,” two of many numbers that brought this 45-and-over crowd to its feet, is instantly hummable escapism. More than 25 years into his career, Diamond still knows how to sell and we still are eager to buy. If nothing else, his show gave the lie to the newly popular canard that everything has changed.

    © 2001 The Washington Post Company

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