Boston, Massachusetts - FleetCenter

Oct 02, 2001

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  1. Vas
    SET LIST – 10/2/01 – BOSTON, MA
    Tue Oct 2 23:31:28 2001

    An incredible show!!!! Here’s how it went:

    America
    Mission of Love
    Solitary Man
    Cherry, Cherry
    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 Played This Song in Years
    You Are the Best Part of Me
    At the Movies
    I Believe in Happy Endings
    Forever in Blue Jeans
    Star Flight
    Captain Sunshine
    Holly Holy
    Sweet Caroline
    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
    Yes I Will
    Lady Magdalene
    Shilo
    Love on the Rocks
    He Ain’t Heavy… He’s My Brother
    I Am… I Said
    (walkoff)
    Skybird
    Cracklin’ Rosie
    Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show

    Some notes:
    **Star Flight was done as the band intros, and included solos for all band members before Neil joined in for the final chorus.

    **Captain Sunshine was done in tribute to Vince Charles.

    **Sweet Caroline included 3 encores!

    **Yes I Will and Lady Magdalene were done as sort of a Serenade medley featuring Neil center stage singing and playing the songs himself on a grand piano! Incredible and very impressive!

    **He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother was Neil’s tribute song to the “heroes” of our country.

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  2. Jw
    concert 10/2 boston
    Tue Oct 2 22:45:16 2001

    The concert was amazing! Neil played from about 8:15 to 10:30ish. Of course there was an encore!

    He opened with a moving “America” and then played the classic years. About an hour into the show he played about 3/4 songs from Three Chord Opera (the better ones I have to say). He then got us movin’ with Sweet Caroline and Cherry Cherry…. sat us down with You Don’t Bring… and a moving dedication to rats, forgot the steel drum player’s name, I want to say Vince? He also honored the heros of NY with “He aint heavy, he’s my brother”

    Towards the end, he did an awsome rendition of Brother Love…. That plus America made the concert worth the admission! (Well, aside from the fact that Neil has still got it after all these years! He is the BEST!)

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  3. Jim Lynch
    Boston 10/2 Wonderful Show!
    Tue Oct 2 22:32:27 2001

    Excellent in every way: Production, voice, stage, lighting and choice of songs (only distraction was the 4 exits at back of stage where people filtered in and out all night).
    Had been trying ticketmaster (internet and phone) most of the day and they had nothing. Drove into Boston at 4.30 and got tickets at the Box Office. Loge 6, second row, back a bit,but a great view in a wonderful arena. Neil was his usual marvellous self. Roll on tomorrow night!!

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  4. tony
    review
    Wed Oct 3 12:08:56 2001

    neil diamond was outstanding in Boston on tuesday night
    AT the Fleetcenter people who have not seen Neil
    yet in concert hang in there you will enjoy him
    and his band you will have a great time it is
    sad when it ends because it it such a wonderful
    night of great music from the vevey best singer
    get your tickets to this tour and enjoy neil diamond
    live in concert!!!!!! enjoy !!!!!!!!

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  5. Wed Oct 3 07:45:01 2001

    Boston Herald Review

    Diamond’s gems keep fans happy
    by Dean Johnson

    Wednesday, October 3, 2001

    Neil Diamond at the FleetCenter last night and tonight.

    There was no need to wonder what the initial mood would be at last night’s sold-out Neil Diamond concert at the FleetCenter.

    The pre-show front stage scrim was an enormous American flag over two stories tall. And when he opened with a dramatic version of his song “America,” the place erupted, especially when three more flags unfurled from the overhead rigging and Diamond improvised a chorus of “Stand up America! Stand up America!”

    Naturally, nearly everyone obeyed.

    But jingoism took a back seat after that, and instead Diamond focused on a tightly delivered greatest hits set that lasted in excess of two hours and included more than two dozen songs before the encores kicked in.

    Backed by a 15-piece band (including four horns and four strings) and two singers, Diamond was in sturdy vocal shape three shows into this national tour to promote his new album “Three Chord Opera,” the first disc of all-new Diamond compositions since 1974.

    Diamond performed four songs from it, and “At the Movies” fared best. But though his fans sat politely through the new material, they wanted the hits, and Diamond dished them out: “Cherry, Cherry,” “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon,” “I’m a Believer,” “Red, Red Wine,” et al.

    “Sweet Caroline” was the early crowd pleaser. The audience members swayed and sang along and acted goofy and seemed relieved to have an outlet for some giddy fun for the first time in weeks.

    “In these troubled times for our beloved country,” he said after a couple of numbers, “I hear music has the power to heal. If that is a fact, let the healing begin.”

    A maudlin “Solitary Man” was a strange next choice. But he also dedicated a Sinatraesque version of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” “to the heroes.” Then before the new “I Believe in Happy Endings,” Diamond noted, “In these troubled times for our beloved country,” again, “it is good to hold onto our optimism.”

    That did it for speeches, and the rest of the night was dedicated to Diamond’s music and its unique – and sometimes odd – blend of Vegas, vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, and the Brill building sound.

    Diamond displayed a smooth and comfortable stage presence throughout the evening, accented by his now trademark grimaces, as he roved through material that ranged from an effective and orchestrated “If You Know What I Mean” and a playful “Cracklin’ Rosie” to the grinding “Holly Holy” and the melodramatic “You Don’t Bring me Flowers.”

    Though Diamond’s audience leaned toward the higher end of the Baby Boomer group and included more women than men, there were also teens, blue-haired punks, rockers with J. Geils t-shirts, and other wildly diverse faces in the crowd.

    Dean Johnson Talk Back

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  6. Wed Oct 3 07:46:36 2001

    Boston Globe review

    MUSIC REVIEW

    Diamond sparkles in familiar gems

    By Joan Anderman, Globe Staff, 10/3/2001

    Neil Diamond gave 20,000 fans more than the gift of familiar song last night. During more than two hours of soothing balladry and uplifting pop, he offered the possibility that some things haven’t changed.

    Diamond is the rarest of modern songwriters: both a craftsman and an optimist. His concert spanned the infectious bop of ”I’m a Believer” – a hit for the Monkees 35 years ago and a hit for Smashmouth in 2001 – to ”I Believe in Happy Endings” – from this year’s ”Three Chord Opera,” the singer/songwriter’s 45th album. If his songs drift toward the far end of the schmaltz spectrum, so be it. A good dose of old-fashioned earnestness has suddenly become more gratifying than grating.

    It was no surprise when an overture-style swell of strings signaled the start of ”America.” With a half dozen Ameican flags adorning an otherwise spare stage, Diamond and his 17-piece band brought the audience to a cheering, singing peak on the first song. ”I hear that music has the power to heal,” he said. ”If that’s so, let the healing begin.” The warmth and energy hardly flagged for the rest of the night, despite the fact that the set was front-loaded with his best material. Mournful ”Solitary Man,” which featured four-piece horn and string sections, the retro-gem ”Cherry Cherry,” ”Red Red Wine” – the first half played as doleful ballad, the second slipping into UB40’s reggae version – and ”I’m a Believer” were performed in the first 15 minutes.

    Diamond’s catalog, while filled with more than his share of immortalized tunes, is wildly uneven. ”Beautiful Noise” is an intolerably hokey number, made even cheesier by tens of thousands of hands clapping. Some of the new songs are simply formulaic: ”The Best Part of Me” was strictly paint-by-numbers. ”At the Movies,” a tribute to cinematic escapism, was simply bland.

    Diamond is a restrained and unassuming performer, the one concession to glitz being his trademark glass-beaded, billowing blouse. He could afford to be understated: at 60, Diamond’s voice still has depth, tone, and pitch. He underlined lyrics with an occasional sweep of the hand, a fist in the air for punctuation, and a few spry, sideways shuffles. And his finest songs stood on their own. ”Holly Holy” took on the air of a revival, and ”Sweet Caroline” inspired such unbridled nostalgia, with the bittersweet refrain of ”good times never seemed so good,” Diamond orchestrated three raucous endings. Even his midlife crisis material – ”You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” (performed in duet with one of his background singers who gamely took Streisand’s parts) and the misty dirge ”Love on the Rocks” – redeemed themselves with a fading brand of dignified emotionality that felt just right at this particular moment in time.

    This story ran on page C10 of the Boston Globe on 10/3/2001.
    © Copyright 2001 Globe Newspaper Company.

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  7. Thu Oct 4 07:11:00 2001

    Worcester Telegram & Gazette review

    Diamond keeps on keepin’ on

    Thursday, October 04, 2001

    By Roberta Fusaro
    TELEGRAM & GAZETTE REVIEWER

    Music Review
    From late editions of yesterday’s Telegram & Gazette BOSTON– The world of pop culture is a fickle one: We build up our musical heroes only to discard them for the next alluring thing, and eventually we make a big deal out of it when we rediscover them.
    But some evergreen artists sort of sidestep that dynamic. Take 60-year-old singer-songwriter Neil Diamond. The earnest pop craftsman who wrote hip-shakers such as `’Cherry Cherry” and “I’m A Believer” is attracting kitschy attention from today’s youth.
    There are tribute bands and karaoke nights devoted to the polished performer. He’s back, right? But the catch is that Diamond never particularly cared about keeping up with the next new thing, and he never really went anywhere; he’s been selling out concerts all along, entertaining Diamondheads across the country.
    Instead, the times have caught up with him.
    A lot has changed since Diamond was last in these parts, about five years ago. The nation is mourning, fearful and angry in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks. But Diamond was steady and soothing in the first of two sold-out shows at the FleetCenter Tuesday night, touring behind “Three Chord Opera,” his first album of new material in a while.
    For this 31-city tour, Diamond has eschewed his usual in-the-round stage setup. His 17-piece band, which included four-piece horn and string sections along with two backup singers, was spread out across the wide end stage. The lighting was simple, but effective, and just under 16,000 diehard fans were out in full force.
    They cheered as a huge U.S. flag curtain lifted and Diamond launched into his traditional show-opener, “America,” which seemed particularly melodramatic and poignant as Diamond urged the crowd to “stand up for America — today.” Later in the evening, he also dedicated “He Ain’t Heavy” to the New York City rescue workers.
    But for the most part, Diamond kept the messages to a minimum. He was an imposing presence on stage, dressed in black-sequin top and black pants and boots, at times strumming a black guitar. He strutted very deliberately across the stage, pointing at individual audience members and singing to them. During the signature strum of “Cherry Cherry,” he subtly shook his hips, Elvis-style, and cradled the guitar.
    The song list veered from the tried-and-true — “Forever In Blue Jeans” and “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” — to the new songs. The newer material didn’t quite hold up, and the momentum lagged a bit about halfway through the show. It jolted back to life, though, during the perfect, one-two pop punch of the mystical `’Holly Holy” and catchy “Sweet Caroline,” with the latter turning the FleetCenter into a big karaoke hall.
    Diamond satisfied the swaying crowd by reprising the latter song twice. Diamond closed out the two-hour-plus show with stellar readings of “I Am … I Said” and “Cracklin’ Rosie.”

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  8. Anonymous
    Even better than last night
    Wed Oct 3 22:43:16 2001

    No Sept Morn and no Skybird. Ends with Brother Love.

    Makeout session with a lady in the front row during “Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon”. You’ll hear alot about this.

    New songs continue to drag a bit, especially I Haven’t Played This Song in Years. I think he’ll be dropping “At the Movies” and replacing it with “Don’t Look Down” (my guess).

    Starflight is one of my favorite parts of the show. The instrumentals are terrific. And Neil sings the end.

    Yes I Will/Lady are memorable. Truly for the real fans.

    He Ain’t Heavy is highlight.

    His voice was stronger tonight. He really sounded good. Small slips on lyrics (Love on the Rocks and He Ain’t Heavy if I recall correctly).

    In all, I thought night 2 was a better show. Neil and the audience had more energy. Also, he looks better in the white shirt than the black shirt.

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  9. Janey
    I had a front row seat…for the make out session that is!
    Thu Oct 4 00:47:29 2001

    Hi gang!

    I just returned from what had to be one of the best ND shows I have been to in my 30+ years of attending. I had great second row seats for the show and even better seats for the incredible other show Neil put on with that brazen and lucky fan during “Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon”. Whoa baby!! I just happened to be seated directly in back of her so when she eagerly obliged his beckoning to the stage, I suddenly had great front row seats..while they..ahem..interacted.

    Neil hammed it up a bit by lying on the stage and continually going back for more kisses but let me tell you gang, this woman was in it for all she could get. She was even sucking on his fingers and licking the microphone. He seemed to be genuinely HOT for her. He kept running his hand down the inside back of her short black dress and they were really kissing..no fake stage smooches, I am certain. LOL..I loved it when he said “I am supposed to be doing songs from my new album right now but, screw it!” then he went back for more.

    It occurred to me that the woman could be one of us..so was it? Did any of you guys play tonsil hockey with Neil tonight? If so..I am sure you got your own personal souvenier for the evening…hehe

    Oh..the rest of the concert was superb, but I’ll tell ya, that love scene was pretty darned wild!

    Janey

    At first I figured it was a pat part of the “act” but I’ll tell ya, something about them really clicked.

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  10. sue pinington
    boston 3rd oct.
    Wed Dec 26 18:08:46 2001

    this concert had a much better audience response than the previous night and Neil seemed to give even more ,if that were possible.I was surprised so few people knew the songs on the new album,it was released over there earlier than in england.if the audience were familiar with the music then these new songs would have a better reception and Neil would not have to work so hard to an unresponsive audience.while the girl you’ll be a woman soon “make out” is going to cause a stir -every red blooded woman in the place was jealouse if we are honest,not least because she was so young,about 19 at a guess.we felt Neil thaught he would be safe with a young girl-boy was he wrong ! there seemed to be a moment of “how do i get out of this ? ” then he turned it into a game .What you have to remember is that throught he did actually sing the song !!!we did wonder if the girl had been planted in the front row..I am waiting impatiently to know when Neil will be coming back to England
    SUE PININGTON
    HAMPSHIRE
    ENGLAND

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  11. Heike
    Neil is the GREATEST but this night …..
    Mon Oct 8 14:36:50 2001

    LOL, we (the four German fans) thought he’ll make love on stage – hahaha! I’ve never seen that he can be so! exciting – woweh! 🙂
    I’ll never forget THIS concert and if I get back my voice I’ll shriek again to him – wherever – but I was not this girl who shrieked “marry me Neil”!
    This was the best Neil I’ve ever seen! I can’t forget and I can’t wait he will come to Europe/Germany, hoping my voice and my hands are health and ready than.

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  12. Linda
    Set list – Boston – 10/03/01
    Thu Oct 4 08:17:38 2001

    Quite the show! Neil beckoned a lady in the second row with what looked like Christmas light around her neck to stand by the stage during Mission of Love. When security tried to stop her from approaching the stage, Neil said “Leave that woman alone”. She got a hug at the end of the song. And of course what happened during Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon will be talked about for years to come. I’ve seen Neil do something similar to this at several other shows, but never like THIS!! BTW – the lucky gal’s name is Bonnie.

    Here’s the list:

    America
    Mission of Love
    Solitary Man
    Cherry, Cherry
    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 Played This Song in Years
    You Are the Best Part of Me
    At the Movies
    I Believe in Happy Endings
    Forever in Blue Jeans
    Star Flight
    Captain Sunshine
    Holly Holy
    Sweet Caroline
    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
    Yes I Will
    Lady Magdalene
    Shilo
    Love on the Rocks
    He Ain’t Heavy… He’s My Brother
    I Am… I Said
    (walkoff)
    Cracklin’ Rosie
    Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show

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