Detroit, Michigan - The Palace of Auburn Hills

Oct 05, 2001

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  1. Cheryl
    Auburn HIlls 10/5 Set List
    Sat Oct 6 11:36:22 2001



  2. muldoon
    Palace Concert
    Sat Oct 6 00:08:55 2001

    After reading the reviews from the second Boston show, I’d have to describe Fri. night’s as more sedate! We were paying close attention to see any “audience participation” called for by ND, but nothing even vaguely resembling what was described on this board by Boston concert-goers. The giant flag and “stand up for America” phrase were fabulous. Since “Play me” is high on my list of favorites, I thought it was a smart move to replace “Love on the Rocks” with it. Happy to say he also deleted “Sept. Morn”. There was only one (rousing!!) encore, but he did seem to include all the songs that were listed for Columbus, so maybe he just sang 2 more before the encore. Did anyone else have a problem with the loudness of most of the concert? I swear this was by far the highest volume I’ve ever heard at a ND concert, and it did detract from it for me.


    Sat Oct 6 08:09:28 2001

    I finally understand why I have been so critical of Neil in recent years. I HATE THAT FREAKING ROUND STAGE!!!!!!!!! I couldn’t pin point it but it seemed to me that Neil’s shows lost their soul since 91.

    Tonight’s concert at Auburn Hills was the return of the singer that I was so crazy about. This was the most scaled back show since before the Jazz Singer. Oh there were a few special effects, the opening with America was outstanding.

    Yes, Neil really did play the piano. Not only that he played it well. You could tell that he had to really concentrate playing and singing. Yes I Will, and Lady Magnelene, were too cool. The tribute to Vince was very sincere and moving.

    The highlights for me though was the rendition of “Starflight” which was the only thing on the Heartlight album that I thought might make a concert better. This was also the first time that I have heard “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” in concert.

    Linda Press has NEVER looked hotter! She seemed like a high school girl having a great time with her new found friend, that Waters lady. The strings brought back memories of 72. Pretty ladies back there as well. No doubt that Neil backs himself with the best back up musicians around.

    Neil himself was truly a marvel. His voice was strong, if a bit on the rough side. He moves a bit slower, and thankfully he’s cut back on the Elvis moves.

    If you are debating as to rather or not to go this time around, I say don’t miss it. This could be Neil’s last tour. I really can’t see him performing this well at this level for too much longer.

    The concert was all but sold out. There were a few single seats available. The Palace at Auburn Hills is huge. Even the Back Street Boys pull up the black curtain on the seats bhind the stage. I’d say the crowd was close to 18,000.

    WAY TO GO NEIL. YOU ARE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Originally posted on IAIS Sat Oct 6 00:42


  4. Flint Journal
    Sun Oct 7 23:50:38 2001

    Flint Michigan Review

    Copied and pasted text of review

    Sunday, October 7, 2001

    By Doug Pullen


    AUBURN HILLS – The Sept. 11 attacks on America have had a profound effect on us all, riling our anger, sinking our hearts and swelling our patriotism. Neil Diamond is no exception.

    His performance Friday at The Palace, the first of two nearly sold-out shows, began with patriotic fervor and ended with a message of brotherly love. It was a little darker, a little more somber and a lot more intense than the hit-filled love fests he usually throws.

    Diamond is in the midst of a creative rebirth. At 60, an age when most artists are in full nostalgia mode, Diamond has turned his divorce, the death of loved ones (including longtime band member Vince Charles) and his own sense of impending mortality into the thoughtful introspection of “Three Chord Opera,” his first new collection of original material in 27 years.

    It’s classic Neil Diamond – a little romance, a little schmaltz, a little optimism, a little cynicism and a lot craftsmanship. It sounds like a slicker version of those infectious folk-pop anthems he wrote in the ’60s and early ’70s.

    Diamond’s newly reflective mode provides plenty of subtext for his Three Chord Opera tour that launched Sept. 28 in Columbus, Ohio. But the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington have sharpened his edge.

    Forsaking the in-the-round format that allowed him to pack record crowds into The Palace nearly a decade ago, Diamond’s tasteful new white and blond proscenium stage was draped with a large American flag as the crowd of nearly 16,000 people filed in. The flag rose to the rafters during a somewhat sluggish version of “America,” which opened the show, where it remained until the end.

    The crowd was only mildly enthusiastic at first, but in a scene that would be repeated throughout the night, Diamond’s intense delivery and the soaring strains of his 17-piece band soon whipped it into a frenzy.

    This bit of literal flag-waving wasn’t crass exploitation but a moving, cathartic celebration of nationalistic pride. Diamond used the song’s nation-of-immigrants theme to set up his real message.

    “Hey, we’re on a mission of love,” he proclaimed before lighting into “A Mission of Love.” The doo-wop ditty isn’t one of the best songs on the new album, but it did set the tone for the night.

    What followed was a rousing, moody, intense, often inspiring two hours and 27 songs of musical soul-cleansing, not a safe, predictable greatest hits parade. He dedicated “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” to “our heroes,” an apparent reference to the firefighters, police officers and rescue workers at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

    Certain staples remained, of course, including the audience fave, “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” his duet with velvet-voiced Linda Press, but he also hauled out a grand piano for one song and devoted a chunk of the show to new songs, including the evocative breakup lament “I Haven’t Played That Song in Years,” and the forgettable “At the Movies.” The new stuff was well-received by the attentive audience.

    Diamond was backed by his veteran band, the embodiment of tasteful restraint, newly augmented by a four-woman string ensemble and a four-man horn section. Their contributions to songs like “Solitary Man” and the new “You Are the Best Part of Me” were subtle accents, not tacked-on distractions.

    The recent events of Neil Diamond’s life, and ours, have lit some kind of fire in his soul. It’s nice to see an artist at this stage of his career so passionate, instead of complacent, about what he’s doing.


  5. Oakland Press review
    Thu Oct 11 11:51:58 2001

    Diamond shines bright in first of two shows

    By GARY GRAFF, Of the Oakland Press October 06, 2001

    October 6, 2001
    AUBURN HILLS – Anybody who couldn’t have guessed what song Neil Diamond would start his concert with on Friday night at The Palace would certainly flunk a current events quiz these days.
    As a massive American flag rose from the front of the stage, Diamond – the rhinestones on his blue shirt glittering like a couple of dozen points of light – launched into “America,” the most patriotic ode in his 35-year repertoire of pop hits and adult contemporary format standards. Anthemic and cathartic, with more flags rolling from the rafters, it was the only way for the singer and songwriter to kick off a concert during what he referred to as these “troubled” and “difficult” times.

    “I’ve heard that music has the power to heal,” Diamond told the soldout crowd at the first of his two-show stand here. “If that’s a fact, let the healing begin.”

    Of course, for Diamond’s fans (Diamondheads?), simply having the iconic, raspy-voiced troubadour onstage before them is a pretty good tonic at any point in time. Making his first area appearance since July 1996, Diamond gave them exactly what they came for – two hours of hits, a few new songs and just enough showbiz schtick to straddle the line between old-school showroom and rock ‘n’ roll arena.

    Of course, there’s added heft behind this year’s show because Diamond is promoting a new album, “Three Chord Opera,” that marks his first set of all self-written material in nearly three decades. So after “America” brought the crowd to attention, he offered the gospely “A Mission of Love” to keep them there, and later in the evening brought forth a set of the album’s quieter, pensive numbers – “I Haven’t Played This Song in Years,” “You Are the Best Part of Me,” “At the Movies” and “I Believe in Happy Endings,” his contribution to the soundtrack for the film “Saving Silverman.”

    But the old songs were the calling cards and the night’s feature attractions. With a 17-piece band – including a four-piece horn section and a string quartet that doubled as dancers during upbeat numbers – offering muscular arrangements throughout the show, Diamond worked back to the beginning of his career for favorites such as “Solitary Man,” “Cherry Cherry,” “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” and songs made more famous by others – “I’m a Believer” (the Monkees) and “Red Red Wine” (UB40).

    He dedicated “Captain Sunshine” to Vince Charles, the recently deceased steel drum player in his band, following it with a dramatic rendition of the revival meeting-style epic “Holly Holy.” And while “Forever in Bluejeans” was given a blessedly brief delivery, “Sweet Caroline” was the night’s extended sing-along moment, as Diamond led the crowd through not one but two reprises of the final choruses.

    And as he sang “good times never felt so good,” there was no question that Diamond was preaching to a room full of believers.

    Diamond performs again at 8 p.m. tonight at The Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75. Tickets are still available at $67.50 and $37.50. Call 377-0100.


  6. Julie L.
    Re: Set List
    Mon Oct 8 16:00:00 2001

    The set list was the same……with the exception of Love on the Rocks which was in place of Play Me. No Skybird. Closed with Cracklin Rosie and Brother Love


  7. muldoon
    Detroit show
    Sat Oct 6 23:28:47 2001

    Well, those looking for the “girl” to be invited to the stage were NOT disappointed tonight! Neil went to a corner of the stage and held his hand out to a young lady who seemed somewhat hesitant, but eventually did take his hand. He then proceeded to kneel and then lie prone, facing her, and sing YBAWS to her. I was in the eighth row, but in the center (this was to the left) and since everyone was stretching to see, I missed a lot. I did see him caress her hair and neck, and then hug and kiss her. I couldn’t tell what she did, other than hug him. The audience went wild over the whole thing. Maybe someone who saw it more clearly can enlighten us further. Also, I did wear earplugs, which kept the volume tolerable. Last night my ears were ringing for several hours afterward; tonight they’re ok. There was something amiss with the sound sytem, however. Lots of little high-pitched noises and extra tones. But, Neil and the band and singers were SO fantastic, these sound problems were minor issues. The couple behind us who felt the need to sing at the top of their lungs to the slow songs, were much more of an an annoyance!! Neil did not do “Play me” but went back to LOTR 🙁 “Sept. Morn” was still deleted 🙂 His piano songs were fabulous-added a new dimension to an already wonderful performance. I love how he appears to challenge himself with new things each time he tours. As often seems to be the case on the second night, this was a more high energy crowd, with enthusiasm from all sections. Last night there was energy, but not like this. What a great experience. Get ready Chicagoland!


  8. Deb
    Neil at The Palace Sat.10/06
    Sun Oct 7 15:42:19 2001

    Well, just drove 4 hours home from Detroit and we are still on the biggest high ever. Neil is absolutely magnificient, was at his very finest and in rare form. No doubt, Saturday night was a completely flawless show, sound was excellent, light spectacular and Neil in his shiny sparkly shirt and gray pants was awesome sight, just superb. To “Devastated who left early Friday night, so sorry, you missed it babe”.
    He did three oncors of Sweet Caroline, the crowd was screaming their “Whoa, whoa, whoa’s” and “so good, so good, so good”. His tribute to Vince and piano music was top notch. Neil couldn’t be better. If there were definitely any bugs in this show, he has them out!! God Bless Neil and God Bless the USA.

    originally posted on Sun Oct 7 15:11:19 2001


  9. Danny from Ontario, Canada
    Neil Diamond concert – Auburn Hills – Saturday October 6th
    Sun Oct 7 22:04:51 2001

    I just got back home about two hours ago (around 9:00 p.m.Sunday night) with my wife after having taken in my first Neil Diamond concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills last night. The show was absolutely phenominal. Right from the first song America you could feel the electricity in the air. He played for two hours and fifteen minutes and Neil Diamond puts his heart and soul into his concerts, there is no question about that. He looked great for age 60 and his voice was powerful and in top form. I was fortunate enough to be in Section B right in front of the stage on the ground level, row 4, seats 13 & 14 which placed my wife and myself dead centre in front of the stage. We couldn’t have asked for better seats. The sound quality was excellent. When he puts on a show it is almost like a blur because of the fact that he sings non-stop, doesn’t take a break and just keeps belting out one hit after another. The first fifteen rows or so on floor level were on their feet for most of the evening as I’m sure were many other people around the Palace of Auburn Hills. When he sang Sweet Caroline I don’t believe that there was anyone sitting for that song. He had everyone up on their feet, there were more than 17,000 people at the Palace (by looking around it looked like the concert was sold out, I didn’t see any empty seats in the areas where the people were sitting). Everyone was up on their feet for Sweet Caroline, singing, and clapping and what an ovation he got at the end of the song……and then he went and played some of the song not once but two more times, each time encouraging the audience to get louder and louder. It mentions on the back of the Hot August Night album that “he moved the audience through many moods from joy to sorrow….” and that is exactly what he did last night. Neils songs convey happiness, joy, love, sadness, his songs make you feel good….they make you reflect…they make you want to dance….they make you want to cry (it was very poignant when he sang Captain Sunshine and dedicated it to Vince and when he sang ‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” and dedicated it to the heroes. He got a standing ovation after that song and after “I am I Said.” Neil Diamond comes across as a very humble man and he is thanking the audience continually during the course of the evening for their appreciation of his music. His backup band is also incredible, the horn section, the violin players, the drummers, the vocalists….they were unbelievable. He played a good variety of music from his older hits as well as 4 songs from the Three Chord Opera C.D., just like all the other Neil Diamond fans who have been to his various concerts have been mentioning since he started his tour a week ago last Friday in Columbus, Ohio. Neil has had so many wonderful hits out over the years that he could have played for 4 hours and still not have played them all, so he tries to play a good cross section from Solitary Man, I’m a Believer, Forever in Blue Jeans, Holly Holy, You don’t Bring me Flowers, Beautiful Noise, Red Red Wine, etc. etc.He did a wonderful job of Soolaimon, I have always loved his Tap Root Manuscript album. You look around while he is singing his hits and everyone seems to know every word to every song. His piano solo was great, his moment with the young lady while singing “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” was entertaining, the audience didn’t seem to be too offended….and there were some funny comments that I heard…someone behind me was yelling….”Hey Neil, where’s that viagara when you need it.” His encore of Cracklin’ Rosie and Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show was awesome… wanted the night to go on and on…..When Neil sings his songs he is very humble and his caring personality is reflected in the way that his songs are sung. I left the concert thinking of his song “Turn Down the Lights” because even thought the concert was done and it was time to leave, like he sings…”It’s good night, not goodbye, We’re just done for a while. We’ll be back again with some new things discovered. And we’ll bring you our song. Hoping you’ll sing along. Turn down the lights. Turn up the music. Let’s just be together tonight….”
    I am so glad that after being a Neil Diamond fan for over 30 years that I finally had the chance to see him live in concert. It was a dream come true. It was worth the six hour drive down to Detroit and hopefully I’ll get the chance to see him again. His souvenier teeshirts were awesome, my wife and I both bought the one with his picture from Three Chord Opera on the front, and it also says Neil Diamond on tour 2001. On the back it says Neil Diamond Live in Concert 2001 and then lists all the cities that he’s playing at on his 2001 tour. The teeshirt is awesome as is his picture book which I also bought and will certainly treasure. It is getting late and I’m tired after the long drive back home tonight so my thoughts are kind of all over the place and I apologize for that. After a good nights sleep I’m sure that I’ll have more comments to share about that absolutely awesome Neil Diamond concert. Everthing that everyone over the last few months has shared on the message board about Neil Diamond in concert is absolutely true. People kept writing that his concerts are fantastic, that I would have a great time, especially it being my first Neil Diamond concert, etc. and they were right about everything. Thanks for allowing me the time to share some of my feelings about the Neil Diamond concert at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Saturday October 6, 2001. For all of you fans out there waiting for your turn to see Neil Diamond on this tour, hang in there, it is worth the wait. You will have an awesome time seing this incredible legendary performer in concert. I look forward to reading all of your comments as well after you have seen him perform.



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