New York, New York - Madison Square Garden

Oct 11, 2001

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  1. Ann T
    NY Set List…..
    Fri Oct 12 11:49:23 2001

    My apologies do not remember what songs where done between Lady Magdelene and I Am I Said. Hope someone will fill in that gap for ya.

    Mission of Love
    Solitary Man
    Cherry, Cherry
    Red, Red Wine
    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
    Star Flight (Ron Tutt was just awesome as where the others but I just love the Drums)
    Captain Sunshine
    Holly Holy
    Sweet Caroline
    You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
    Yes I Will
    Lady Magdelene
    Don’t remember what song’s where played between here
    I Am… I Said
    Cracklin’ Rosie
    Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show

    Just finished watching the video and Man what an awesome show, The audience was pumped and so was Mr.D it seemed. The people where on there feet and seemed not to be able to get enough of him. Looking forward to tonight.


  2. StephanieNY
    NY 10/11 set list
    Thu Oct 11 23:46:38 2001

    Awesome show!

    Set list was same as the others but I think there were less songs. No September Morn, Play Me, Love on the Rocks or Skybird. I can’t think of any he did not already on the previous set lists, but I’m sure someone else will post the complete list.

    A special someone selected again from the front row. She was really excited for him to sing to her, but when it came time for the kiss she sorta got in and got out real quick, much to his dismay. She then held hands with the man she was with the rest of the show. I’m guessing husband.

    Going again Friday night!!


  3. Julia Agoglia
    NY Concert October 11, 2001
    Sat Oct 13 12:48:50 2001

    Originally posted on Sat Oct 13 08:47:30 2001

    I was Privileged to be at the concert at MSG on Thursday night. While the security was high for obvious reasons I can only say THANK YOU MR> DIAMOND!!!. I waited for years for you to be back in New York and despite the ominous date I was determined. To say the concert was great woukd be a vast understatement as is evidenced from the blisters on my hads from my applause and my hoarse voice in class yesterday from screaming. There is an expression–“Diamonds are forever”!! well I pray that you continue Mr. Diamond!! You helped us all forget for a short time the terror we in NY live with everyday and especially these last weeeks. God Bless America!! and God Bless NEIL DIAMOND!!


  4. Morning Call review
    Mon Oct 22 09:36:52 2001

    Nostalgia or not, Neil Diamond’s still got the knack


    Of The Morning Call

    Just when did Neil Diamond get cool?

    He’s 60. His hair is graying. He sings 34-year-old hits like “I’m a Believer,” made famous by The Monkees. But Diamond continues to pack them in, selling out two concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden last week and drawing huge crowds to concerts at Philadelphia’s First Union Center Wednesday and Thursday.

    Diamond defies description, whether he’s playing the lounge lizard, lying on the stage in his trademark sequined shirt and crooning “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” to a 20-something fan, or leading a frenzied crowd in call-back responses to “Sweet Caroline,” a la Jimmy Buffet’s “Margaritaville.”

    When I took my mother to New York to see Neil Diamond for her birthday last week, I expected to be surrounded by 50-something and older women pining nostalgically for the Brooklyn-born crooner. Although there were gray hair and orthopedic shoes a-plenty, there were also plenty of piercings, purple hair, halter tops, and, most surprisingly, men.

    Behind us, a 29-year-old New Jersey man bragged to his friends he turned down tickets for the second game of the Yankees division playoffs to be at the concert.

    “As long as he plays ‘Forever in Blue Jeans,’ it’s worth it,” he said.

    Next to me, a 58-year-old woman said she had driven five hours from Lake George, N.Y.

    “I think he’s very sexy,” she said. “Wherever he is I have to get tickets.”

    As Diamond took the stage, the woman’s daughter, in her mid-20s, surged to her feet screaming, “I love you, Neil.”

    “See what he does to people,” her mother quipped.

    “I grew up on him,” the daughter offered later. “He’s all my mom would play.”

    But he hasn’t had a radio hit in years, I countered. Is it just nostalgia?

    Maybe. The guy behind me admitted his family always had played Neil Diamond tunes on the car’s 8-track player whenever they went on vacation. But, he insisted, “Neil Diamond’s timeless.”

    And as if to defend against any perceived uncoolness, one woman in her mid-30s assured me she also likes Bon Jovi concerts.

    Diamond has had a resurgence of sorts in the past year, including a cameo in the movie “Saving Silverman,” which is about a musician who performs in a Neil Diamond tribute band. Diamond’s performance on A&E’s “Live By Request” this summer was the highest-rated and most-watched installment. The star’s latest album, “Three Chord Opera,” released in July, debuted at No. 15 on the Billboard 200 album chart to favorable reviews.

    Diamond consistently sells out arenas and has been one of the top five touring acts in the country, right up there with pop megastars such as U2 and Dave Matthews Band. His 1991 “Love In The Round” tour was the top-attended tour for a solo artist, outselling superstar Madonna. And Diamond’s sales of more than 115 million albums would make many modern groups envious.

    Even though I’m not a huge fan, it was hard not to be impressed by Diamond’s two-hour concert, a slick extravaganza that started with the anthemic “America,” complete with American flags unfurling from the ceiling, and continued with an astonishing litany of recognizable songs that I couldn’t help but sing along with.

    “Forever In Blue Jeans.” “Sweet Caroline.” “Holly Holy.” “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.” “Solitary Man.” “Red, Red Wine.” The list goes on and on.

    So why, after 35 years, is Diamond still so popular? One fan suggested it’s because he writes all his own songs. Another said it was his unique voice.

    “He’s very intimate,” my mother opined. “It’s like he’s singing just to me.”

    Whatever his appeal, Diamond’s gravelly baritone and catchy pop tunes seem destined to be around for a long time.

    Kathy Lauer-Williams



  5. Daily Variety Review
    Tue Oct 16 12:02:21 2001

    Posted: Mon., Oct. 15, 2001, 1:42pm PT

    Neil Diamond

    (Madison Square Garden; 19,456 seats; $75 top)

    Presented by Radio City Entertainment. Opened Oct. 11, 2001; reviewed and closed Oct. 12.

    Band: Alan Lindgren, Tom Hensley, Doug Rhone, Hadley Hockensmith, King Errisson, Ron Tutt, Reinie Press, Linda Press, Julia Waters, Dana Freeman, Catherine Matovich, Alicia Engley, Marilyn Harris, Don Markese, Art Velasco, Dan Fornero, Larry Klimas.


    More Music Reviews

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    Jonathan Richman 10/14/01 2:42pm

    More reviews

    In recent times, quite a few superstar artists have been lambasted for mounting live shows that all but ignore the hits that won over a mass audience in the first place — a charge that could never be levied against Neil Diamond. At this homecoming stand, the Brooklyn-bred singer evinced his devotion to the adage that an artist should give the people what they want — namely, plenty of hits and plenty of glitz.
    Logically enough, Diamond led off the 2½ hour show, performed sans intermission, with a strident-but-stirring version of “America,” accentuated by an outsized flag backdrop and a swelling arrangement that made the song seem less like a call to arms than a call to mend hearts.

    Later in the show, he’d return — somewhat less successfully — to the topic of healing by dedicating “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” to the victims of the World Trade Center attacks.

    Certainly no stranger to sap, Diamond didn’t pile it on too heavily on this evening. In fact, his forays into the more rock-oriented material in his catalog — “Shiloh” and “Cherry, Cherry” in particular — peeled back the years with restorative elan. In recent years, Diamond has occasionally been prone to offering perfunctory run-throughs of some oldies, but here, he and his 17-piece band invigorated songs like “Red Red Wine” and “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” with swinging new accouterments.

    Diamond peppered the show with songs from his new Columbia album, “Three Chord Opera,” and while some, like the overblown “At the Movies,” failed to measure up, others, like the introspective “I Haven’t Played This Song in Years” hinted that he’s rounding into peak form after a creative fallow period.

    While his baritone still retains the rough-edged appeal of the halcyon days, Diamond has lost a good bit of his dynamic grasp–replacing the swaying breeziness of “Sweet Caroline” with roaring bombast (likewise a hindrance in “I Am, I Said”). But, to diehards — and the Garden crowd was long on that element — too much is never enough when it comes to Diamond in the flesh.

    Neil Diamond will play the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles Dec. 19, 21 and 22.


    Sat Oct 13 07:55:56 2001

    American Icon
    Neil Diamond shows his colors
    at Garden concert

    Daily News Feature Writer

    f nostalgia has the power to heal, Neil Diamond’s Thursday-night concert at Madison Square Garden filled the prescription for many a fan.

    A sold-out crowd reveled in Diamond’s well-stocked repertoire of hits, most of them dating back 20 years or more to the singer’s heyday. But while classics such as “Cherry, Cherry,” “Red Red Wine” and “Shilo” were frequently rousing, Diamond’s love of bombastic flourishes and cliched ballads occasionally sapped the show’s strength.

    Neil Diamond
    Dressed in a rhinestone-studded white shirt and black slacks, Diamond first appeared from behind a massive American flag that shrouded the stage. Still fit and vigorous at 60, he struck fist-pumping poses as if he were a glittering action figure.

    “If music does indeed have the power to heal, then let the healing begin,” Diamond said before performing “Solitary Man.”

    Backed by a 17-piece band, Diamond updated many of his songs with R&B flourishes and a small string ensemble. While the band generally captured the anthemic quality of Diamond’s songs, occasionally the sprawling arrangements made tunes such as “Beautiful Noise” and “Soolaimon” sound overblown and soggy.

    The most turgid moments came with Diamond’s recent work, featured on his latest album, “Three Chord Opera.” Overwrought and frequently cliched, “At the Movies” and “I Believe in Happy Endings” were signs of Diamond’s ongoing creative slump. Even the best of the new work, “I Haven’t Played This Song in Years,” was a faint echo of “Hello Again.” Unabashedly sentimental, Diamond walked a thin line between maudlin and magnificent. With “Sweet Caroline,” he inspired a roaring sing-along that lasted through two reprises. But his dedication of “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” to “America’s heroes” failed to capture the spirit of the nation’s troubles.

    Ultimately, Diamond did forge a spirit of rejuvenation in the audience. The boy from Brooklyn had returned to sing for his hometown and his exhortation that they “stand up for America, today” seemed to be just the cheer they had hoped for.



    Sat Oct 13 07:53:37 2001



    Neil Diamond pleased devoted fans at Madison Square Garden.
    – NYP: J. Alcorn

    October 13, 2001 — CALL him a Diamond in the fluff.At Madison Square Garden Thursday, Neil Diamond ran the gamut from sappy to snappy during his extremely generous three-hour, no-break, showman’s showman concert.
    With no concern for those who say he’s the king of schmaltz, Diamond played the first of his two sold-out shows at the arena for fans only, and the crowd loved him for it.

    For the devoted, Brooklyn’s favorite son could do no wrong, but even those who were less than enthusiastic about the 60-year-old singer had to give him kudos.

    If you were willing to wade through the slow stuff (and there was plenty of it), there were a few outstanding moments.

    Diamond is nobody’s fool. When one of your most popular songs is the musical civics lesson called “America” and you’re playing New York, you open with it. Diamond did.

    A giant American flag was suspended behind the singer as hand-held Old Glories sprouted about the arena like wildflowers. When Diamond sang the lyric “stand up for America,” everybody followed orders.

    Later in the concert – when Diamond dedicated his “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” to New Yorkers and “all of America’s heroes” – he ditched the bombast and made the ode to brotherly love poignant.

    Both those tunes were notable, but Diamond was at his best when he did snappy pop like “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Cherry, Cherry” and “I’m a Believer.”

    On these tunes, he sprinted about – working the open set as if he were playing the Garden in-the-round.

    While you might expect his biggest hit, “Sweet Caroline,” to be the night’s show stopper, it was shockingly schlocky. Everyone was on their feet singing along and clapping out time with Diamond cheerleading.

    It had that feel-good feel – the first time through – but “Caroline” wasn’t so sweet the third time Neil worked her over. Good song, but no song is that good.

    The center of the concert was also slow and ballad heavy, but even when the sap was running the slowest, Diamond was able to hold your attention with a stage presence that was pure bluster.


  8. StephanieNY
    MSG show 10/12
    Fri Oct 12 23:18:09 2001

    Only one word to describe it – AMAZING! I was there last night too and it was also really really good, but the crowd was better tonight. Before the show a few chants of U-S-A erupted. Applause of anticipation brole out several times before the show started, so you KNEW we were in for a hot night.

    During “He Ain’t Heavy” the crowd applauded almost continuously (unlike last night where they seemed less than thrilled to hear the song). The lighters came out in full force and it became a really powerful and emotional song. Truly awesome. I felt so proud to be a New Yorker and it gave me a wonderful feeling of hope that I haven’t been able to feel lately. I’ll never forget it.

    He still gyped us on the set list, performing a few songs less than the other cities seem to have gotten, but I’m not complaining.

    I was in the 5th row and had THE most perfect view of him playing the piano. I was in line with the piano keys. I loved watching his hands play and thought about all the songs he wrote while dabbling at his piano at home. A lifetime of music, for sure.

    A couple from Boston was next to me and they said this show blew away the Fleet Center show. They were at the “makeout session” show, but couldn’t believe the difference between that crowd and this one. She said this was electric. And she was right!

    After the anthrax news today this was the most perfect 2 hours to take this NYC girl away from it all. He always was, and always will be, an inspiration to me.


  9. Ann T
    Old Ben may have discovered Electricity…..
    Sat Oct 13 01:34:52 2001

    But Mr.D filled MSG with it tonight. The crowd was on there feet more than they where in there seats. Just like StephanieNY said the crowd was pumped an ready to go by 8 and and let it be known.
    When The lights went out the place went wild, Tonight’s crowd tops last nights crowd hands down, it was standing room only didn’t see an empty seat in the house. Mr.D had them wrapped around his finger and was in total control of the audience and they where loving it. And they where flicking there Bic’s too.

    He wore the same shirt as last night and the girl he chose for his Big Kiss was a curly blond this time and she seemed to enjoy it. At first she seemed to not what to go up but then he motioned with his hand to come an she went to him and it didn’t take her long to get warmed up, she really planted one on him, and it was a good thing he was all ready lying on his side because that kiss almost knocked him off it, the look on his face when he lost his balance said it all. Found it odd thou I noticed after that she disappeared for 5 or 6 songs after that.

    What I enjoyed most about tonight was that where I was sitting it was just off the side of the stage with Linda Press right in front off me so I got to see more of the band than what I could remember from last nights show. King was getting the audience up and moving like he always does and he sure did not have to do a lot of convincing, Man, an Ron Tutt he was AWESOME think I spent half the night just watching him that man can play those drums like I have never saw anyone play them he is so relaxed and at ease with them can never say enough about Mr.Tutt and his great skill of the drums. The rest off the band was rocking too but I have too say that Linda Press, I don’t know where she gets the energy she was rocking and rolling the whole night, During Cracklin’ Rosie she must have been jumping and hopping a foot or two in the air, her and King must have had some kind of contest going during one point in the song because she was rocking and pointing at him and he was doing the same back at her.

    Some people from previous show’s stated that there section wasn’t up and dancing for there show but at MSG tonight there wasn’t a person who wasn’t up an dancing. I almost got hit in the head several times from the woman next to me who was waving her arms, Learned real quick that when her hands went up to just scoot to my left behind my Mommy. And thou I am probably getting ripped apart to her/his friends from the person behind me (Was afraid to look back an make eye contact LOL) complaining about that person in front of them that blocked there view all night because I chose to sit on top of the folded up seat instead of sitting down in the seat in the down position, Sorry but I don’t care I went to have a good time and I wasn’t dissapointed.

    The song set was the same as last night and I do remember him playing Shilo and He Ain’t Heavy tonight. Even though Love On The Rocks is one of my favorite songs of Mr.D’s and not sung, just listening to him sing Shilo, Hey ain’t Heavy, Lady M and yes I will for the first time was well worth the lose not to mention the song’s from the TCO album. That song Mission Of Love is fantastic I am going out tomorrow and finally buying it, Yea I know I’m a slacker but it will be in my possession tomorrow, well actually that would be today.

    The one disappointment I do have about the show was that it ended. Man it’s going to be along time till I get to enjoy the amazing showmanship and talent of Mr.D and his band. I envy them they get to go out there and have a blast all over the country and the world night after night entertaining so many different people it must give them great pleasure, Just one party after another, So till next time your in town, Party on Dudes.


  10. Bridget
    I Just want to say Thank You
    Sat Oct 13 12:44:43 2001

    Originally posted on Sat Oct 13 09:57:52 2001

    To Neil Diamond and his wonderful crew for a most unbelievable evening. This may not be the place to write this found it when I went to his web page and from what I have read this seems like a Fan Page of his.
    My husband is a NY City Firefighter and was given tickets about 3 weeks ago by a stranger he met during his work at ground Zero she couldn’t make the concert and gave them to my husband. They where fifth row tickets and a wonderful view of an equally wonderful performer. The first few weeks at ground Zero was really starting to get to him an for good reason he has since been to eight funerals of fellow Brothers who truly where like members of our family one of which was the Godfather of my Daughter. He was very tired an hesitant about going last night but I know he went for me and by the time the show was over he had that spark back in his eye’s and a smile on his face. Neil Diamonds show managed to make him forget his troubles for a couple of hours and to get back to his old self again and it continued well into the early morning, he even served me breakfast in bed.

    Neil Diamond said before one of his songs, If music does indeed have the power to heal, then let the healing begin and I saw that healing in person and for one person to have that kind of magic with just his voice and his music is a really special person. So I thank You again Neil and to all those fans that raised the roof at Madison Square garden. New Yorkers proved that we can pull together and be kind and helpful to strangers during a tragic time and last night showed that they can all get together as one and have a great time and just forget for a moment all the troubles in our lives. Before you left the stage you said God Bless NY but I say God Bless Neil Diamond.


  11. Brian
    Are there any words to describe?
    Sat Oct 13 12:46:40 2001

    Originally posted on Sat Oct 13 09:06:26 2001

    You guys might remember me, I’m the one who was taking his Dad to see Neil Diamond for the first time at the Garden and asked the experts around here what to expect. While every post was wonderful, it didn’t prepare me for the “experience” of last night. We had seats in the back corner, more towards the back than the side and they were FANTASTIC seats (I’ve ALWAYS loved behind the stage seating as you’re closer to the band than three quarters of the arena and the sound’s incredible). Without going into the setlist, my overall impression of the show was that I witnessed a first class act performing a first class show. For a man of sixty, the only way *I* could equate what I heard from him was that I was as much in awe by his voice as I used to be by Jerry Garcia’s guitar playing. Both came from a pure place, almost something not of this earth. Every once in a while my father would remark that he had to be lip synching, that he couldn’t be THAT good at sixty. He held 22,000 people in the palm of his hand for over two hours and never let go. His show was one gigantic roller coaster ride of emotions: the anthemic “America”, “I’m a Believer”, “Captain Sunshine”, “If You Know What I Mean”, the set ending “I Am I Said”…he could take you down through the valleys and then up through the stars in the span of a few songs and do it again and again during the course of a single show (an amazing feat for ANY performer). By the time the show is over you’re both saddened that it’s done with and exhiliarated at the same time. I could hardly sit still during “I’m A Believer” and yet found myself motionless during “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother”. Time and again I would find myself overcome with sheer emotion. “Captain Sunshine” was a perfect example and his orchest/band sounded so magnificent, so grand, that it was the perfect instrumentation to Diamond’s instrument, his voice. During his walk around the stage during “I Am I Said” I was heartbroken that it was almost over, I wanted to take everything in and give the best standing ovation a performer ever deserved. My Dad was in awe the entire evening. It was priceless the times he’d turn and say, “Wow…I haven’t heard this one in a long time”. Things aren’t easy for us these days, but by seeing Neil Diamond, the healing HAS begun.

    On a wonderful side note, I also posted a couple of days ago that I was going to be there on Friday and if anyone saw someone wearing such and such a shirt to stop by and say hello. About 6:40-6:45 we were standing in the lobby inside the Garden when a woman walked up to my left and asked me, “Is your name Brian?” My first quick thoughts were should I say yes, should I say no, is she a relative that I didn’t know I had. 🙂 I had completely forgotten about the post and as I was saying “yes” I remembered what I had posted and found myself in utter disbelief. The woman I’m talking about posted “A Day To Remember-A Concert To Inspire”, that her and her daughter had gone to the same show we did. We talked for about five or ten minutes before going our seperate ways. I just wanted to publicly thank Chris and her daughter for coming up and saying hello, it was really, truly wonderful meeting the two of you and it was another highlight in a magnificent day/evening.



  12. Chris
    A Day To Remember-A Concert To Inspire
    Sat Oct 13 12:51:29 2001

    Originally posted on Sat Oct 13 02:29:27 2001

    Just returned home from Neil Diamond’s Spectacular Concert in Madison Square Garden. My daughter and I rode the train into New York City and spent all afternoon anticipating how the concert was going to be. We weren’t let down when the lights went low and the music began. Since reading the reviews of all of the other concerts so far, we had a good idea of what songs to expect. Neil began with America as he has in others, sang songs from his new material and mixed in alot of his old favorites as the night went on. It just kept getting better and better. His voice is clear and right on pitch just like his recordings. He spoke to the audience inbetween some songs with words from the heart about the heroes in New York City, about music healing, his memories of Brooklyn and his love of pianos. Many of his songs brought everyone in the entire place to their feet with their arms punching the air just as he does. Most people were singing along and keeping the beat by clapping. It was such an energized time that I hated to see end. And what an end–Cracklin Rosie followed by Brother Loves Traveling Salvation Show, both done to perfection. His final words, “God Bless New York” were just the punctuation to a wonderful inspiring evening.



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