Salt Lake City, Utah - E Center

Nov 01, 2001

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  1. JstMeZ
    signs
    Fri Nov 2 01:41:46 2001

    I was wondering if it was someone from the board with the L O V E. I saw Neil point his finger at the signs each time he said a letter when he was on that side.
    Julie has a beautiful voice. And I didn’t watch her all the time because we were on the west side of the stage but everytime I did see her she was dancing her legs off. So much energy. Tomorrow we’ll get a better view since we’re on the floor.
    Neil and “the girl” didn’t get too cosy. She was waving her hand up in the air the whole time and swaying so Neils hand holding hers was going sort of up and down the whole time till he let go to caress her cheek. I wondered if that was distracting. She didn’t get as close to him as it sounds like they have at the other concerts. Did the kiss at the end but she stayed about an arms length away till the end.
    There was a lady sitting about 3 rows in front of me. When Neil dropped to his knees and motioned for “the girl” I thought the lady was ready to run down there and take her place. She flung her arms out like “take me, take me.”
    Did Neil come up the ramp or up the lift? I thought the lift because I didn’t see him walking out.
    Glad the rumors were wrong about Neil starting his Christmas songs. I was worried about what songs he’d take out. The piano segment was great and got pretty good response, I thought.
    Another 20 hours and we’ll be ready to experience all again.

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  2. Groundhog in SLC
    Salt Lake City Rocked Tonight!
    Fri Nov 2 11:51:12 2001

    Z – Neil came up on the lift at the start of the show….later he used the ramp up behind the drums. It was hard to see the lady he chose for the song, but maybe she was real timid….had he come towards the center, Sherene and I were ready to run up there. It was us with the LOVE signs, it worked perfect! We will try them again tonight…we are row 7, middle of the row, section 103. Hopefully, we can get some photos from that spot. We had security right in front of us, so was not able to snap any pictures. We are heading to Little America – the Grand America (new) side and will have lunch at 12:45 there. The band for sure is staying on the new side, as Sharon Herridge and Margaret Young saw their bus pick them up yesterday about 4 PM. They headed right out to the E Center and had sound check, so at 5:45 PM when we arrived for our dinner, it was already finished. What a show though. You will love being down front…take a bottle of water though, as you will die of heat down there. Also either kleenex or a hankerchief….you will sweat something fierce. I was going to offer my hankie to Neil when he stopped in the center of the stage, but was not able to make eye contact to wave the hankie towards him. But you should be able to see him sweat! Have fun, and if we don’t see you at LA, perhaps we will see you at the show. I have the black long sleeve shirt with the I LOVE NEIL DIAMOND and diamond on the front….when you see at the start of the show the black lights and flag look towards 103 and see if you can see me glowing – it did on the floor. I saw Neil look at me and my shirt and smile several times, as well as Linda….oh, that was worth the second row seat. And having Neil acknowledge the signs was wonderful. I’m still in love….over 30 years now…..Sharon

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  3. JstMeZ
    signs
    Fri Nov 2 01:41:46 2001

    I was wondering if it was someone from the board with the L O V E. I saw Neil point his finger at the signs each time he said a letter when he was on that side.
    Julie has a beautiful voice. And I didn’t watch her all the time because we were on the west side of the stage but everytime I did see her she was dancing her legs off. So much energy. Tomorrow we’ll get a better view since we’re on the floor.
    Neil and “the girl” didn’t get too cosy. She was waving her hand up in the air the whole time and swaying so Neils hand holding hers was going sort of up and down the whole time till he let go to caress her cheek. I wondered if that was distracting. She didn’t get as close to him as it sounds like they have at the other concerts. Did the kiss at the end but she stayed about an arms length away till the end.
    There was a lady sitting about 3 rows in front of me. When Neil dropped to his knees and motioned for “the girl” I thought the lady was ready to run down there and take her place. She flung her arms out like “take me, take me.”
    Did Neil come up the ramp or up the lift? I thought the lift because I didn’t see him walking out.
    Glad the rumors were wrong about Neil starting his Christmas songs. I was worried about what songs he’d take out. The piano segment was great and got pretty good response, I thought.
    Another 20 hours and we’ll be ready to experience all again.

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  4. Groundhog in SLC
    Salt Lake City Rocked Tonight!
    Fri Nov 2 01:16:26 2001

    The moment arrived finally, at 8:20 PM Neil walked off the ramp and started singing America. He appeared in his red beaded shirt, with the black slacks and shoes. He looked awesome, and sounded marvelous! Sherene and I were almost right near the center of the stage….and Neil acknowledged our L O V E sign we held up when he sang Mission of Love. He smiled and pointed at me several times – I know he was able to see my I LOVE NEIL DIAMOND shirt I had made. When the black lights came on for America, the shirt glowed….Linda Press was beautiful, in appearance, and sound, as always. She smiled so much at me. What a treat to be so close I could actually see Neil sweat.
    When it was time for GYBAWS Neil sang to these 3 ladies on the left side, but then kind of moved to the right and finally one lady in black came forward to the stage. She had no idea what was happening. Oh, how Sherene and I wanted him to come to our end, and we had hoped to be chosen. But alas, it was not meant to be. But what a cute part of the show.
    Previously, others have mentioned that people in the audience do not stand and clap. That is not the case here in SLC….most people stood at least on the floor level. And when the words Stand Up America were sung, we were already still standing. Our people here in Utah are very proud and patriotic….
    The set list was exactly the same as St. Paul’s listing….oh, the piano selections are so beautifully composed and sung. Neil really has a wonderful sound as he sings Yes I Will and Lady M – his deep baritone voice performs these 2 songs marveously.
    The At The Movies segment is cute. If you did not care for this selection on TCO, after seeing the show, you will suddenly find you actually like this song. And Linda and Neil’s duet for You Don’t Bring Me Flowers was just perfect. It was quite the thrill to be on the 2nd row during this song, as they stood on the riser right in front of our seats, so we had a great spot to view “the kiss”.
    Kurtis looked very Neil-ish in his blue sequened shirt….like Neil wore when he sang America in Jazz Singer. I know Kurtis has a new found appreciation now for Neil and his music. We all feel like we are being sung to individually when Neil sings, and I am sure Kurtis now has some new favorite songs to love and cherish. I hope Sherene was able to get to the hotel in time to set up with Kurtis and perhaps motion Neil over to say hello to Kurtis.
    Regarding the merchandise areas, they were well stocked with lots of tee shirts, and the mugs, pins, even the Got Neil night shirt. But no I AM A BELIEVER sweatshirt, nor had they even heard of a navy fleece shirt with the flag/silhouette patch on the chest & collar. There is the denim flag shirt, and several types of teeshirts. The frog king is cute too. Plenty of flag and Diamondgirl pins.
    All in all, we LOVED our long awaited show. Neil sounded rested and clear. We missed Vince Charles though, and those steel drums. And King is located behind Ron and the drums, and we could not see him until the end when he left the stage. He too was in a red shirt. Linda and Ms. Waters really get a workout too. They are really “into” the music. And the strings and horns are such an added bonus.
    Thank you Neil for this performance and we look forward to seeing you again tomorrow evening.

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  5. JstMeZ
    Cigarette
    Fri Nov 2 18:10:56 2001

    I was wondering if anyone else saw the cigarette tossed on the stage. Lighted too. (Which reminds me, got to stop by the store and get a cigarette lighter and practice keeping one going without burning my fingers. Going to light it for He Ain’t Heavy.)
    I’m thinking most of the people on the board were to the left of the stage so didn’t see the cigarette toss since it was to the right.

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  6. Groundhog in SLC
    Salt Lake Concert
    Fri Nov 2 12:01:32 2001

    Just wanted to add to Sherene’s great review that when Neil said does somebody have a cigarette, all of a sudden someone threw one up on the stage. It was funny…but maybe Sherene did not see it. But I did, and found it humorous…..oh, I loved my seat location, surrounded by my friends, and especially, my Neil. At times, I truly felt like he was singing and looking right at me. He possibly was, as it could not but help notice my shirt!

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  7. Sherene
    Ok…Here Goes……
    Fri Nov 2 04:24:28 2001

    Oh My…yes my hands really are bruised from clapping so hard and I might add…almost constantly! My fingers on my right hand are bruised and my palm on my left hand where those fingers were hitting is bruised and about an inch down my wrist. Really weird looking….and yes…it hurts. Oh but what a wonderful hurt.

    First…like Sharon said..Neil didn’t have to ask us to Stand Up For America….almost the entire arena was standing and cheering the minute the lights dimmed…the entire time the band came on stage….and as Neil rose up on the platform. I have to admit I was watching the band and their reaction to the audience and didn’t even see Neil for a few seconds…he was rising up center stage (no spotlight on him yet…just silouette) and when others realized he was there the place really went Crazy! And they all stayed standing and cheering the entire song…it was wonderful! I have to say…Salt Lake audiences don’t need to be coaxed when Neil is on stage. And you could tell several times thru the show the look on Neil’s face was so pleased with our reactions.

    Yes we did our L O VE signs during Mission Of Love. Neil missed the first go thru as he was walking to the other side of the stage…but on the second go thru he was standing right in front of us. He didn’t notice until Sharon lifted the O…and then I lifted the VE…and he pointed at each letter as he sang out L..O…V…E…LOVE…Yes Yes…it was Great Fun!!! I’ll be Neils cheerleader anytime…..anywhere…

    I have to admit I did not have the Set List memorized. So I was thrilled everytime he started the next song. I for one had a difficult time sitting down. Poor Sharon…When the crowd would sit…we sat. And Neil would start the next song and one of two things would happen…we would jump to our feet and starting cheering and dancing….or shortly into the song I would turn to Sharon and beg…Please Can We Stand Up?! Now pretty much straight thru to GYBAWS I was on my feet…Partying Hardy!!!.Most of the songs were upbeat and wonderful. And let me add at this point. What A Waste Of A Wonderful Moment With Neil….that woman he chose!!!! YIKES!!!! Yes she stepped forward and took Neils hand…(He was on his knees at this point) and she is standing back a bit… left arm straight in the air over her head and she is swaying back and forth in front of Neil!!! Then Neil lays on the stage…trying to coax her closer and the woman is still SWAYING!!! She Didn’t ‘Get It’ Folks!!! Can You Believe It!!! Then he tries stroking her face…ok she stops swaying…but only for a moment!!! This continues on the entire time!!!! SLAP THIS WOMAN!!! Then in order for Neil to kiss her, he slipped his hand behind her neck and pulled her to him…Thank God she stopped SWAYING long enough to kiss him!!! WHAT A PITIFUL WASTE!!!!!!!! There were TWO women on the other side of the stage that would have made it well worth Neil’s time to head to our side!!! But Neil was still wonderfully funny afterward…she goes back to her seat and he colapses on his back like he is in a dead faint….the audience loved the entire thing…everyone was on their feet cheering the entire time. Then he got back on his knees after catching his breath…and said he needed time to cool down…and he did ask if anyone had a cigarette…I am embarrassed to say…I don’t think the Mormons had a clue what he was talking about…where everyone was cheering and reacting to his other comments about having to cool down…way too hot in here….the cigarette comment kinda went right over some people’s heads!!!! Not as strong a reaction as the other comments.

    Starlight was just Wonderful to see and hear. I was surprised, but it appeared many many people knew this song. The reaction was great….standing cheering….the band loved the reaction!!!

    The tribute to Vince was so very touching. I loved what Neil had to say about Vince…and Capt. Sunshine was incredible to hear Live. Yes I cried…it was difficult not to. And could you feel his spirit there….Yes!

    Ok. The piano…Yes I Will…Lady Mag. There aren’t words to really describe this part of the show. The piano and background music was perfect. Neil’s voice was Fabulous…and to hear those words…well it was truly an incredible experience. Something I never thought I would hear Live and in Person! And I was so pleased by the SL audience. There were many people who reacted when they heard the music begin…..and even more when he started to sing. So we had many die hard fans in the audience. There were a couple of people who yelled out during the songs…but you could tell they were just reacting to actually hearing these songs.

    I loved hearing Neil sing…He Ain’t Heavy. It is so much better than the studio version. And you could see and hear the passion and emotion he felt for this song and the reason behind singing it.

    I also loved watching Neil sing IAIS sitting down…relaxed. It was simply beautiful.

    Neil appeared rested, healthy, as gorgeous as ever. And his voice was Prime! Yes a couple of times he started to get alittle hoarse. But like others have said…it passes. Yes I heard a couple of songs where he quickly changed the words because he forgot the lyrics (I mean they weren’t even close) but he does that so incredibly well…most people don’t have a clue what has happened. It was great fun to see this happen and pulled it off without a hitch. The NDRRT were in great form. They all looked wonderful. Played wonderful…and I will be able to see more tomorrow night. We were so close we missed alot of the band. I was talking to a security guard, and she said they moved the seats up a row closer to the stage (why I don’t know) but we were even closer than normal…Oh Gosh…What a pity that was!!!! Yes I got the camera in…and tape recorder. BUT there was a woman security guard practically next to me!!! She was very nice….I tried hard to SMMMOOOOZZZZZ her…as she kept telling us…now don’t even think of pulling out cameras!! But she was always looking my way…so I gave the camera to a friend of mine down the row abit…..she took about 18 or so pics..will get this developed tomorrow….hope they turn out….We will do it again at tonights show.

    Kurtis and I missed Neil for the bus call. They had already arrived and gone inside the hotel by the time we arrived. But don’t fret…we already have plans to get Kurtis there tomorrow night and try again!

    Well….it was a night to remember…yes…one that I will never forget. Great friends, Great Seats, and NEIL…what more could you ask for? I am going to repeat it again tomorrow night only with More friends…and not as good of seats..(boy I was spoiled tonight!)

    Thank You Neil for giving us a show that seemed to be our vision of a Perfect Show. I can hardly wait to do it with you again tomorrow night!!

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  8. DESERET NEWS REVIEW
    Fri Nov 2 10:52:10 2001

    Diamond preaches to sold-out ‘choir’

    By Scott Iwasaki
    Deseret News music editor

    NEIL DIAMOND in concert at the E Center on Thursday, Nov. 1, 8 p.m.; additional performance Nov. 2, 8 p.m. Tickets available through Smith’sTix at 467-TIXX.

    Neil Diamond was there to preach the word. And that word, ladies and gentlemen, was love.
    Diamond brought his own traveling salvation show to the E Center Thursday night. And when it was all sung and done, the sold-out audience had a brighter, more optimistic outlook on life.
    “If music has the power to heal, let the healing begin,” the singer told the audience of nearly 11,700, just before he strummed out the opening chords to “Solitary Man.”
    Fittingly, the concert opened with “America” as Old Glory proudly hung above the stage. And at one very poignant moment, Diamond dedicated “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” to the thousands of firefighters, police and military personnel on the job today.
    “I Am . . . I Said” took on new meaning in light of the state of the nation, especially when Diamond sang the words, “L.A.’s fine, but it’s not home/New York’s home, but it ain’t mine no more . . . .” The only thing that segment lacked was another New York-themed tune, “Brooklyn Roads.”
    Still, there was no absence of audience participation. During “Sweet Caroline,” Diamond and his band led everyone through three chorus sing-a-longs before continuing the show with “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers,” which was sung with backup singer Linda Press.
    There was a ton of older tunes offered from the stage. “Shiloh,” “Holly Holy” and “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” were some of those tunes. He dedicated “Captain Sunshine” to the band’s late steel drum player Vince Charles and performed a rare medley of “Yes I Will” and “Lady Magdalene” on the piano.
    The newer tunes included songs from the album “Three Chord Opera.” The moody “I Haven’t Played This Song in Years,” the optimistic “I Believe in Happy Endings,” “You Are the Best Part of Me” and the celebratory “A Mission of Love” were among those songs.
    Of course, no Neil Diamond concert would have been complete without “Cracklin’ Rosie” and the spiritual revival of “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.”
    The band, joined by a string quartet and horn section, gave Diamond a solid podium of music from which Diamond preached his message of love to his grateful, devoted followers.

    ——————————————————————————–

    E-MAIL: scott@desnews.com

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  9. SALT LAKE TRIBUNE REVIEW
    Fri Nov 2 11:14:38 2001

    Diamond, Patriot and Composer, Captures E Center Crowd
    Friday, November 2, 2001

    With the American flag suspended over his head, singer Neil Diamond performs his patriotic hit, “Coming to America,” on Thursday night at the E Center in West Valley City. Diamond will perform again tonight.
    (Ryan Galbraith/The Salt Lake Tribune)
    BY DAN NAILEN
    THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

    Neil Diamond is such a consummate American songwriter, delving into virtually every American pop music genre during the past four decades, that it came as no surprise his sold-out Thursday concert at the E Center started in a patriotic fervor.
    As a massive American flag ascended from stage level to the rafters, Diamond’s 17-piece band took the stage. As the band launched into “America,” Diamond appeared at center stage and three more American flags unfurled from the lighting rigs overhead. He turned the song into a patriotic fist pumper, changing the “they come to America” line to “stand up for America.” There was even flag waving in the crowd.
    As Diamond said early on, “If it’s true that music can heal, then let the healing begin,” and he proceeded to deliver a set spanning both his career and American pop styles. His four-piece horn section was genuinely swinging during “Mission of Love,” and the horns punctuated his guitar on the 35-year-old “Solitary Man,” still one of Diamond’s best songs.
    “Cherry, Cherry” evoked Elvis with the hip-swinging Diamond working his acoustic guitar. A string quartet led into a power-ballad beginning to “Red, Red Wine,” before the song shifted into its natural reggae groove.
    Having witnessed both Diamond the Patriot and Diamond the Talented Composer early on, it was now time for Diamond the Loverman. During a slinky-as-ever version of “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” Diamond not only knelt to serenade a woman in the front row, he ended up completely lying down on stage, head propped up with one hand, blowing kisses to the arena.
    From that point on, he delivered on old songs and new. “I Believe,” from Diamond’s new “Three-Chord Opera” album, was the best new song. “Forever in Blue Jeans” was a massive singalong, as was “Sweet Caroline.” “Holly Holy” benefited greatly from the string section, before proving to be perhaps the most rocking song of the night.
    Throughout, Diamond’s excellent band beautifully captured some of the most recognizable compositions of the past half century.
    Diamond’s voice, while gruff at times, generally sounded as good as on his earliest recordings. And it remains a distinctly American voice as well.

    © Copyright 2001, The Salt Lake Tribune All material found on Utah OnLine is copyrighted The Salt Lake Tribune and associated news services. No material may be reproduced or reused without explicit permission from The Salt Lake Tribune.

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  10. SALT LAKE TRIBUNE REVIEW
    Fri Nov 2 11:14:38 2001

    Diamond, Patriot and Composer, Captures E Center Crowd
    Friday, November 2, 2001

    With the American flag suspended over his head, singer Neil Diamond performs his patriotic hit, “Coming to America,” on Thursday night at the E Center in West Valley City. Diamond will perform again tonight.
    (Ryan Galbraith/The Salt Lake Tribune)
    BY DAN NAILEN
    THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

    Neil Diamond is such a consummate American songwriter, delving into virtually every American pop music genre during the past four decades, that it came as no surprise his sold-out Thursday concert at the E Center started in a patriotic fervor.
    As a massive American flag ascended from stage level to the rafters, Diamond’s 17-piece band took the stage. As the band launched into “America,” Diamond appeared at center stage and three more American flags unfurled from the lighting rigs overhead. He turned the song into a patriotic fist pumper, changing the “they come to America” line to “stand up for America.” There was even flag waving in the crowd.
    As Diamond said early on, “If it’s true that music can heal, then let the healing begin,” and he proceeded to deliver a set spanning both his career and American pop styles. His four-piece horn section was genuinely swinging during “Mission of Love,” and the horns punctuated his guitar on the 35-year-old “Solitary Man,” still one of Diamond’s best songs.
    “Cherry, Cherry” evoked Elvis with the hip-swinging Diamond working his acoustic guitar. A string quartet led into a power-ballad beginning to “Red, Red Wine,” before the song shifted into its natural reggae groove.
    Having witnessed both Diamond the Patriot and Diamond the Talented Composer early on, it was now time for Diamond the Loverman. During a slinky-as-ever version of “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” Diamond not only knelt to serenade a woman in the front row, he ended up completely lying down on stage, head propped up with one hand, blowing kisses to the arena.
    From that point on, he delivered on old songs and new. “I Believe,” from Diamond’s new “Three-Chord Opera” album, was the best new song. “Forever in Blue Jeans” was a massive singalong, as was “Sweet Caroline.” “Holly Holy” benefited greatly from the string section, before proving to be perhaps the most rocking song of the night.
    Throughout, Diamond’s excellent band beautifully captured some of the most recognizable compositions of the past half century.
    Diamond’s voice, while gruff at times, generally sounded as good as on his earliest recordings. And it remains a distinctly American voice as well.

    © Copyright 2001, The Salt Lake Tribune All material found on Utah OnLine is copyrighted The Salt Lake Tribune and associated news services. No material may be reproduced or reused without explicit permission from The Salt Lake Tribune.

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  11. Groundhog in SLC
    Salt Lake City Rocks Again!
    Sat Nov 3 01:56:11 2001

    Well……Sherene and I, along with Sharon Herridge hung out at the hotel this afternoon, had an awesome lunch, and met Linda Press. Since security does not accept gifts anymore for Neil, when Sherene saw Linda and another lady head to the cafe, she told Sharon and myself when we returned from buying newspapers who just went by. I suggested we take our gifts and ask her to deliver to Neil. OMG….she is a beautiful lady. She said she had no idea that gifts were no longer accepted by security. She kind of intimated that she would turn in our items to the “front office”. Hope Neil got the gifts…..olympic pins for 2002.
    Bus call arrived finally at 4:15 PM, and we got several photos of each member as they headed to the bus. But alas, no Neil. He was wisked in another vehicle about 30 minutes before the buses were filled and took off. Each person came out to the bus separately. But we did see everyone except Neil. Then off to the E Center for dinner, and the show.
    You know how teams will read their reviews and then turn around and lose the next game big time to a lesser team….well, that is how the E Center felt tonight. We praised our Utah friends for the great enthusiasm. And tonight, the audience was not as motivated and charged up as last night’s 11,000+. People stood and clapped last night for about the first 7 songs, and tonight, they sat down and many never really got on their feet much. It was definitely a different crowd. But Neil and Company performed to perfection again!
    The rules state that no cameras are allowed in the arena. Security was checking for cameras and other no-nos, but we were able to get in the camera and film. But alas, row 7 was still too close as a security person saw Sherene using her camera and lens, and came and confiscated her film. But lucky for us, we still have last nights film on a separate roll, so we will see if any photos turn out good, and then post them on the board.
    The arena was basically sold out again. The sound system was tuned to perfection. The singer sang his songs. And I fell more in love with Neil than ever.
    The set list remained the same, and the exact same order. But no cigarette landed on the stage at the conclusion of GYBAWS….and this night the lady chosen actually enjoyed the song sung to her. There was another obnoxious lady on the front row who flipped her blond hair and was very annoying all night through the show. Neil pretty much avoided the left side where she was sitting. She also had film confiscated. So be careful if you attempt to take pictures….security is actually doing their job during the show and scanning the crowd.
    After 2 hours and 20 minutes, Neil concluded with Brother Love…..and we took off for the hotel, for the night bus call. Sherene and I arrived at the hotel, and joining us was Kurtis H. and his mother Paula. We stood outside the hotel and waited about 30 minutes….but the wait was worth it. A regular tour bus pulled up and band and partners departed. Then the doors did not close, and we stayed glued and low and behold, off comes Neil and Rachel. Neil starts to walk towards the front entrance, glances over and sees us standing next to the door entrance with Kurtis in his wheelchair, and he came over and told Kurtis he loved the shirt….the same blue sequened shirt like he wore in Jazz Singer when he sang America. Sherene and I just stood there, messmerized. Finally, Sherene asks Neil to please autograph Kurtis’s TCO insert. Then she also asked him to autograph a hat for his younger sister. I stood there and was 2 feet from Neil. Rachel stood to the backside, and was smiling and winking. Security was tight, and stood and watched us. Can you believe it was only the 4 of us at bus call…..I was hoping Kurtis would ask Neil if I could take his photo with Kurtis, but I think he was as messmerized as Sherene and I, and so no photo was taken. But just to stand there 2 feet and talk with our man is beyond words…..it totally made our 2 days worth every moment, and penny spent for our 2 concerts we attended. I have never dreamed I would ever be this close to my #1 man…..now I not only have sat on row 2 and watched a complete concert with Neil, but also have actually been within touching/kissing distance, but clamed up. I recall Eydie mentioning that Neil does not sign autographs unless he makes the move. Same with the photos. Had it been daylight, I would have had no problem, but with the flash, I felt self-conscious and did nothing. My life feels complete now. Wait until I return to work Monday…my friends said to have a great day off today and tell them all about meeting Neil and his band. I hope they will believe me, but I know we were finally rewarded with seeing Neil up close and personal. He was thinner than he looks on stage. He is so handsome! When he spoke his voice was slightly rough, which is expected after singing for over 2 hours.
    Our concerts are now concluded. I hope I do not have to wait another 2 years to see him again. If he does not tour internationally next spring and summer, but rather stays in the USA, I hope to travel to another show in the west. But I am so thankful to have spent a couple of quality days with good friends. And to have met Neil Diamond made the highlight of my TCO Tour in SLC.
    Thanks Neil, you have no idea how excited I was to meet you….I am just another fan, but you are much more than just a singer in a band…..you are the MAN!

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  12. my
    From The Balcony…SLC
    Sat Nov 3 23:05:01 2001

    originally posted on Sat Nov 3 21:59:22 2001

    This is a note to share some impressions of the SLC concerts Thurs & Fri night. Sharon H. & I decided to do the dinner pkg at the E-center, and we had good seats for both nights. However, Sharon managed to break both ankles and we had to get “handicapped” seating. We were assigned seats in section 104, at the top of the first level. We were directly to the side of the stage, and higher up than we wished, so we were prepared to be disappointed. It turned out to be much better than we expected. It WAS high and to the side, but we had some “perks.” The area was like a small balcony or deck. There were very few people seated there, we could move our chairs where we wanted, and we could get up and move around. No one blocked our view, and we could stand up without annoying anyone behind us. Now for the delightful moments.

    The first night, we had an excellent view of the entire stage, all the band members, and we could see down into the area where the platform came up out of the floor. Therefore, we saw Neil step onto the platform when it was still below the stage. Next to me was a middle-aged man who was accompanied by a woman in a wheel chair. He said that the only ND concert he had attended was 30 years ago, when his girlfriend of two years got up in the middle of the concert and walked out with another man. Broke his heart. When the concert activity got going we heard this very loud fog horn/ooooga sound…..and it was him! We said we were impressed, to say the least. He stood and danced throughout the entire concert. We had an excellent view of Neil & Linda during Flowers. Other than the lying down on the floor bit, trying to get the chubby girl to stand still and make nice during Girl…, what a great concert!

    Night two. We are back in the same “balcony.” A few more people showed up to join us and none, other than one young lady in a wheelchair, were disabled. One middle-aged couple who were obviously sloshed, danced during every slow song. Romantic, if boozy. A group of about 10 young men were seated right below us. They were noisy, but I think they were there mainly to see Linda. She was on our side of the stage, and when she turned and played to us, those guys were out of control. Lots of “howling at the moon” behavior from them. Can’t blame them. Linda looked great, and how DOES she dance non-stop in those heels for two hours?? One really special “balcony” moment occurred when Neil dedicated “….he’s my brother” to the US heros. Two policeman stepped in and joined us to watch that song. They appeared to be very moved by the dedication.

    All in all, an uplifting and fun experience.

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  13. Kurtis H.
    Meeting Neil in person…………..
    Sun Nov 4 21:34:11 2001

    Hi Everyone ….. Here is my review. My mother arranged for me to get to go to the second show and I sat in a different seat this time . So I was able to have a totally different view.I was able to see Neil dance more and him arising from the stage and also saw the piano come up . Even got to see him kiss the girl this time. I thought the band was awesome and Linda Press dances great and she is so beautiful and very nice. I saw her walking into the hotel and really wanted to meet her. I thought Neil shirts was awesome and the lights were outstanding. I was in section 203 in a balcony seat by myselt except for the West Vally cop. And mom and Sherene were in section 103 several rows below me and even though mom says she could barely see me she saw the shirt glimmer and shine brightly when I was clapping and dancing to the music even when the lights were not on it. Neils singing and music was terrific and he sang three of my most favorite songs one we sang several times. 🙂 Then at the begining of the last song we left and raced to the car to get to the hotel about 12 miles away. WE made it there and unloaded my chair and went accross the street to the hotel where he was at and waited for the bus. We waited for about 20 minutes maybe and the bus came and the band members unloaded THEN Neil and Rachel came walking out . He was headed towards the door and he did glance and smile but then Sherene put her arm around me and with the motion he walked over and said “Hey buddy I like your shirt do you get them made where I get mine made ” and I said I wished.He shook my right hand. ( That I’m trying hard not to use now )and then Sherene asked him if he wouldn’t mind autographing my TCO cd jacket cover he was holding a cap I got for my sister and was using it to write on and when he got done he started to walk off with my sisters cap and I or Sherene asked if he would mind autographing it also for my sister. And he said no problem my mother even thanked him since we were having such a hard time with pens.And again he said ” No problem don’t worry about it .It is my privilge ” VERY VERY cool…..an experience I will never forget. What an awesome man he is was kind and patient. Oh yeah !! And he shook my hand again so I’m making a plaster mold of this hand that has shaken hands with Neil Diamond…..Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers so that I was able to make it there it means very much to me and my mom…………Kurtis & Mom

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