St. Louis, Missouri - Savvis Center

Nov 12, 2001

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  1. Tanya
    Passing Neil off to Milwaukee
    Tue Nov 13 09:27:52 2001

    So Good, So Good, So Good!!!

    We started the evening with dinner at the Hard Rock Café in Union Station. Approaching the restaurant, we heard UB40’s version of Red, Red, Wine playing; a very nice way to start the evening. I was hoping to hear some more Neil during dinner, but they didn’t play any. Somebody dropped the ball on this, as most of the patrons in the restaurant were attending the concert. I saw many of them at the arena later.

    Savvis Center was packed. My seat was 4 rows up from the stage toward the back of the arena. The good news was that I was on the end and had my own little dance platform with nobody behind me to complain. Was a good thing too, as I was up dancing most of the time. At the beginning, I was practically the only one standing up. Now I know why others have complained about the mellow nature of some of the audiences. I also sensed Neil’s frustration, as I recognized how he feeds off the audience. At “Stand Up For America” everyone stood and I felt the energy start to build. Back to the seats and a subdued crowd was again listening. As Cherry, Cherry rolled around, I refused to sit down any longer and was up moving, clapping and singing. Now, I should add that I respect that many people don’t enjoy being up and dancing. They want to sit back and enjoy the music. My complaint was with the many people who didn’t even bother to clap at the end of a song. Neil spun his magic though and “Sweet Caroline” was a big hit. The three refrains didn’t seem to bother anyone in the audience and everyone joined in all three times. Neil had to beg them to sit down with the words “that used to be my favorite song.” Was very funny.

    Neil resonating voice really impressed me. I’ve seen other concerts at Savvis, including Neil in 1998. The sound was mediocre every time and I always blamed the design of the arena. Last night was perfect! I thought the music could have been louder, and at one point, it seemed they tried to turn it up, but the instruments were distorted and it soon was turned back down. The vocals sounded awesome throughout though. Even though Neil’s voice sounded a bit scratched when he talked toward the end of the night, it never once showed through while he was singing. He sounded wonderful!!

    I cried during Captain Sunshine. Neil’s words and thoughts about Vince were so touching. Watching Neil sitting at that piano, playing Lady Magdalene also brought me to tears. He played wonderfully and I truly felt this part of the performance was a gift to his fans. Thank you Neil! “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” brought Neil a standing ovation. The crowd was very touched by the dedication. I screamed for King during Star Flight; he was so energized and the energy increased. The entire band was having a great time and the enthusiasm was bound to spread.

    My husband had the binoculars during “Girl.” He picked a girl from his right. She had brown curly hair, but I couldn’t see much. The audience really enjoyed his serenade though and laughed hysterically when he laid back on the stage and said, “whew.”

    I could go on and on. So many great memories from last night are mine to enjoy forever. I cherish each and every one. Milwaukee, you are in for a wonderful night. Enjoy every minute cause the magic ends before you know it.

    Thank you Neil for last night!

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  2. ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH REVIEW
    Tue Nov 13 14:34:21 2001

    in entertainment

    Neil Diamond
    By Dawn Fallik
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    11/13/2001 06:49 AM

    Neil Diamond
    Neil Diamond is the comfort food of music.

    Warm and filling, soft and soothing, nothing too spicy or surprising, Monday night’s concert at the Savvis Center provided the full house with a few hours of calm in an anxious world.

    From the gravel-voiced demands of “Holly Holy” to the wistful “I Am…I Said,” Diamond’s voice stood strong, backed by a 17-piece band, including a four-string female quartet and a four-part male brass ensemble.

    Looking for fancy footwork, costume changes or expensive props? Not here. A little hip swivel, one sparkly wine-colored shirt, an American flag – Diamond’s simple gestures did not overshadow the songs nor overwhelm the singer.

    Despite the two-hour show (and no opening act), Diamond charges far less than other, newer bands on tour; his top price was $60, less than half of what U2 charges for a premium seat. One possible drawback to that lower ticket price was the lack of a video screen, which helps those in the back seats get a better view.

    The concert songlist was a little shorter in St. Louis than in other cities and excluded “September Morn” and “Love On The Rocks.” But Diamond made up for the deletion with a three-time reprise of “Sweet Caroline” and a flirtatious version of “Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon.”

    First kneeling, then sprawling across a corner platform, Diamond beckoned to an audience member, who was far from girl-age but blushed and tittered grandly at a touch of the singer’s hand, to the great enjoyment of both singer and audience. Done with a little humor, the 61-year-old rose above the song’s potential creepiness of an older man telling a girl that “soon, she’ll need a man.” The kiss at the end was the only over-the-top moment in the entire show.

    In addition to the standard hits, Diamond offered a few gems for the hard-core fans. One self-described die-hard fan, Bev Lawrence of Alton, called in advance to: a) make sure I was well-versed in Diamond’s songs, b) make sure I would stay for the entire concert, including encores and c) tell me that Diamond singing “Yes, I Will,” and “Lady Magdalene” was a “very big deal, because it’s first time he’s ever done those in concert.”

    Diamond admirably performed both songs on piano, but they lacked the punch of other songs, including “You Are the Best Part of Me,” off his latest album. Many of the New Yorker’s song lyrics resounded poignantly in the wake of the attacks and none more so than his first and last song, “America.”

    A patriotic portrait of immigrants, Diamond had the audience up on its feet with a Moses-like wave of his hand, leaving the crowd with full hearts and a satiated appetite.

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