Dayton, Ohio - EJ Nutter Center

Nov 17, 2001

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  1. Linda Holloway
    Fri Nov 23 16:42:21 2001

    I believe in happy endings too! I am still so filled with the warmth and fun of the evening at Ervin J. Nutter Center, Nov. 17, 2001. I am still full of wonder at the love and passion for his music and his fans that Neil projects! He is the only entertainer that I have ever wanted to see in concert. I’ve been lucky enough to see him at least 6 to 8 times in Dayton or Cincinnati. The first time was in 1970 at Hara Arena when a lady folk singer opened the show for him. Can’t remember her name anymore. I lost a lot of memoribilia when our attic leaked years ago. God Bless Neil Diamond for helping America heal from all of the loss of loved ones and friends due to the recent tragedy in NY!


    Sun Nov 18 23:45:32 2001

    Sparkling Diamond uplifting
    By Dale Huffman
    e-mail address:
    Dayton Daily News

    With everything we all have been forced to deal with since Sept. 11, a good number of Miami Valley folks were made to feel better Saturday night with more than two hours of a soothing, spiritual and healing diversion.

    Neil Diamond delivered the goods.

    “I hear that music has the power to heal,” he told the cheering crowd at the E.J. Nutter Center. “If that’s so, let the healing begin.”

    With a killer schedule and so many obligations, I simply don’t have the luxury of getting out to concerts very often.

    I almost turned him down when my friend Bob Phillips, chief photographer for Channel 2 News, called a few weeks ago and invited me to attend the Diamond concert with him, his wife, Carol, and their daughter, Sharon.

    Bob had a serious scare in the past year and fought his way back after an aneurysm put him in the hospital.

    “With all the things happening in our lives, it”s important to live for each moment,” he said. “None of us have been to a concert in years. Let’s live. Let’s do it. Let’s just go.”

    So I accepted. There were the usual traffic jams at Nutter and the lines were long, but it was one of the neatest gifts I have been blessed to receive in a long, long time.

    It was a soaring, free-spirited experience that took off the minute the swell of the horns and strings in the orchestra signaled the start of America. As Diamond’s silhouette appeared and he raised his voice in song, it brought the audience to shouts and to its feet.

    In fact, it was a night of standing ovations and singing along.

    Wearing black slacks and his trademark glass-beaded, billowing white shirt, Diamond worked the crowd, with his arms, his voice and his melodies. At age 60, he made it clear he still loves what he does and he still has power, depth, tone and pitch to do the job well.

    “I love you, Dayton,” he called out. “All 11,462 of us celebrate together. Thanks for being here. We are all survivors.”

    It was a solo show, with no intermission, lots of light effects but few theatrics. It was simplicity, with Diamond mixing in the favorites his fans came to hear along with a few additions from his newest album, Three Chord Opera.

    When he introduced the song I Believe in Happy Endings, I looked around and the women near me were wiping tears from their eyes.

    But soon the show took on the air of a revival again with the energy and warmth overflowing as concertgoers jumped to their feet to dance and sing along to Cracklin Rose, Holy Holy and then Sweet Caroline, with the haunting words, “good times never seemed so good.”

    He spoke of the heroes in New York, the uncertain times we face and the need to go on. And he dedicated He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother to firefighters and police officers.

    After the encores, as we got ready to leave, I got some instant reviews from those seated near us.

    One word reactions from three friends who sat behind us. “Awesome,” said Wanda Whitley. Jeannie Weidlich of Centerville called the concert “super,” and Lynn Gilbert of Beavercreek said it was “spiritual.”

    And next to me were Judy and Ron Kress of Centerville, who have been married 44 years. Their seats cost $70 each and they bought the tickets as a Christmas gift to each other.

    It was the first concert they have attended together.

    Her eyes sparkling, her face aglow with a smile, Judy said, “What a night. It just makes you feel so good.”

    It certainly did that.

    Thanks, Bob and Carol, for dragging these weary bones out of the house. Music still heals and touches the soul and the experience felt just right at this particular moment.

    • Dale Huffman wants your ideas. He’d like to hear your touching or funny stories from the home or the office, a chuckle or entertaining comment from your child or student, an emotional moment you shared, tales about good Samaritans or a special day coming up in your life. Send an e-mail to Dale at or write to him at 45 S. Ludlow St., Dayton, OH 45402. Fax: 225-2489. Phone: 225-2272.

    [From the Dayton Daily News: 11.19.2001]



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