Dallas, Texas - American Airlines Center

Nov 25, 2001

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  1. P.J.
    What a Night!!!!
    Mon Nov 26 03:21:33 2001

    It was truly the BEST concert I have been to (not just of Neil’s, but of everyone)! The show started late (8:30) and ended at 10:40. It was such an awesome sight when the lights came on during the beginning of America and there stood Neil, center stage. He had risen out of the floor in the dark. He wore all black (yum).

    The set list was the same with Play Me. Before doing Play Me he said he was going to get a little sentimental and if he started to weep, he hoped someone would have a hanky, not panties. He then pointed to a woman a couple of rows back and said “she’s looking in her purse”. She threw a package of hankerchiefs (I thought at first they were panties). He held the package and said “how do you open these?”, tried one way and said “No, that’s not it” and then was able to open them, took one out and tossed the rest back to the woman and said “I’ll let you keep the rest”. When he unfolded the one he said “They don’t make hankies as big as they used to”. He also looked to the other side of the stage and acknowledged someone holding a white flag, saying “if I sweat enough, I’ll come get it”. Shortly after that, he walked to that side and took it, kissed it, wiped his forehead and handed it back to her.

    The tribute to Vince was wonderful as was the one to the firefighters, police and military. I also loved the piano segment! The string section and horn section were a great addition.

    At one point, he went to the right side (his left) and said he thought this section was being the loudest. Then proceeded to the next section which yelled and clapped for which he said they came in a close second. When he made it to the other side of the stage, that section was very LOUD. From that point on he turned to that section after several of his songs, receiving tremendous applause and screaming.

    Neil rising on the platform during BLTSS, spotlight glaring behind him was truly a sight to behold.

    The audience was great! Standing on many songs, clapping until hands hurt and for a moment I thought they were actually going to bring him back for a second encore! But the lights were turned on and everyone took the hint.

    I know I am leaving out a lot, but I am still on a “Neil High” and really need to go to bed (luckily, I took a vacation day tomorrow and can sleep late and dream happy Neil Dreams).

    Way to go Neil…hope to see you in Vegas, Austin and Houston!!!


    Mon Nov 26 08:34:45 2001

    Monday, November 26, 2001


    Superb Diamond sparkles, unites audience

    Star-Telegram Staff Writer

    DALLAS – One part Vegas extravaganza, one part career-spanning retrospective, Neil Diamond’s sold-out concert last night at the American Airlines Center drew an across-the-board audience that, in a way, reflects the “united we stand” attitude that has engulfed the country since the Sept. 11 attacks. DALLAS – One part Vegas extravaganza, one part career-spanning retrospective, Neil Diamond’s sold-out concert last night at the American Airlines Center drew an across-the-board audience that, in a way, reflects the “united we stand” attitude that has engulfed the country since the Sept. 11 attacks.

    What I saw last night was something I rarely see at concerts: a bond between audience and performer that cuts across race, age and sex. Next to me was an elderly couple who said they have seen Diamond 48 times. Behind them were two twentysomething girls who would not calm down. And scattered throughout the arena were people of different races and ages, all singing along, all smiling, all dancing.

    It was appropriate, then, that Diamond opened with one of his trademark anthems, America. American flags dropped from the ceiling; red, white and blue lights danced through the arena; and Diamond chanted a rewritten chorus: “Stand up for America.”

    Undoubtedly, his fans walked away happy last night. Dressed in black – with sparkles peppered on his shirt, of course – Diamond sounded and looked excellent, performing like a man whom time doesn’t pick on. Backing him was a 17-piece band that included wind and horn sections, ensuring that every note from every song was perfectly reproduced.

    Diamond has a new record, Three Chord Opera, but he played only a handful of new tracks, such as the upbeat A Mission of Love.

    Instead, he spent most of the show delivering songs from his massive repertoire of hits. There was Solitary Man, on which he played acoustic guitar. Red Red Wine started as a languid ballad, then revved into reggae. And I’m a Believer and Cherry Cherry covered the big-singalong moment.

    Ballads remain his strength, however, as he proved on a gorgeous Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon and Play Me, the latter of which Diamond prefaced by pacing the stage, asking the crowd for a handkerchief. Everyone immediately started digging for one. United we stand, indeed.

    Malcolm Mayhew, (817) 390-7713 mmayhew@star-telegram.com


    Mon Nov 26 07:18:08 2001

    Monday | November 26, 2001

    Review: Songs sung red, white, and blue
    Neil Diamond wins with a landslide of familiar hits at AAC


    By MARIO TARRADELL / The Dallas Morning News

    Neil Diamond poured on the patriotism during the opening of his nearly sold-out show Sunday night at American Airlines Center. Just before he took the stage, a large American flag draped most of the platform. Then, he launched into a rousing rendition of 1980’s “America.”

    It was a sure-fire start. The crowd was up, clapping, singing. The 17-piece band was on the beat. Mr. Diamond was in strong voice. The spotlights swirled around the venue. It felt like a packed political rally with a singer instead of a speaker.

    In many ways, Mr. Diamond is a politician in the best sense of the word. For the last 36 years he’s been making music for the people. His songs are hearty, melodically and lyrically. With only one listen, they tend to fill you up, make you feel alive. And he delivers his material with plenty of old-school verve. When he’s on that stage, he commands attention.

    Today, with his hair a little thinner and his midsection a tad wider, Mr. Diamond still performs with the same enthusiasm he displayed decades ago. Simply put, he’s a showman. But instead of resorting to cheesy gestures and melodramatic tactics, he just lets his music create the mood.

    And man, what a repertoire. How can you argue with pop classics such as “If You Know What I Mean,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “I’m a Believer,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Solitary Man,” and “Cherry, Cherry”? He sang them all. Mr. Diamond’s voice may be a bit raspier these days – he has lost some of the smoothness to his baritone – but it’s no less powerful.

    During select cuts from his new album, Three Chord Opera, Mr. Diamond was quite affecting indeed. “I Haven’t Played This Song in Years,” which featured three violinists and a cellist playing center stage, was beautiful. The song has a quiet yet majestic mood that works well with the singer- songwriter’s robust timbre.

    Mr. Diamond recalled the events of Sept. 11 during his introduction for “I Believe in Happy Endings.” “It’s so important to maintain a sense of optimism,” he said, then crooned the heavily orchestrated tune. The song was an enveloping experience, perhaps heavy-handed at times, but it came off genuine.

    And yet, clearly the show- stoppers were the recognizable benchmarks of his career. “Forever in Blue Jeans” remained a feel-good anthem. “Sweet Caroline” still sports a killer sing-along chorus. In fact, Mr. Diamond plunged back into the song after he first finished it, egging the audience to sing with him the second time.

    So cool. Yes, that word still fits this Brooklyn, New York, native. His songs have been covered by diverse artists such as a reggae group (UB40’s version of “Red Red Wine”), an alt-pop band (Smash Mouth’s take on “I’m a Believer”), and a moody rock ensemble (Urge Overkill’s rendition of “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon”). He’s left his mark on the grand pantheon of popular music.



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