Neil Diamond Newcastle Arena 2005

Neil Diamond Newcastle Arena 2005
If you’d asked me in 1975 if I would go and see Neil Diamond, I would have said that I would pass. Its strange how my taste has changed over the years. Sure I always liked Sweet Caroline and Crackin’ Rosie, but I had Neil Diamond parked in a box marked “uncool”. Yet over time, I have come to realise just how “cool” and legendary this guy is. The guy has written so many classic songs; songs which I grew up. When I was a kid my parents bought me a guitar music book with all the Monkees’ hits in it. I spent ages learning the chords to I’m a Believer, and A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You on my cheap acoustic guitar. I didn’t know at the time that Neil Diamond had written those songs. I picked up on Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon late on, probably through its inclusion in Pulp Fiction. It took me some time to realise that Neil Diamond had also written that song. So by 2005, I had put all prejudices aside, and felt it was time I experienced a Neil Diamond concert. I originally bought tickets to see him at a massive open air concert in Hull football ground, but when he announced a show in Newcastle, I sold the tickets for Hull, and bought tickets for this, much more local, show. Marie was originally going to come along with me, but cried off, and my mate Will kindly agreed to come along and join me in this Diamond experience. As expected Neil Diamond in concert was just great. The total professional, the guy commanded the massive sold-out arena crowd from the word go. The set was long, but never flagged, and hit the right balance between rock and middle of the road. I challenge anyone to go along to a Neil Diamond concert and not enjoy it. The guy has so many hits. We had great seats in the front row of a front side block, and a top view of Neil. I was a little disappointed that he didn’t sing Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon, but heyho, you can’t have everything. A good night was had by all. Setlist: Crunchy Granola Suite; Desiree; Remember Me; Beautiful Noise; Cherry, Cherry; You Got To Me; Play Me; Love on the Rocks; America; Forever in Blue Jeans; You Don’t Bring Me Flowers; September Morn; Signs; Be; Lonely Looking Sky; Skybird; Holly Holy; Sweet Caroline; I’m a Believer; Glory Road; And the Grass Won’t Pay No Mind; Look Out Here Comes Tomorrow; Shilo; Red Red Wine; Soolaimon; I Am … I Said. Encore: Cracklin’ Rosie; Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show; I’ve Been This Way Before.

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