Neil Diamond Concert Review - Munich 2008

Magnificent Diamond Mesmerises Munich
27 May 2008
The Olympiahalle, Munich. Germany;
On stage; 8.18pm
Off stage; 10.26pm
Concert time; 2hrs 08mnts.

by Ian Graham

Neil wore; Dark jacket with Black satin pattern on cuffs, Black with Black beads pattern on collar, cuffs & shoulders, Dark trousers with silver stitching down sides.
Neil Diamondís return to Germany began in triumph tonight as the great arena packed with avid fans who had waited 9 long years to say ďHello AgainĒ to the celebrated performer gave him a tumultuous welcome befitting one of the foremost singer-songwriters of recent generations.
Long before Neil hit the stage the excited anticipation of the fans was evident as they waited impatiently for the great man to appear. And when he made his entrance from the back of this impressive stage it was to a tidal wave of noise that came close to detaching the roof from the rest of the arena!
The opening lyrics to One more bite of the Apple were a clear statement of intent and when Neil followed up with the much more familiar Holly Holy the party was already kicking into top gear! Neil has always been very skilful in taking his fans down the musical pathways of his career and this carefully constructed set list highlighted many significant milestones to be visited along the way. Kicking into Street Life took us instantly back to 1976.
Then there was a slight change of plan! There were some minor sound problems with what Neil described to the audience as his ďbutt packĒ and Neil explained he could not hear through his earpieces. Such problems are temporary, class however is permanent, and Neil, the consummate professional told the audience that they would still get a show that night and he said he could sing Sweet Caroline while the running repairs were affected to his power pack by the ever reliable and multi-talented Greg ďChicoĒ Lopez. The audience simply loved Neilís honesty and professionalism and they loved joining in on the song. At the end Neil told the audience he could not hear the song through his earpiece but he heard the audience and that they were great. He then said that he thought he should do Sweet Caroline again, and he did. The last chorus however Neil conducted and urged the audience to sing solo! Fantastic stuff and a lesson in how to overcome difficulties from a great professional!
Neil then talked about how he had performed in Munich many times before and praised the City for its beauty and the warmth of the people before he went on to talk about New York City and this led into Beautiful Noise that underlined the quality of writing on that great album. The wistful Lady Oh struck a chord with many in this vast arena while the stunning If you know what I mean was awe-inspiring.
Time for some rock & roll and Neil asked the audience were we ready, the response was emphatically yes, he then asked the band the same question, and also got a vigorous yes! Cherry Cherry rang a reminder bell to Neilís early creative years while at the same time showcasing the remarkable talents of this fabulous band of musicians he is so proud to call his friends. Neil discarded his jacket as the band went through their paces. Thank the Lord for the Nighttime in an invigorating new style served to emphasise that wonderful period as well as keeping us all on our feet!
The much cherished Hello Again and Love on the Rocks had many reliving Neilís Jazz Singer debut, can it really be nearly 3 decades since we all flocked to the cinema to see the movie?
Neil is rightly proud of his new album and we are all so happy it has given him the #1 slot in the USA & UK as well as top 10 chartings around the world. The beautiful title track Home Before Dark, the up-tempo cautionary tale Donít Go There, and the wonderful Pretty Amazing Grace, surely one of Neilís finest singles for some considerable time, emphasized that Neilís creativity is far from spent and the reaction of the knowledgeable audience to the trilogy of songs reinforced that fact. All three songs were again performed on Neilís fantastic ďslide showĒ moving island.
The very mention of The Greek Theatre and the iconic Hot August Night album always seizes the attention of the loyal legions and the superb 1-2 of Crunchy Granola Suite and Done too soon were rapturously welcomed!
The superb autobiographical trilogy followed with the superb Brooklyn Roads and the wonderful video footage followed by the anthem I Am.. I Said.. predictably sending the crowd into raptures, and the classy Solitary Man equally well received.
Iím a Believer had many sections up and dancing once more and then the wonderful 3-part You donít bring me Flowers at the end of which Neil said that though he had never given Linda Press any flowers he thought it was better fun to sing the song with her. Linda as always was superb and the crowd showed their great appreciation accordingly.
Song Sung Blue was again performed with Linda at front stage with Neil, and Maxine & Julia did their usual fantastic support on the sing-along favourite. All three girls wore fetching outfits of Black sparkling tops and pedal pushers.
Man of God was classy yet again while the hugely impressive Hell Yeah continues to grow in stature and deserved the standing ovation that followed.
As Neil did his first walk off the applause was deafening. When he reappeared he was wearing a great maroon shirt with darker maroon patterns across the back of the shoulders, collar and cuffs. He went straight into Crackliní Rosie that had simply everyone up and dancing, before closing out another top-drawer performance with the peerless Brother Loveís Travelling Salvation Show.
Neil left out Forever in Blue Jeans tonight, but bear in mind he had already done back-to-back renditions of Sweet Caroline very early in the show.
My apologies for another late posting, there were difficulties on the Underground (Subway/Metro) system leaving the Olympic Park and again in the centre of Munich which made us late back to our hotel. We have another early morning departure for Antwerp tomorrow but all being well will post a review of Neilís maiden show in Belgium, and if he keeps this superb performance level up then everyone is in for another fantastic show!
Another superb shirt worn by King tonight too!
Tonightís playlist;
#1;One more bite of the Apple/Holly Holy; #2; Street Life; #3; Sweet Caroline; 4; Sweet Caroline (final chorus by the audience conducted and encouraged by Neil!) #5; Beautiful Noise; #6; Lady Oh; #7; If you know what I mean; #8; Cherry Cherry (part band intro/instrumental); #9; Thank the Lord for the Nighttime; #10 Hello Again; #11; Love on the Rocks; #12; Home Before Dark; #13; Donít go there; #14 Pretty Amazing Grace; #15; Crunchy Granola Suite; #16 Done too soon; #17; Brooklyn Roads; #18; I Am.. I Said..; #19; Solitary Man; #20; Iím a Believer; #21; You donít bring me Flowers; #22 Song Sung Blue; #23; Man of God; #24; Hell Yeah; WALK-OFF; #25; Crackliní Rosie #26 BROTHER LOVEíS TRAVELLING SALVATION SHOW;         Final walk-off Band Walk-off


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