WHAT a show! Thousands of music lovers were left with a song in their hearts as the legendary showman Neil showed that he really is a Diamond geezer in Ipswich last night.
NEIL DIAMOND at Portman Road, Ipswich, last night.
WHAT a show!
Thousands of music lovers were left with a song in their hearts as the legendary showman Neil showed that he really is a Diamond geezer in Ipswich last night.
He might be a genuine showbiz veteran, but the American superstar showed that he still has what it takes to put on a show to delight his fans.
And 18,000 of them turned up to enjoy him performing songs that have provided a soundtrack for generations.
As the complex stage unfolded before our eyes to reveal his band and backing singers, Neil appeared to belt out the first of his library of hits with Desiree an early favourite for the crowd.
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But the concert really took off when the crowd heard the first notes of one of Neil's biggest ever hits, Beautiful Noise.
And this really was an appropriate title as the sweet sounds filled the stadium. It was soon followed by another of his standards, Sweet Caroline.
Neil cranked up the performance with superb versions of classics like You Don't Bring me Flowers – no Barbra Streisand but his backing singer did a fine job – and I'm a Believer which was originally made famous by the Monkees.
Back in the late 1960s Neil followed the lead of many of his contemporaries and produced a concept album – based on Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
A lengthy excerpt from this album was really appreciated by the fans who were delighted that Neil was able to show that there's more to him than catchy pop tunes.
Throughout the concert Neil talked to the fans and built up a tremendous rapport with the enthusiastic crowd.
As the concert neared its climax we were treated to great versions of some of his greatest hits including I am . . . I said, and Red, Red Wine – which showed a bit of the UB40 influence and even had Neil showing his skills as a rapper!
There was a half-hearted attempt to leave the stage – the camera remained trained on him so we could see him waiting to return and we all knew that there were several more songs to come.
Neil returned with Cracklin' Rose which really did help to send the crowd home happy.
There was only one mystery at the end – no Song Sung Blue. Oh well, we could all sing it to ourselves on the way home.
By bringing a genuine superstar like Neil Diamond to Ipswich, the football club has done the whole area a great favour.
It was a night to remember – and one that will long live in the memory of everyone there.