Neil Diamond Gives a Sweet Performance

Mandalay Bay Events Center, May 17

Neil Diamond_055 copyAs a little girl I was obsessed with records. We had a fancy player tucked in a gold-flocked wood cabinet—a common piece of household décor in the late ’70s. My record selections at that time were limited to what my parents liked. Mom loved Willie Nelson, and dad loved Neil Diamond. As a result I definitely consider myself a Diamond fan.

And judging from the packed crowd, there are a lot of us in the club. All ages, demographics, races and genders came together to celebrate one of the top-selling contemporary artists of all time. The show was a mix of hits and new music, all of which were belted in the trademark smooth-as-velvet Diamond style. At 74, the man’s voice is pristine, and his orchestration—courtesy of horn, string and percussion sections—was on point.

He kicked off his show with “I’m a Believer,” then headed into classics such as “Hello Again,” “Kentucky Woman,” “Red, Red Wine” plus a few great new songs from the Melody Road album. The encore, of course, was where he planted “Coming to America,” “Heartlight” and the song that makes everyone want to sing along, “Sweet Caroline.” ★★★★✩

Photos by Glenn Brogan

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