Holly Holy Sweet Caroline (bomp, bomp, bomp), good times never seemed so good. (So good! So good!)
Geraghty and I (along with 12,000 other people) rocked out with Neil Diamond and his 14-piece band at the Sports Arena tonight. I have to say that after 40 years, the man's still got it. He sang and spoke for two hours straight.
In spite of one friend who was openly derisive of my choice to see Neil in concert (you know who you are), I'm thrilled I went. In short, Neil rocks and is one talented (and totally effing cool) mofo. He even has a MySpace account. But I digress ... I hope to see him again (and take my dad with me next time).
The mixed crowd reminded me of the audience at the 2004 Simon and Garfunkel show. There was roughly the same proportion of older folks (30%), middle-aged people (40%), and a 20- and 30-somethings (25%). There were also some teenagers (5%) seeing the show, presumably with their parents. All 12,000 of us clapped our hands and sang together, like we were at Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show. Neil actually scored major points with me during that song, when he busted out the preacher persona and changed the lyrics to include "gay and straight" in his sermon on tolerance.
He also impressed me by being self-deprecating and humorous about his career, saying that commercial success meant eating three square meals a day and writing sappy songs while he worked on "the songs that mattered." He paid homage to his New York City, born and raised roots throughout the night; but during one deliciously schmaltzy juncture, I said "he's not New York anymore" to Geraghty. She (still being very New York) agreed completely and said "he's lived on the West Coast for too long."
The surreal Neil moment: To my left, the old woman two seats away pumping her fist in the air and shouting we're coming to America while in front of me, four scantily-clad T&A twenty-something women shouted the same thing, thrusting their hips from side to side like so many bump, bump, bumping go-go dancers on speed. Behind me, a pack of Australians in their late thirties also belted out the lyrics. All this transpired while the video screens flashed black and white newsreel images of immigrants at Ellis Island. It was so odd that Geraghty commented that she hoped everyone in the crowd pumping their fists actually understood the meaning behind what they were singing along to ...
Play Me, Neil. You are the sun, I am the moon, you are the words, I am the tune.
For those of you who missed tonight's unforgettable show, Super Diamond's playing the Belly Up on January 14!