Neil Diamond brought the lightning on Saturday night in the Swan Valley
Andy Warhol once said “in the future everybody will be famous for 15 minutes”
Now in a world where fame can be instant via YouTube and people can become famous for constantly being in our faces without any discernible talent (Kardashians anybody?) it is so refreshing to be in the presence of an artiste who has stood the test of time for, dare I say, genuine talent, charisma and longevity; for the right reasons.
Enter Mr Neil Diamond who has made a welcome return to Perth.
The threat of storms delayed his show at Sandalford Winery in the Swan Valley by just over 30 minutes on a hot Saturday night, “thank you for sticking around, I myself would have left” and although the storms passed with nary a drop, the night was indeed electric.
Diamond entered to rapturous applause from the crowd that packed the amphitheatre, and took us firstly way back to 1966 and his first major song writing success, a song that was originally a hit for The Monkees, the evergreen I’m a Believer.
From there it was a journey with a heavy leaning on the 70’s. Desiree, If You Know What I Mean, Beautiful Noise, Forever In Blue Jeans started a kick in the setlist and got the people dancing, and for me one of the biggest highlights of the night was Diamond sitting on the stage with childhood memories projected on the screens to Brooklyn Roads. Utterly sublime!
But of course Neil Diamond cannot escape one of the greatest albums of our time, Hot August Night.
Aided by a some equally adept musicians and 2 dynamite backup singers the still night air pounded with Crunchy Granola Suite, I would have liked the Good Lord! To have been bigger but that would be nitpicking, Holly Holy, and of course, Sweet Caroline.
Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show seemed a fitting end to the encores as for many Diamond could indeed raise the dead and walk across the pond at Sandalford Winery. They lapped it up and begged for more.
Alas, when Diamond disappeared back through the door from whence he came nearly 2 hours before I had the feeling it could well be the last time we see him on a major tour of Australia.
At 74 “I love it when women scream my name, it makes me feel like I’m 70 again” the body may be a touch slower, but when that voice drops to a delicious tenor you can see why Neil Diamond is considered one of the all time greats.
THAT is why he is famous.
Thank you Sandalford Winery