Neil Diamond has received many awards and honors in his 50 year career and to celebrate his five decades in music, Diamond kicked off a special anniversary tour on April 7 and ended with 2 nights at the Forum in Los Angeles on Aug. 10 and 12. Of his honors and awards, Diamond has sold over 130 million records worldwide, made the charts many times from 11 number 1 singles to 37 top 40 singles to 16 top 10 albums in the U.S. and globally, Diamond was also Musicares Person Of The Year in 2009, a Kennedy Center honoree (2011), a member of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame (1984), and was inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. To add to an incredible list of accolades, Diamond has set the record for the most performances at the Forum which in 35 years he has performed there a staggering 35 times. Diamond has been doing a series of shows in Los Angeles titled Hot Summer Nights for quite sometime so it was fitting to finish his historic tour here.
For this history making show on August 12th at the Forum, the concert was filmed for a future release. This near 2.5 hour show included a total of 28 songs. It had 2 years since Diamond played L.A. with the Hollywood Bowl being the most recent venue he played at. The show started with “In My Lifetime,” as Diamond came up an elevator in the back of stage then walked down to pick his guitar up. Diamond was moving around the stage song after song. With having so many hits, Diamond could only fit so many into the show. Of the songs performed there were many fan favorites including “Cherry, Cherry,” “Forever In Blue Jeans,” “Red Red Wine,” “I’m A Believer,” “Brooklyn Roads,” “Holly, Holy,” and a three song encore of “Sweet Caroline,” “Cracklin’ Rosie,” and “America.” If there’s one artist that everyone at any age group needs to see, it is Neil Diamond. For 50 years Diamond’s song have been all over the radio, film, TV and sporting events. Although the tour has finished for North America, Diamond resumes his 50th Anniversary Tour in Zurich Sept. 13th with dates continuing until Oct. 17 at O2 Arena in London.
Photos and text by Alex Kluft