Neil Diamond | 04.12.17

His songs were meant for his baritone vocal and, like short stories, they took the crowd to another place and time.

Scottrade Center, St. Louis

After 50 years in the music business, the phenom known as Neil Diamond brought a hit-filled spectacular to Scottrade Center. Celebrating that half century of songs, Diamond filled the arena with heartfelt favorites. With his hits spanning five decades, the audience was treated to just about every tune they had come to hear. For some, this show came as part of a pilgrimage; for others, longtime Diamond devotees had previously seen him many times.

Opening the show with “Cherry, Cherry,” he got the mood going from the first note. Though time has aged the singer, his voice is still haunting. At age 76, he can still play a mean guitar. His songs were meant for his baritone vocal and, like short stories, they took the crowd to another place and time. His ability to hold a crowd is compelling, a gift he has had since the beginning of his career.

With as many hits songs as Diamond has enjoyed, it must be tough to create a set list to encompass every tune an audience wants to hear. Even still, he did great job of selecting just the right tunes, including “September Morn,” “Love on the Rocks,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” and “I Am, I Said.” With a large, diamond-shaped screen unfolding behind him, even fans who behind the stage got a great show.

The audience swooned to the tunes, each song delivered with precision and passion. Backed by an 11-piece band, including two fantastic female backup singers, Diamond made it a night to remember. It was as if he was not on tour, but just playing for us—a very intimate feeling and quite a feat, considering he was surrounded by 14,000 fans. More hits like “Longfellow Serenade,” “Play Me,” and “I’m a Believer”—a song he wrote, although it was made popular by The Monkees.

What an incredible show: stunning, on point, and filled with hits, just the way I like my classic artists. Fifty years into it and Neil is still a diamond in the rough. | Marc Farr

Photo by Joseph Johnson; view full photo album here

Neil Diamond’s tour continues into August. Tickets are available on the artist’s website.

04.14 | CenturyLink Center, Omaha
04.16 | Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City
04.19 | Bridgestone Arena, Nashville
04.21 | KFC Yum! Center, Louisville
04.23 | Amalie Arena, Tampa
04.26 | BB&T Center, Sunrise FL
04.28 | Spectrum Center, Charlotte
04.30 | Philips Arena, Atlanta
05.02 | Smoothie King Center, New Orleans
05.21 | Wells Fargo Arena, Des Moines
05.24 | Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul
05.26 | Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
05.28 | United Center, Chicago
05.30 | Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland
06.02 | The Palace, Auburn Hills MI
06.04 | Blue Cross Arena, Rochester NY
06.07 | Air Canada Centre, Toronto
06.09 | Royal Farms Arena, Baltimore
06.11 | Mohegan Arena, Uncasville CT
06.15 | Madison Square Garden Arena, New York
06.17 | Madison Square Garden Arena, New York
06.20 | Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
06.22 | Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel NY
07.14 | Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita
07.16 | Toyota Center, Houston
07.18 | American Airlines Center, Dallas
07.21 | Pepsi Center, Denver
07.24 | Rogers Arena, Vancouver BC
07.26 | KeyArena at Seattle Center, Seattle
07.28 | Moda Center, Portland
07.30 | SAP Center at San Jose
08.02 | Golden 1 Center, Sacramento
08.04 | Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix
08.08 | Valley View Casino Center, San Diego
08.10 | Forum, Inglewood CA
08.12 | Forum, Inglewood CA

About Marc Farr 238 Articles
Marc Farr is the Live Music & Assignments Editor of PLAYBACK:stl. He's so invaluable to us, we've nicknamed him Mr. Music. Reach out if you have coverage ideas! "I know it's only rock and roll...but I like it!"
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