Monday, July 28, 2008

Brother Neil's Traveling Old People Show

I just typed that title with Chris looking over my shoulder. As I giggled, I said to him, no one is going to understand that title but me. Certainly no one will find it as funny as I do. But he shrugged his shoulders, which I took to be the international sign for who cares if the world doesn't get you, be yourself! And where else can I be myself than here in my little corner of cyberspace, you know, the interweb. ;)

So on Saturday I took my mom to the United Center to see Neil Diamond. (You may have read here about my thoughts on Neil Diamond. I had conquered my fear and was ready to go.)

It was a pretty good show. Not as hokey as I thought it might be, but still hokey enough to make me feel a little out of place. (I like to think I'm not that hokey. You, the reader, are free to draw your own conclusions.) He did all the classics - I smuggled a little glimpse for you:

A few things did strike me:
  • First, when we walked into the arena, we were (or at least I was) overwhelmed by the smell of bad perfume and cologne, applied way too heavily. A friend of mine described it as the smell of mothballs. Pretty accurate. Were people trying too hard to impress Neil?
  • Second, Neil's backup band seemed (to the individual) to be chosen to make him (at 67) look as young as possible.
  • Third, after 40+ years on the road, it's difficult to look like you genuinely appreciate the applause you receive. Especially when it's the 50 millionth time you've sung these songs*.
  • Finally, can you really trust a man who wears a sparkly suit? I mean, where does he get his wardrobe?

All in all, my mom and I had a great time. I don't know
all of his music, but after being subjected to most of it for much of my childhood, I knew enough to be dangerous. There were certainly times during the show when I turned to my mom to ask - is this one of his new songs? only to have her say no. I guess she just subjected us to his greatest hits.

And the best part? Neil Diamond treated us with a rousing rendition of Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show for his final encore. And yes, it is still stuck in my head.

* Perhaps my views were tainted by
this article in the World's Greatest Newspaper?

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