Frost Williams from VISIT Milwaukee went to last night's Neil Diamond concert at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Here are five observations from the show, in his words, and a full list set.
1.Nostalgic or not, Neil Diamond is pure Americana (no pun intended). From his songs about growing up in New York with "Brooklyn Roads" to the anthem "America," there are very few singer/songwriters that stand up to his discography. Even without "Kentucky Woman," "Longfellow Serenade," "Hello again" and "Shilo" on Thursday night, the 25 songs performed in the hour and 50 minute set were very memorable.
2. Neil is a crowd pleaser. He released a new album in 2014 "Melody Road" that certainly spurred this tour. And, he performed three songs from this album, "Nothing but a Heartache," "In Better Days" and "The Art of Love." Each of them were enjoyable, but certainly not as known as his long songbook of hits that he performed. The list, of course, included the highly singable "Heartlight" and "Sweet Caroline."
3. He's truly generational. It was not a "Hot, August Night" like three of his live recordings have documented, but more a dreary, rainy spring night in Milwaukee. With that said, a large audience certainly came out for Neil. He kept thanking Wisconsin, not just Milwaukee as last night's crowd came from all over the region. The BMO Harris Bradley Center was over 90 percent full (by my eye) and with an average age of 45+, dare I say 50. Looking around my immediate area in the lower bowl, it was magical to see an older generation singing, smiling and dancing with a performer that has endeared himself to so many in all generations. It is wonderful to know that he very well could next perform in a new Arena in three years.
4. He's a pop culture icon for decades. He truly peaked in the 70s as a solo artist but his hits from "I’m a Believer" to "Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon" have spanned some 50 years of pop culture lexicon. Neil Diamond also has been covered by so m…