Neil's March 2005 DownUnder tour

 

I've been so anxiously waiting for March 22nd to see my first Neil concert for almost 6 years that I haven't been keeping up with updates on my page...  But the I Am...I Said board and our Crunchy Granola site have been kept pretty much up to date, so I hope you've all been keeping an eye on them for what's going on in Neil land!!

 

 

January 24th 2005

 

Happy 64th birthday Neil!!!!

Hope you have a fabulous day and
a really great year to follow....

We're all so looking forward to seeing you in March!!!

Did any of us really think back when the Beatles recorded 'When I'm 64' that we'd still be buying Neil's records and going to concerts when he turned 64?  I'm sure I didn't even think that far ahead, but here we are, still Diamondheads, and for Aussie, UK and Irish fans, eagerly anticipating concerts later this year.  
US & Canadian fans are still very hopeful that concerts will be announced for them very soon, and we're all wishing that for them too...  And sending our best Neil vibes :-}
And some of them are heading off to see Neil overseas, so they're enjoying the anticipation with us...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We had a different sort of birthday celebration here in Melbourne OZ this year - one of our favourite Neil tribute artists was performing his Neil Diamond Super Hits Show on Friday 21st January as a Twilight Concert at our Melbourne Zoo.  A few of us went along last year to see Steve and had a fabulous evening, so we
'packed up the babies and grabbed the old ladies' and headed off to see Steve's version of
'Brother Love's Travellin' Salvation Show'.

It was a beautiful day and four of us arrived just before 2pm to save a spot close to the bandstand.  We were surprised to find that we weren't the first there!  But we got the spot we wanted, and after a quick look at the animals, settled down to watch the crowd grow bigger and wait for the show...

The stage crew started to set up around 4pm and the band arrived
and started to tune up about half an hour later...

I went over and said 'Hello' to Steve & Colonel Mal, the drummer, while they were setting up and they were very pleased we'd come along again, and that we were with a bigger group this time.

I put this panorama together from 5 pics I took from our position at the left of the pic -
and this was half an hour before the show started!!!

How appropriate that the area behind our position,
and where the band change, is the frog enclosure!!!!

By show time at 6.30 our group of about 20 had arrived, we'd had a most enjoyable picnic, and were ready to sing
and dance along to some 'Beautiful Noise'... 
And no-one wasted any time getting into the swing of it once the show started.......

This couple in black had an absolute ball doing old time rock'n'roll, and we thoroughly enjoyed watching them,
and the kids couldn't 'stand still while the music was playing' either.

 

Steve loves to mix with the crowd, so he comes out and joins us while he sings,
and also spends a bit of time on the rail round the Bandstand!

I was having a great time, dancing, singing and taking pics, when Steve beckoned to me from the stage to come over - I was a bit concerned that he was going to ask me to sing with him as he did when we saw him during last year at an RSL show.  I'd told him then that my singing would bring the show to an abrupt end!!  He motioned for me to come up on stage and for the security guys to let me through, and then pointed out to the crowd and my camera, so I assumed he wanted me to take pics for him, which I was very happy to do.  When he finished that song, I was going to leave, but he leaned over to tell me he was about to sing 'Sweet Caroline' so to stay and take a couple of pics of all the arm swaying!!  I was so thrilled as I'd asked him last time what the view was like of that from on-stage and he'd said it was unbelievable - and it surely was.  My pics don't really do it justice.....

 

My sister took a couple of pics of me up on the stage with Steve

 

Steve on the rail again doing a finale of
                Sweet Caroline
                                                           and a couple of shots of the guys 'jamming'......

As always the show was over much too soon, but we'd all had a really great night - even the non-Neil fans thoroughly enjoyed it - and it was a terrific warm up for our March Neil concerts..

Steve was selling CDs of his own music which is also most enjoyable, after the show, and there was quite a crowd around the stage, so after we'd finished packing up and the crowd had thinned, I went over to tell him I would send him some of the pics and to thank him for letting me take them from the stage.  He thanked me and said he'd remembered that in the review of his show last year I'd mentioned having run out of film and not being able to take pics of the crowd - so that was why he'd got me up on stage to take them.  Is that the sign of a great guy or what??

Thank you Steve and the band for another awesome Neil tribute show - and for being such great people....

 

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