Quite a pair of contrasting concerts I went to recently: Neil Diamond at the Palace of Auburn Hills last Thursday and Radiohead at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyhoga Falls, Ohio this past Monday.
Both were stunningly brilliant and expertly played and beautifully staged – hmmm, maybe they’re more similar that I thought!
Regardless of that, it was about darn time I saw Neil Diamond play – he’s one of those artists I had never gotten around to seeing before, and with the release of his Rick Rubin-produced album Home Before Dark earlier this year, it was high time I caught his show. He brought with him something like a 14-piece band, but overall the concert was less glitzy and more restrained than I thought it would be – I had no problems with that, and no problems with Neil doing hit after hit along with a selection of songs from the exquisite Home Before Dark.
This was my 3rd visit to Blossom to see Radiohead, an incredible venue that holds 20,000 and reminds me of a much bigger version of Meadow Brook. But what a shame that Radiohead can’t work something out with a venue and promoter in Michigan so that they will play here once again. As Brian McCollum reported a few months ago in an excellent Detroit Free Press article, the band won’t play venues with advertising directly by the stage, and apparently no outdoor shed or indoor venue in Michigan satisfies their requirements. So that meant another drive to Cuyahoga Falls, OH to see Thom Yorke and company. It’s about 3 hours from Detroit and about half an hour south of Cleveland.
Radiohead’s set list was filled with a few too many slower and less compelling songs for my tastes, but it was still an overwhelmingly powerful concert. Sheer genius.
Thanks to Jo Mathis at the Ann Arbor News for writing (and videotaping) an article about me for the paper. Here’s a link to the piece, which originally ran on 8/4:
Up next: Los Lobos at Meadow Brook on Aug. 10, then before you know it, the Toronto Film Festival!
Don’t forget to read my Playlist column every third Sunday in the Detroit Free Press. I’m writing this Sunday (8/10) about the new Randy Newman, Stereolab and (gulp) Jonas Brothers.