ok... let me preface this by saying that i am not a neil diamond fan... but, i'm not stupid -- the man obviously is a skilled singer/songwriter (why do you think he chose "cracklin' rosie" over "cracklin' martha"? -- he's got skills). it's just that i would NOT actively pursue listening to the dude given a choice... although, some of his tunes are pretty catchy ("we're coming to america... TODAY!"). so, flash back to last evening -- hollywood bowl. crush of humanity (re: 95% cougar, 5% other). traffic jams that would make a snail seem like he's zipping by at the speed of light. and, of course, neil diamond. sometimes, the first thing you notice about a concert is that certain "smell" in the air -- i.e. "a contact high is about to commence". well, the air is certainly thick at a diamond concert, but it isn't pot you're smelling... it's merlot. red wine. lots and lots and lots of it. boxes of it. crates of it -- like a wino was trying "mouth to mouth" on you. thick. the second thing you notice is that diamond is a great performer. i think we figured out he was 67 or 68 and he was going strong up there on stage... so, kudos to the guy for that. i'm sure he'll remain "forever in blue jeans" -- i don't know what i mean by that... but, the guy can really go for being nearly seventy. so... if seeing that guy who was in the remake of "the jazz singer" is your thing -- i highly recommend seeing neil diamond in concert if you haven't already. you won't be disappointed. if you aren't a fan of the diamond... it helps if you sneak some red wine away from an unsuspecting onlooker... just look for the box with a spout on it in the aisle where the cougar is freaking an invisible ashton kutcher (oh yeah, neil diamond concerts are an excellent place to go "people watch").