Neil Diamond Rocks, Ain’t No Surprise


The Dude on the Right

It was a hot August night a couple of nights ago,
August 1st for that matter, and it marked the return of this Dude to the
concert reviewing scene.  Oddly enough I picked up where I left off
back in 2001, reviewing
Neil Diamond at the United Center
here in Chicago (okay, fine,
technically I reviewed
Neil in Cleveland back in 2001
, but I took the pictures at the
United Center). 
This show was great, at least if you are a
Neil Diamond
fan.  I suppose if he’s not really your cup of tea, you would
wonder why in God’s name anyone would go and see him, but his legions of fans
span the age groups, and the fashion groups, and even though the dude is in his
60’s, Neil Diamond rocks, ain’t no surprise.

And so we are back on the concert scene.  Neil Diamond a couple of days ago,
Green Day next week,
and hopefully some Velvet Revolver, Kelly Clarkson, George Thorogood, Kenny
Chesney, and Motley Crue before month’s end.  As usual for us, we are back
trying to cover just about any genre under the sun.

But back to getting back to the concert scene.  For me, it was
exciting again.  I stopped covering concerts for a variety of
reasons.  Some of them were good, some of them were bad, some of them were
just lazy, but as I knelt there with my camera in hand, about 30 feet from the
stage, I really wondered if I could still handle concert photos.  Hell,
it’s been almost four years since I shot a show, and since that time a
photographer dude I know,
, had graduated from film to digital, complete with some giant lenses, and
there I was, with my old film driven
and my trusty Sigma 70
– 210mm f2.8 lens, looking kinda inadequate compared to my buddy and the
other newspaper photo dudes.  Yet there I was, back again, and I
have to tell you, as the lights went down and the band came on the
stage, all of the photographer instincts came back.

I will admit that it wasn’t my best concert photo
shoot, and yes, as I scanned in my negatives into the scanner I
instantly realized some digital editing would be needed (mostly a little
sharpening), but for the most part, I am pleased with my work, although
I would have liked to have gotten more pictures of
the band and
back-up singers
because if you are in any way familiar with my photo
taking at concerts, I try to include everyone in the band.

I’ll end today’s blog with a quick shout-out to Sherry
for helping with the clearance for the show, and to Kathleen for
clearing out the dude blocking the isle and just her help.  The
plus for the day was when I got home and there was an e-mail in my
inbox.  I had clearance for Green Day, and for a year in which
myself and a couple of friends would like a do-over because it hasn’t
been the best of years for us so far, I got excited again, and realized
that I just don’t like going to see a concert, what I really love is
covering a concert.

That’s it for this one!  I’m The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!