Sunday, July 13, 2008

Wow, It’s Neil Diamond! No, It’s Dean Colley!

Went to our first concert in the park of the summer tonight in Yorba Linda, to see a Neil Diamond tribute band. What a blast! The name of the group is Hot August Night (a line of my favorite ND song, Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show) and Dean Colley looks and sounds as close as you can get to Neil Diamond without a DNA test. These hard working guys played nearly two hours non-stop and they had the crowd on their feet by the last set of songs.

Naturally the music, so familiar that we all know the words, draws you in but Dean Colley obviously enjoys singing and playing with the audience. The venue at this park is a small bowl stage facing limited amphitheatre seating, so the majority of the audience is behind and to the sides of the stage and he made sure everyone felt included.

The Husband, a musician himself, was impressed by the fact that Colley, singing such iconic songs, doesn’t try to “impersonate” and brings a little of himself to some of the music, not trying to make it sound exactly like ND. But he does have some of Neil Diamond’s signature moves down, as evidenced in this pic.

There were some problems with the sound mix, which most of us non-musicians don’t really notice but, again, since The Husband knows about this stuff, he understood them wanting to get it right. But the true test came when the electricity went out altogether in the middle of a song and the band just played acoustically while the tech fiddled with wires and plugs. We gave them a round of applause for keeping the tunes going!

My ears are still ringing and that’s a sign that I had a great time! And this is a total compliment--after seeing Dean Colley perform ND‘s music so well, I’d really love to see the real thing now! Going to a Neil Diamond concert is definitely on my Life List.

Here’s Hot August Night’s website, where you can find their schedule, bio and other info:

Next week in Yorba Linda, my friend Irene’s sons’ acapella doo wop group, The Alley Cats!

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