With the weather warming, Barb and I have been looking ahead to our personal spring concert series, Neil Diamond at the United Center followed by U2 under the stars at Soldier Field. It will be our fourth visit with U2 as they tour to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their massive hit album "The Joshua Tree." It will be about our 40th evening with Mr. Diamond as he tours to celebrate...well he tours to celebrate being Neil Diamond.
Barb has been a Diamond Girl since her teens, when she coaxed her parents to drive her and a friend to Kenosha for a performance of what was then a soul fulled,black-garbed troubadour. I discovered Bono, the Edge, Adam and Larry when "The Joshua Tree' first arrived in the late 80's and "With or Without You" filled the FM radio. In addition to dozens of Chicago shows, we have seen the now glittery Neil in Montreal (no poutine in the arena), and strutting Bono with a monster stage set in Las Vegas.
A little Google research shows that U2 and Diamond have never played live together, though U2 has played a few Diamond tunes in concert. No evidence Neil has ever returned the favor by belting out "Streets with No Name" or "Vertigo."
A few notable U2/Diamond parallels:
- Neil is a nice Jewish boy from Brooklyn who likes to sing Christmas songs; Bono is a nice Catholic boy from Dublin who secretly dresses as a Hasidic Jew (OK--this turned out to be a joke, an early version of fake news.)
- Neil sang a duet with Barbra Streisand, who once soared on Broadway; Bono and the Edge wrote music for "Spiderman" which frequently crashed on Broadway.
- In "Brothers Love's Traveling Salvation Show", Neil sings about a preacher; in the New York Times Bono IS a preacher.
- Neil wrote a big hit song for The Monkees; Bono wrote a song ABOUT monkeys.
- Neil hired Rick Rubin to produce an album and got his best review in years; U2 fired Rick Rubin from their album and got their best review in years.
- Neil has 1 Grammy award; U2 has 22 Grammys, but none for the song "One."
- Bono wears rose colored glasses; Neil has a champion rose NAMED for him.
- "Sweet Caroline" was named for Caroline Kennedy; The Russians shot down a U2 spy plane when John Kennedy was President.
In any case, both U2 and Neil Diamond are Rock'n'Roll Hall of Famers who put on great live shows. So who do you prefer. Leave a comment either on the ChicaoNow blog or on Facebook rating each from 1 to 10, and then share. Let's see who is King of the Road.
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