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on February 1, 2010
Superb concert! Neil Diamond looks and sounds great! His voice has not changed! This DVD was recorded in 2008. The quality of the DVD is absolutely perfect in audio and video! He sang ALL his oldies, EXCEPT Hello Again, Shilo, Desiree, Longfellow Serenade, Heartlight, and September Morn. The audience at Madison Square Garden was clearly delighted!. I've been waiting for this since the Neil Diamond, Greatest Hits Live DVD of 1988 and I certainly was NOT disappointed!

The included CD, titled "Neil Diamond 10 Favorites", includes:
Cherry, Cherry
Shilo
Sweet Caroline
Hello Again
September Morn
Forever in Blue Jeans
Play Me
Pretty Amazing Grace
Love on the Rocks
America

In the "Welcome Home Neil" segment on the DVD, Neil Diamond revisits his childhood neighborhood and home in Brooklyn. It was cute that when he chatted with four African-American guys in their late teens, they "didn't have a clue" who he was. Later he chatted with his team and planned the concert.
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on July 6, 2010
Neil Diamond videos have been sort of hit or miss affairs over the years. Even though Diamond is known for doing great shows their power has not translated to video very well (see Greatest Hits Live). It can now be said that there is a Diamond concert video that captures the intensity of an actual show.

Shot by Hamish Hamilton,Hot August Night:NYC gives us a glimpse of the 2008 Tour in front of a hometown crowd who is in love with the entertainer. The show capures twenty-eight songs in just over two hours as Diamond takes us through most of his catalogue from his earliest hits to his latest Home Before Dark material. Backed by the band that has supported him for the past thirty years or so Diamond makes it look easy. The high point of the show is a rousing mid set Sweet Caroline that has the entire arena on its feet.

The only bonus feature is Neil Diamond Coming Home which takes the singer back to his old Brooklyn neighborhood and apartment fifty years later.

This is a worthwhile DVD to watch if you have an interest in one of America's most known singer songwriters.
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on February 25, 2010
What do you buy a blu ray musical performance for? Good video? yes, but you probably get it for the lossless audio track. The TrueHD track on this disc is very poor. It is more like 3.0 rather than 5.1. And the center channel is carrying at least 80-90% of the 3.0. The rear channels are non-existant. The stereo mix is brighter and has a better mix out of the front 3 channels. If you like Neil just get the DVD.

The video is good and the concert is superb like all of his concerts are. It is just that the disc is bad. I have over sixty blu-ray and HD DVD concert discs. This audio mix is one of the worst, similar to some of the first to come out 4-5 years ago. Rating purely on the audio. I would have given it one but Neil is outstanding.
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on March 2, 2010
First of all I am a lifelong Neil Diamond fan. I saw this exact concert here in Denver. The great thing about this DVD/Blu-ray is that it is the only video I am aware of where we have a complete Neil Diamond concert. So I will rate in 3 categories.
Performance - Neil has been around for some time now. It has been awhile since the first Hot August Night. But luckily, he was in great voice for this concert. Much better than when I saw him live in Denver. Fans will not be disappointed. Full length concert in hi-def, does not get much better for fans.
Video - I would rate a little lower than I was hoping for here. Not quite as sharp as the best concerts, and some cameras were not as focused as others. But on most TVs, this will be a very pleasant picture.
Audio - again I have some minor issue here. Another review indicated the sound on the true 5.1 track is mostly center channel and almost no rears. Not sure how his system is set up, but that is not the case. The Blu-ray and DVD 5.1 tracks seem to be mastered about the same. The center channel is actually barely used. Vocal comes out of both left and right mains. Sound stage is all in front. Rears are fully engaged but used for arena ambience and crowd noise. Overall the sound is good, but vocals should be in the center channel, and overall sound is not quite as dynamic as the best concerts videos.

All said...a must for Neil Diamond fans.
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on April 10, 2010
First off, let me say this, never mind what else you've read, this blu ray disc's surround audio is very good, not perfect but say a 4 or a 4 1/2 out of 5. I played it on a PS 3 connected HDMI to a digital amp with ability to decode the usual and the more recent audio formats and have this to report. The LPCM 2.0 output played through the stereo mode of the amp is satisfactory but nothing to shout about -- stable sound imaging, but congested with slightly boomy bass at higher volume. The Dolby True HD 5.1 output when I perversely played it through the 2 channel mode of the amp sounded worse. The sound was muffled with poor stereo image and sounded awful enough for me to switch off in a hurry. But this same True HD 5.1.output when properly decoded and played through the 5.1. mode of the amp brought back the smile to my face. The differential output through the various speakers varies of course with the track played but generally is about 20-25% each from R and L front, 15-20% subwoofer, 10-15% each from R and L rear speakers and only 10-15% from the central speaker. Despite this timid output from the centre however, the stereo imaging from the 2 front speakers is excellent and the vocals from Diamond and the backup singers are easily discernible even with the full band playing, down to the last p's and t's and sibilants. This type of mix is much preferable to one with a strong centre speaker output which overwhelms and destroys the stereo illusion (for audiophiles getting a centre speaker is akin to getting the bubonic plague). The interesting thing about this particular 5.1 mix is that whilst it uses the centre sparingly as an in between "filler", it uses it more as an ambience channel. Listen to tracks with strong audience noise like claps and whistles and sing-alongs and you'll notice strong ambient noise coming from the centre. This, I think is to convey the illusion of sitting in the front row facing the stage in the gold fish bowl that is Madison Square Garden where of course the ambient noise surrounds you 360 degrees ! Good sound then and not a bad sound stage either.
The video quality is more of a mixed bag. When the lighting is just right you get the high def picture you expect from a blu ray but oftentimes when Diamond moves to a darker area the picture is noticeably softer and some long shots of the audience in poor light show up fuzzy and grainy. A 4 out of 5 perhaps.
But nitpicking aside it is the performance that matters most, and man can this guy perform ! Whether it is in the all out sock-it-to-'em numbers such as Holly Holly, Cherry Cherry, Crunchy Granola Suite and Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show, or in the declamatory I am...I Said, or the syrupy Sweet Caroline or the intimate You Don't Bring Me Flowers, Neil Diamond sizzles, the band is hot and the audience laps everything up clamoring for more, more. What a night. Diamond seldom ever disappoints in a live concert, and this performance is a real gem, 5 carats and all of flawless.
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on March 14, 2010
I own Neil Diamond Live in Australia 1976, Live Greatest Hits 1988 and now this one from 2008. All 3 show Neil at distinctly different stages of his career, all with the same band and background singers. Its interesting to see all 3 and compare. He's great in all 3 and he's schmaltzy in all 3 to some degree. He always has his charm and always has his very enthusiastic fans. This is good. Very good sometimes. But, in this one, he and his band are showing their age a bit, and sometimes its not very flattering. But.. They're out there and they're doing it and they're giving it their all which is impressive in its own right. And the song choices and the special feature of Neil going home show a reflective and bright person trying to show his appreciation for his past, his present and his future. I'd recommend getting all 3 if you are a fan of Neil. (I would not recommend getting the audio versions of Neil live though - too much hokey audience participation that is best appreciated in video, but not audio only.)
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on June 14, 2011
Oh my, what an incredible experience. I have always loved his songs but for the first time "I am...I said" and "Brooklyn Roads" brought tears to my eyes.

People comment on the sound and HD quality (which I believe are excellent) instead of immerising themselves in this moving and wonderful experience. The mood and camera work are excellent. Crowds are not shown crying or fainting, but the pure joy and happiness of the audience is infectious.

One of the best music concert Blu-rays that you will possess.
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on August 1, 2010
Finally Neil has decided to bring us his live performance home... Living in France, Neil never pointed his nose in our country and I can only find that live experience trough cd's or a (very badly filmed) DVD live in Australia in the early 70'... This is a gig ! His best performance ever ! great voice, great sound, nice audience (middle-age 60 !) best filmed. Go for it, a must have !
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on August 16, 2011
This blu-ray is the only concert (or any recording for that matter) that I have of Neil Diamond so I know just a few songs from the radio. I enjoyed his older songs, including the songs that dealt with his upbringing in Brooklyn, New York. It really has a historical and nostalgic feeling hearing his songs. If you are a Diamond fan, I recommend this blu-ray and if not, you should add this video to your music collection.

Some people complained about the sound; I just played the disc on the high def TV and listened through the TV's regular speakers and it sounded and looked good enough for me.
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on August 10, 2013
I always liked Neil but never knew he was so outstanding in concert. This DVD is well worth buying. I especially liked his visit back home to the apartment where he grew up in NYC. He was so down-to-earth. I highly recommend this DVD.
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