Belfast Telegraph

Belfast fans celebrate 50 years with Neil Diamond at SSE Arena

Legendary singer Neil Diamond brought his 50th Anniversary Tour to Belfast's SSE Arena on Sunday night - performing some of his best known hits for the sold out crowd.

Arriving on stage to huge cheers the 76-year-old simply greeted his audience: "Hello beautiful Belfast" before launching in to his first hit of the evening, Cherry Cherry.

It may have been a Sunday evening with a huge majority of the crowd scheduled to go to work the next day, but the audience were clearly there to enjoy the star's distinctive voice and iconic hits.

"We had nothing else to do on a Sunday night," Neil joked to the crowd. "So we decided to come to Belfast and make everyone happy.

"Thank you for coming out to see our 50th Anniversary Tour  - I can't believe it's been that long, let's pretend it's not.

"I can still sing and you can still enjoy yourselves, so let's do it."

No hit was left unsung on the night with Solitary Man, I Am, I Said, Forever In Blue Jeans, Play Me, Love On The Rocks, and Red Red Wine all included in the set list - much to the ecstatic delight of the audience.

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Neil Diamond performing on stage at the SSE Arena during his 50 year anniversary tour. Sunday 8th Oct 2017 Picture by Liam McBurney/RAZORPIX

The singer himself seemed to genuinely enjoy his time on stage, taking in the whooping cheers that continued around the SSE Arena throughout the two hour show.

During the concert, Neil took a poignant moment to dedicate his song Dry Your Eyes to the number of victims of recent terror attacks, telling the audience: "This is for all those angels."

Meanwhile a great sing-song atmosphere was brought to the venue when the singer introduced the audience to his spectacular 13-piece band.

Each musician was given their moment to shine on stage, with some opting to perform crowd pleasers including Tell Me Ma and Danny Boy.

As expected, Neil saved his best-known tracks until the end and filled out his encore with Sweet Caroline and Cracklin' Rosie - with the Belfast crowd only too willing to sing along in thanks for the great show.

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