Neil Diamond delivers a show for the record books at the Forum – Orange County Register

Neil Diamond’s exhilarating concert at the Forum on Thursday night was the 34th time that he had performed at the venue, the most by any artist in the history of the arena.

But that impressive number – which will grow by one when Diamond wraps up the American leg of his 50 Year Anniversary World Tour there on Saturday – was only a side note to the famed singer-songwriter’s rousing performance before a sold-out crowd in Inglewood.

With no opening act and Diamond taking the stage at 8:30 p.m., this was a performance that never felt rushed, but went by far too fast. Over the course of 130 fast-moving minutes and two dozen songs, Diamond’s performance (where he was backed by a terrific 11-man band and two outstanding female backing singers) was the perfect retrospective to his celebrated career. This was yet another “Hot August Night” marked by joyful anthems, soft rock hits and introspective ballads introduced and delivered with a master’s touch. Although his songs have been recorded (and often yielded commercial hits) for artists ranging from Elvis Presley and the Monkees to hard rock pioneers Deep Purple, this was a night where the focus was on Diamond alone.

Diamond, 76,…

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