Legendary Singer Neil Diamond Performs Free Pop-Up Concert At Erasmus Hall In Brooklyn

Diamond Attended School From 1954-1956 & Tweeted: Back To Brooklyn...Back To School!

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn hosted a free Neil Diamond concert Monday evening.

The legendary singer revealed the location of the pop-up concert on Twitter Monday morning. The concert was at the singer’s alma mater and is in anticipation of the release of Diamond’s latest album, “Melody Road.”

As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, the lines began early outside of the Flatbush school Monday morning, and so did the refrains from “Sweet Caroline.”

“I dropped everything I was doing this afternoon to get out here and enjoy my olden days,” said fan Joy Anne.

Dennis and Jackie Beck drove in from western Pennsylvania not even knowing for sure if it’s all really happening, Smith reported.

“Our plan is to stay here. We are hoping for tickets,” said the Becks.

News of the concert brought fans from as far away as Spain, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

John Evans said he heard about it and hopped on a flight from Waco, Texas Monday morning.

“This is Neil Diamond. I’ve been a fan for 35 years,” Evans said, adding that this was his 198th Neil Diamond concert.

While some fans got tickets for the Erasmus Hall concert through a social media promotion, others lined up hoping to get inside based on scattered information found online about free tickets.

“It’s completely discombobulated and disorganized,” said one woman in line, adding that she attended “against my better judgment,” but she loves Diamond.

But once the concert began, fans stood on their feet and danced, CBS 2’s Don Champion reported. He played all his classics, from “Solitary Man” to “I’m a Believer” – a song known for a version by the Monkees but which Diamond wrote.

Diamond also sang several songs off a new album he’ll be releasing next month.

“He’s an icon, so it’s amazing to see him,” Laurie Kavazanjian said.

The reviews after the show were nearly unanimous, with fans saying it was amazing to see Diamond perform at such a special place.

“He said how poor. He was how he worked his way up here, and the audience was with him 100 percent,” said Ruth Yernak. “It didn’t matter what he said.”

“It was very moving,” said fan Walter Perez. “He was very emotional being back on his own turf.”

Diamond, 73, was born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrants from Poland and grew up in the borough except for a brief relocation to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

He attended Erasmus Hall High School in Flatbush from 1954 to 1956.

Other famous artists to attend Erasmus include Barbara Streisand and music mogul Clive Davis.

Jacob Daty, assistant principal of the Erasmus Hall campus, said the school was very excited to be hosting the concert.

“We’re proud of the history of the school and we’re excited that Neil Diamond wanted to come back because he’s part of the nostalgia and history of the place,” Daty told 1010 WINS. “So, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and we were happy to help facilitate it.”

The pop-up concert syncs up with the release of Diamond’s latest album, which is due out in October.

And before the concert, Diamond seemed overwhelmed by the opportunity to perform at his old school. He told the crowd the school is where his love of music developed.

After selling more than 130 million records worldwide, one might think Diamond has done it all. But in point of fact, the concert marked the first time he’s ever performed in his home borough.

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