Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Neil Diamond”

Review: Neil Diamond Live in Philadelphia

FullSizeRenderLast night was my first time seeing Neil Diamond live, and he didn’t disappoint. For two hours he played a non-stop setlist of his top hits (“Sweet Caroline,” “Forever in Blue Jeans,” “Kentucky Woman,” “Cherry Cherry,” etc.)  and three terrific songs from his new album: Melody Road. The highlights of the night, for me, included his renditions of “Play Me” and “America,” which I have videos of below. I also loved seeing him perform the absolutely beautiful “Nothing But a Heartache” from Melody Road. If you get a chance to see Neil Diamond live, do so. He puts on a great show.

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What I’m Listening To: Only to Rise by Sweet & Lynch

Sweet & LynchThis year I enjoyed some amazing new music from artists including Barry Manilow, Billy Idol, Neil Diamond, and Dionne Warwick, among others. But 2015 is shaping up to be even better based on what I’m listening to right now, which is Only to Rise by Sweet & Lynch.

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Movie Review – Anchorman 2

Anchorman 2Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, the sequel to the 2004 comedy Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, opened this weekend following what I consider to be one of the most creative advertising campaigns ever for a feature film. The question is, does this sequel live up to the hype? Read on my curious friend.

Unlike the first film, which was set in the 1970s, Anchorman 2 takes place in the 1980s – my favorite decade! Despite the questionable fashion choices in this decade of decadence, the music, movies and TV shows were awesome. Speaking of which, Anchorman 2 has a killer soundtrack. You’ll find everything from John Waite’s “Change” to Neil Diamond’s “Shilo” to “Every 1’s a Winner” by Hot Chocolate. And the obligatory Kenny Loggins’ track is on here too – the terrific “This Is It” featuring backing vocals by Michael McDonald. It’s a feast for the ears that compliments the movie’s visuals perfectly.

While the classic one-liners from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy are a tough act to follow, Anchorman 2 does its best to deliver the goods. As a fan of the first film and Will Ferrell, I’m glad to report that the majority of this movie delivers the goods. However, it does drag on longer than it should and it felt as though the plot lacked focus toward the end.

The bottom line is this – if you didn’t see the first movie or don’t like Will Ferrell’s brand of humor, don’t bother seeing Anchorman 2. On the other hand, if you love the first film and can’t get enough of Will Ferrell, give this one a shot. It’s not as good as the first, but it features excellent music, solid performances across the board, countless cameos by Hollywood A-listers, and, most importantly, gut-wrenchingly funny moments.

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