Neil Diamond, Periscope and Changing the Concert Experience

From the comments I hear from others I’m certainly not the only person ambivalent in my feelings about social media and the advancing charge of technology. I have bought into it with full commitment, yet fairly often look back with a bit of longing for the ‘good old days’ less than a decade ago when I didn’t even have a Facebook account.

I am not as connected as I could be. In most areas I think I’m primarily a dabbler, but more and more I’m realizing that many of the news outlets and local radio personalities I enjoy are teasing and throwing out incentives to connect by apps that seem to be proliferating at a rate that far exceeds my learning curve.

I’ve been thinking more about this since Jay and I enjoyed a May evening with Neil Diamond at the Hollywood Bowl.


I am sorry I didn’t write down the names of these two very enthusiastic fans. This was NOT their first Neil Diamond concert.

At one point Jay did comment, “Where are the young people?” His sincerity in the question did strike me funny, so what did I do? I immediately posted his comment to Facebook, which then started a conversation with friends all over the country. I don’t post that often, but I must admit I enjoy the potential for immediate connection.

As we found our seats and settled in for the evening the large video screens invited the audience to participate in tweeting messages at #tweetcaroline.

Some of the messages were hilarious. “The guy in front of me has a big head,” or “Older crowd tonight. Forever in Mom Jeans, ” and “Wait!…This isn’t the Slayer concert?”

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Then 74 year-old Neil Diamond took control of the stage, and backed by his incredibly strong (they’ve been together a long time) 12-piece band, delivered an almost 2 1/2 hour non-stop, intermission-free show.


The only “senior moment” appeared when Neil stumbled upon announcing the Bowl concert was LIVE on #Periscope, the very new video streaming app purchased by Twitter in March of this year. Even a septuagenarian performer recognizes the value of social media in replenishing an aging fan base.

This aging fan temporarily downloaded Periscope, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it once I had it!

I guess even the telephone was once eyed with suspicion–and now look at us! I’ll keep sharpening my skills and try to keep up!


42 thoughts on “Neil Diamond, Periscope and Changing the Concert Experience

  1. LOL! I am far less connected than almost everyone I know, and sometimes wonder if I’m missing out, but like you I have downloaded apps and then don’t know what to do with them! I have recently started a pinterest board but never remember to pin anything… Have fun working out what Periscope is! 🙂

    1. Well you make me feel better, Cathy! It’s not just my age that keeps me from enjoying some of these social media apps. 🙂 I do find them intriguing and a little tempting, but once I know how they work I’m not really interested. I’m sure you’re too busy with all your gardening and cooking interests to shift your attention to devices that mostly serve as a distraction. Somewhere we need a little break from it all, I think. 🙂

  2. I gave up on trying to keep up with technology a long time ago – it have overtaken me and is jogging down the road light years ahead of me. I only use Facebook as it is a great way to keep in touch with my nearest and dearest all over the globe, and I find it concerning just how much people can share their private life over Twitter, Facebook, instagram, etc. I find it curious how people seem to live their lives through a permanent technological filter now and even have to publish photos of their meals for their choice to be validated by others 😀

    1. I share your concern that while people are living their lives connected to all the social platforms, how can they actually be living? There are still only so many hours in a day, not matter what we pretend! I’m still looking for a very practical use for Twitter and some of the other applications, and hopefully beyond just more information. I think we’re all becoming information saturated–or at least that’s how I feel! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as well. I think there are probably many, many bloggers who utilize social media for their writing and publishing, but don’t want to be completely tied down any more than we already are! 🙂

    1. It was really a very delightful evening, Rob. I know you love music, and Diamond is definitely a musician who happens to be a good entertainer as opposed to many who are great entertainers, but only so-so as musicians. 🙂

  3. I’m closer to you than you may imagine regarding social media. My phone is primarily for calling, texting, and I have a few information apps. Nope … I don’t have Twitter … seldom on Facebook … nope to Instragram and many others. Meanwhile, gotta love Neil Diamond!

    1. Neil Diamond is a great entertainer/musician, in my estimation, and his band really impressed me. He was generous to the “team” and gave each of them a few minutes to highlight their individual talent and I could have listened to them all night. I have a Twitter account, Frank, and I do follow events like when the Nepal earthquake was first reported and I found that very interesting. But I can’t imagine using Twitter to follow the Presidential campaign. Although maybe it would be easier if they could learn to deliver their message in bite-sized Tweets! 🙂

      1. I’ve thought about getting a Twitter account to get feeds from certain people to stay informed, but the idea is still at the cobwebs stage. Great news on Neil Diamond! … and glad you had a wonderful time.

  4. Too funny. I feel the same way. I can’t keep up half the time. The kids often have to show me what to do! It’s crazy how adept they are at such young ages. Reminds me o how I used to have to set the VCR for my grandpa’s shows because the technology was too hard for him (and he was a smart guy). Now my kids are setting things for me! It’s moving fast. I hope you enjoyed the show. I’d love to see him perform. 🙂

    1. Now you have me laughing, Kristy! You do make me feel better that it isn’t just at my age these things are mysterious! LOL! I do think it’s remarkable what the kids just intuitively know how to access and use quite comfortably. I thought it was quite surprising that the Neil Diamond concert was so in tune with various social media platforms. I find some of it fun, but I also don’t want to stay continually connected to an electronic device! Clearly I have a dilemma. 🙂

    1. You know, Nancy, just tonight my favorite radio talk show host kept talking about something we could see in the studio if we were using Periscope. It’s becoming quite clear that if we don’t we’re going to be “left out.” LOL! If they start giving away concert tickets or cash I might have to figure out how it works. 🙂

  5. I love the way they used Twitter to engage and unite the audience before the show. I’ve seen that done at large teleconferences (in my former work world) but not at an event of this type. I wouldn’t have been able to resist contributing a witticism!

    As for Periscope, I’m clueless as well.

    1. I’m just now starting to clue in to Twitter, Lori, but it was fun with all the hashtag messages. I think I could get very “hooked” on it as a sort of game. Not so sure yet that I see a practical side, but I might in time! Now Periscope with the video potential could lead me right down another rabbit hole…I don’t need a new one. 🙂

    1. It was a very fun concert, Kate. I loved seeing so many senior citizens singing along! Just tonight on the radio the guys I enjoy listening to were going on and on about tuning in with Periscope and seeing something they were up to! I don’t dare get started interacting with the radio! I’d never come up for air. 🙂

  6. It’s so amazing that Neil Diamond is able to perform and entertain at 74. No signs of slowing down! I’ve always wanted to see him in concert. I think he had his son in his band at one stage. Now all I need is a friend to go with me in a matching T-shirt! xx

    1. Weren’t those ladies in the T-shirts fun? They were getting lots of attention and loving every moment! I really did enjoy the concert and came with the thought that perhaps he wouldn’t still be a strong performer, but I wasn’t at all disappointed. I have a feeling that you wouldn’t have any trouble finding a friend to go with you should you find the opportunity. 🙂

  7. Hi Debra. Your post brought a smile to my face. Thanks!

    I jumped into many (too many) social media outlets — more as an experiment to see what all of the hubbub was about. Most of them, I really don’t get — so my blog remains my number one social media format.

    But your question about where are the young people reminded me of a conversation I had not too long ago with some twenty-somethings. My partner and I were at a house party, sitting at a table with other guests our age (50s). Two twenty-somethings sat among us geezers. The youngins were on their phones, heads bent, fingers swiping. When there was a lull in their texting, I ventured a question — feeling a bit like Margaret Meade approaching a newly discovered tribe. “Where do you young ones meet each other, since the clubs and bars all seem to be closing or empty?”

    That’s when I learned about apps that people use to hook up. No more meeting across a crowded room. No more thrill of chemistry. No more flirting. It all happens on an app, a meeting place is selected (usually Starbucks), and then it often becomes a one nighter.

    I find that so much of life is lost when people look at life through their phones.

    Be well!

    1. Oh my, Kevin! That’s an awfully clinical way to meet people, isn’t it? It sounds kind of “smarmy” to me, too, but that is probably my age speaking! I can’t imagine, but I do think it’s really a great loss to have completely eliminated the spontaneity and magical moment that has heretofore brought people together. (How old I sound using the word heretofore!) Hahaha!

      Great story, though, Kevin, and I honestly had no idea! So good to hear from you! I’ve been out of town so I’m just now getting around to “tending” my blog…which is my #1 social media tool, as well. I really enjoy visiting with you…so thanks for stopping by.

  8. You know how I feel about technology at the moment. I wish I could’ve been at this concert, though. I’m determined to do the Hollywood Bowl thing with you someday. I’ve always dreamed of going there.

  9. I’m so glad you posted this, Debra.
    I do use the weather app, as if I didn’t have enough sources for the day’s temps and conditions (my old bones usually scream “storm’s a-commin’ ” and a fitness app for counting my steps, which I find compels me to walk more, but, not much else. Does that make me ” app-less?” .
    So glad to know Neil is still in good form and good voice. He’s a favorite of mine. Tom and I saw him, so many moons ago that we were still dating, at the old Arie Crown Theater. Just hearing his music makes me feel young again. Thanks for sharing it with us here, Debra.
    PSs Tom made a similar comment at a concert not too long ago. Hehehehe.

    1. “App-less,” Penny, is a perfect response. I think I need to consider taking even more steps away from always feeling like I need to understand how these things work. I don’t think I really care about them in truth as much as I just have a curiosity about how they function. We were out of town for a few days and I have to admit that I disconnected fairly well–at least temporarily. 🙂 And as for Neil, what a wonderful memory to have of a concert when he/we were young and in the heyday of his career. I was just glad to have the chance now. It sounds like you and Tom do your best to find a concert now and again, too. Music is a great thing to share with a similarly enthusiastic crowd. 🙂 I will be getting caught up again soon, Penny, and hopefully seeing some photos from your time with those precious little ones. ox

  10. I see social medias as both a curse and a blessing. I use them and I hate them. And still I think I have a distant relationship. When I see younger people using every spare moment to socialize through various technologies I wonder if they have a real life at all…

    1. A blessing and a curse is precisely my dilemma, Otto. I often use Twitter just to catch some news alerts, but in order to do that, I also wade through reports that are very unimportant and I realize it’s up to me to just stop reading. Sometimes I do; sometimes unwisely I don’t. There are just so many different platforms and I need to make choices. I also agree with your concern for younger people a dn their absolute addiction to social media and “screen time.” I cannot imagine that longterm this is a good habit!

  11. Even the idea that there are plenty of old folks who have tweeter accounts, and I don’t, is quite amusing. 🙂
    I’ve seen a video where the parents can use a device that just shuts off internet connection in the house, the kids go nuts when it happens! But shutting off technology gave them more physical connections. Technology is awesome! Everyone just need to learn time management with it, have a limit, and really just use it moderately.

    1. Very true, Rommel. We are all responsible for what we do with our time. There are so many different ways to follow people via different social media platforms and I have to decide which ones I would like most to learn. They can either be quite fun or a larger waste of my time. 🙂

  12. Ha, ha! Love those T-shirts! I TRY to stay connected with social media, but I think I pretty much fail on that front. I had NO idea that a concert would encourage mid-music tweets. But then I live on another continent. Glad you had a good evening.

    Just so you know. This summer I’m going on two-month RV trip with my nearing-ninety Godmother and her cat Pepe le Mew. I leave for the US in a week. The RV is huge, 37-feet. My Godmother will be driving and towing an SUV the entire way. She was a Flamenco dancer during her entire professional life. I’m going to try to blog about our trip and write a book about the 64 beautiful years she and my Godfather, a Venezuelan movie star (I kid you not!), were married, until Raul died last fall one month shy of his 97th birthday.

    Hope you are well in your sunny part of the planet. Sorry to have been away so long!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    1. Kathy, I’m so glad to have your response. I have wondered about you! I certainly did hope that life in Ecuador was still as special as it seemed to be when you were sharing more regularly. Your RV trip sounds just amazing! It’s great to hear you’re still engaged in such exciting adventures. I will truly look forward to whatever you share about your Godparents and their very special relationship, and your Godmother, in particular, must be quite an amazing woman to be able to navigate a huge RV at her age–at any age, really! You have the most intriguing people in your life. Have you published the book about your childhood and father? If you have, please be sure I know about it. 🙂 All is well here and thank you so much for taking the time to stop by. It is always a pleasure.

  13. *Whispering*, just in case my Elly is listening, She is always at me to try something new. I had to do a search and discovered that ‘Periscope is made by Twitter, for Livestreaming the things that matter to you’. I think I’ll give it a miss!

    1. Ha! You did what I did as well, Marie, I checked into Periscope, figured out what it could do, and then decided I didn’t care enough about it to proceed! 🙂

  14. I prefer to be less connected, heck I jumped onto the blogging scene five years after it started…at that rate I will miss every new gadget out there becoming a novice while everyone has moved on to the next big thing. I admire how you venture out to a variety of experiences Debra…happy adventures!

  15. Pingback: So your book is written…and then what? More hard work! | breathelighter

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