Neil Diamond touring North America


Neil Diamond will begin a 37-city North American tour, promoted nationally by AEG Live, on July 19 in St. Paul, Minn. Tickets go on sale in some markets beginning April 28, preceded by an American Express presale.

Last Tuesday, Diamond announced he'd be going back on the road via a surprise televised appearance on the scoreboard at Boston's Fenway Park. He will perform at the stadium, where his "Sweet Caroline" has become an eighth-inning sing-a-long during Red Sox games, on Aug. 23.

Diamond will perform songs from throughout his career as well as track from his Rick Rubin-produced new album, "Home Before Dark," due May 6 via Columbia. The artist just completed several weeks of rehearsal with his touring band over the weekend and said he can't wait to get back on stage.

"I always like to include songs I haven't done in the show in awhile," he says, declining to reveal specifics so as to not give away any set list surprises. "We just took out one of the songs we'd been using in the show as part of the rehearsals and replaced it with something that was better-suited and I had definitely wanted to do but couldn't find a place for."

The North American leg follows a European tour that begins May 24 in Rotterdam, Holland, with new dates recently added to accommodate demand. Diamond's last tour in 2005 grossed nearly $80 million from 86 shows that drew 1.2 million people, according to Billboard Boxscore.

"Having promoted Neil's last two tours, AEG Live is honored to continue the tradition," AEG Live CEO Randy Phillips said. "This will be Neil's most ambitious undertaking in terms of scope, venues, and production." Jeff Apregan serves as Diamond's tour producer, and Irving Azoff is Diamond's manager.

Ray Waddell reported from Nashville; Jonathan Cohen reported from New York.