By Charles Chambers
Sofitel Resort?s ballroom was transformed into the Greek Theatre and the memories of music legend Neil Diamond?s Hot August Night seemed a reality.
Tribute artist Gary Ryan of England, with the huskiness of his voice reminiscing the music icon?s unique singing style sent the guests back in time with renditions of Diamond?s hits.
Diamond?s captivating performance at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles in August 1972 and the same concert recorded on the old long playing records as an album titled Hot August Night still lists as one of the artist?s most rousing performances.
For those who had grown up alongside Diamond?s music, this was the closest they had got to witnessing the superstar perform.
Hits such as Red Red Wine, Sweet Caroline, Cracklin? Rose, Song Sung Blue, Soolaimon, I am..I said, Solitary
Man and Crunchy Granola Suit had those present thinking the 70?s never went anywhere.
Sofitel?s Director of Sales and Marketing Michael Bell was very pleased with the success of the show, and theprospect of what the future could present to this renowned resort.
?We were delighted with the turnout at our first ever Tribute Night here at Sofitel Fiji,? Mr Bell said.
?We had nearly 200 guests dancing the night away to the hit songs of the legendary American artist,? he said.
Mr Bell said the resort had brought Ryan to Fiji and his performance was the stepping stone for other such concerts in the future.
He said the tribute artist was reputed to be one of the world?s top Neil Diamond Tribute Artists and travels the world performing as the superstar.
Mr Bell knew too well of Ryan?s caliber as a tribute artist.
?I had used him a number of times in various hotels in the United Kingdom and every time he performed the event was sold out,? Mr Bell said.
?Following the success of Saturday night, we would look to do further tribute nights during the coming year? he said.