On a hot August night, a friend and I went to the Crystal Ballroom to see Super Diamond, the purveyors of "a high-octane [Neil] Diamond tribute show" and, arguably, the world's preeminent musicians devoted to such a noble cause. Yet even as the realization dawned that we were, perhaps, the youngest people in the crowded room—we are both in our early 30s, practically dead—our hopes remained high: This was Super Diamond, and if anything can improve "Shilo" (unlikely), then that something would surely be a surplus of octane. But we ended up leaving before the ending of what felt like a very long show. The ideal of any cover band experience is to remind the audience how much they like the particular band and/or songs being covered, and while Super Diamond certainly accomplished this, they did so with the sort of tongue-in-cheek showmanship usually witnessed at bar mitzvahs or off-Strip acts in Vegas: This was a show, and one devoted as much to the virility the gentlemen of Super Diamond possessed as to Diamond's effortless neo-classics—the true siren calls that had beckoned us there. "Get out of the way, Super Diamond, and simply transfer the Essence of Neil to us," I remember mumbling, sadly, into an overpriced plastic cup of Terminator Stout. But no one heard at all, not even the beer. ERIK HENRIKSEN
1332 W Burnside, Portland, OR 97209
Hours: Doors usually open an hour before show time.