BROOKLYN -- Neil Diamond said, "Hello, my friends, hello" to a hometown crowd on Monday night.
"It was awesome! It was great!" one concertgoer said.
The legendary artist delighted fans in the same hall where he took piano lessons and had detention he says a time or two when he was late for school.
Diamond, 73, was born in Brooklyn and attended Erasmus Hall High School in Flatbush from 1954-1956.
It's also where he sang in the chorus.
"This is a meaningful place for me. My life changed here. I learned so much at Erasmus Hall," Neil Diamond said.
Fans lined up hours before hoping to get the free tickets.
"I want to see him before he packs it in which hopefully won't be another 50 years from now. He's still going strong," said Mark Rottenstein, a Borough Hall resident.
Diamond put on his Facebook fan page two weeks ago that he would be having a free surprise concert.
Then Monday morning, he tweeted out the location sending crowds of people here and bringing in fans from as far as Miami.
"I am a loyal fan born and raised. This is third generation. This will be the first Neil Diamond show if we can get him in," said Steve Ketterer, a Delaware resident.
They did get in.
In fact everyone who was in line did.
Some older fans saw it as a prime opportunity to educate those younger ears.
"What did you think of the music?" Eyewitness News asked one young concertgoer.
"It wasn't bad. I liked some of the songs and some not," said Malakhi Fair, a Flatbush resident.
The performance was filmed for a documentary Neil Diamond is working on. He was supposed to perform five or six songs but ended up doing many more than that. A performance at the Barclays Center is scheduled for March 26 as part of an upcoming tour of North America and Mexico City.
The legendary singer was also promoting his new album, "Melody Road", out later next month
Legendary singer Neil Diamond gives surprise concert in Brooklyn
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