‘Diamonds for Cash’ thrills crowd

Sam Malone

Toe-tapping, hip-swinging music filled the Egyptian Theatre Saturday evening as the sounds of Neil Diamond and Johnny Cash swept through the audience, captivating viewers with ease.

The first of several shows put together by Dynasty Entertainment and the Egyptian Theatre, 135 N. Second St., all of the proceeds from “Diamonds for Cash” will be given to the Opportunity House, 630 Linden Place.

The lights dimmed, and the show began with Denny Diamond playing the musical stylings of Neil Diamond along with a few others from the era. In an unusual twist, the group opened with an energized mash-up of several songs including Diamond’s “Cherry Cherry,” “La Bamba,” made famous by Ritchie Valens, and “Twist and Shout,” popularized by The Beatles.

Full of comedic banter and honest moments, Denny performed with his two sons, Lucas and Spencer, who reminded the audience of their own talent as well. Complete with a setlist written on a pizza box and Spencer playing drums and bass simultaneously, the group played an incredible hour of what Denny called “feel good” music, celebrating the man who brought the world hits such as “Sweet Caroline” and “Coming to America.”

Then, with a thundering power paralleled by none other than the Man in Black himself, Keith Furry entered the stage as Johnny Cash, turning to the crowd as he rightfully proclaimed, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”

Breaking into hits like “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Walk the Line,” Furry and his band did not waste a second on stage, giving the audience an authentic Johnny Cash show for the time he commanded their attention. From his singing to his banter on stage with the crowd and Jan Daily, his very own June Carter, Furry embodied Cash completely.

It was evident Furry has studied Cash as he solemnly paced back and forth across the stage, bobbing his head up and down as Cash once did. Pushing the guitar away from his body and pointing it like a gun, every movement, word and joke resembled Cash with ease and precision.

Songs like “Boy Named Sue,” “Man in Black” and “Hurt,” originally recorded in 1994 by Nine Inch Nails and covered by Cash in 2002, allowed Furry to capture the deep, throaty growl in Cash’s voice to a tee. It was during these songs the sound of Furry’s voice carried throughout the theater leaving behind remnants of Cash’s soulful spirit for those crowding into the theater.

A genuine Johnny Cash show was what fans set out to see, and that’s exactly what they got with Furry and his crew, Walkin’ With Cash. For those too young to have had the chance to see Cash live, Furry provided the next best thing, and for those old enough to remember the original Man in Black, he jogged memories of a music icon that will never be forgotten.