East Lansing, Michigan - MSU Auditorium

Jan 26, 1969

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

This article has 2 Comments

  1. Diamond outshines Seger

    January 28, 1969

    Michigan State News, East Lansing, Michigan
    By Mark McPherson

    If you managed to break the Smothers Brothers habit, stack the books and mush your way to the Auditorium Sunday night, you saw a strange show. Strange in the sense that an ASMSU performance was so late in the week, something which hasn’t occurred since last year’s seventh-day visit of Bob Hope.

    The Bob Seger System, a popular Detroit-based group, with hits as “Heavy Music,” and “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” shared the spotlight with Neil Diamond.

    The evening’s concert was different in the sense that Seger’s own group seemed to overpower him to the point of frustration. Their performance seemed futile, and a disappointment to the many who arrived to hear this particular brand of “heavy” music which bogged down under the complex speaker equipment and psychedelic paraphernalia.

    Diamond’s performance shone brightest of all. The audience responded well to his “Solitary Man,” whose own brand of informal, smooth song-styling earned him a first place in “Cash Box Magazine’s” best male vocalist category last year. Actually, Diamond tied for this honor with someone named Sinatra. This isn’t bad company for a 26-year-old composer who was a struggling medical student at New York University a few years ago. Since those early years, Diamond’s efforts have gone into writing songs for Jay and the Americans, Bobby Vinton, Andy Williams and most recently, The Monkees. Diamond’s “I’m a Believer” by this pre-fab, American version of the Beatles sold 10 million records. Success was renewed with “A Little Bit You, A Little Bit Me.”

    By this time, Diamond began to think of doing something with his own material. His singing career began with successive hits like “Solitary Man,” “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” “Kentucky Woman,” “Red, Red Wine” and others.

    All of these and more were on Sunday night’s concert roster. Both material and performer were professional in every sense. Diamond seemed relaxed and comfortable with the packed audience. His manner was easy. His medium didn’t call for much gadgetry to get the voice across.

    “I play concerts about two days a week,” he said. “Any more than that becomes a job. But the difference between an album, say, and a performance is that when you sing live, you’re judged by the total effect, which I like.

    Apparently the audience liked his total effect, too. What the Seger System was unable to achieve electronically, Diamond made up for in his own brand of 14 karat performance.



Leave a Reply