San Jose, California - San Jose Civic Auditorium

Jun 05, 1970

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  1. San Jose Mercury-News

    June 7, 1970

    Diamond’s Hard Rock Captivating
    By Gloria Tully

    It was almost like old times Friday night at San Jose Civic Auditorium when rock singer-composer Neil Diamond made his first local appearance.

    The way the amplifiers blared to the hearing-loss level and the beat bounced off the walls brought back the days when such top rock stars as the Rolling Stones and the Byrds played one-night stands at Civic.

    There were differences about the Diamond show, however. The talented performer not only presents an exciting sampling of his songs from hard rock to ballads, but also enjoys and easy informal exchange with his fans. His commentary revealed a wry irreverent humor, particularly toward his own success, that was engaging.

    Missing but not missed from the scene were the screaming teenyboppers of yesteryear. Not that the large crowd was anything but enthusiastic. Applause was loud as the hit tunes came and went, and the evening wound up with a rousing standing ovation and shots for “more.”

    Long a consistent scorer on the record charts, Diamond can do an entire evening of his hits and not get around to all of them. His dozen or so songs Friday night skimmed along the peaks from gold-disk w9nner “Sweet Caroline” and “Solitary Man” to the more recent “Holly Holy” and as a blockbusting closer, the evangelical shouter “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show.”

    He accompanied himself on amplified guitar, ably backed by Carol Hunter, girl eald player; bassist Randy Sterling and drummer Eddy Ruben.

    Diamond softened his hard driving style and harsh, though effective tones for Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” and his own poetically lyrical “The Singer Sings His Songs.” Adding such goodies as a devastating country-western parody resulted in one of the most entertaining pop music shows seen here in a while.



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