Madison, Wisconsin - Dane County Coliseum

Jul 18, 1970

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  1. Wisconsin State Journal

    July 20, 1970

    Neil Diamond: a Jewel
    By Vivian Waixel

    Neil Diamond the performer was Neil Diamond the recording _______ at the Dane County Coliseum Saturday night, and then some. For those among the roughly 2,000 in his young audience who are accustomed to hearing their technically-augmented recording idols flop in person, that was more than enough.

    Diamond, a Brooklyn-born composer-performer was backed musically by a drum and three guitars, counting his own, and some good vocal accompaniment. But the Neil Diamond sound sometimes soft and melodic, sometimes growling and grinding out the lyrics–made the show.

    And the audience responded, clapping and stomping their feet to his early hits, “Cherry Cherry” and “Thank the Lord for the Nighttime,” sitting in rapt silence in the wistful “Solitary Man,” and screaming in appreciative recognition at the first bars of the popular “Kentucky Woman.”

    Although he was hoarse, Diamond didn’t hold back. The hoarseness made him muff a few of the low notes in “Sweet Caroline,” but he joked, “I never could hit those notes anyhow.”

    The audience broke into laughter as he offered “the first authentic country-western love song to come out of Brooklyn,” a song entitled “You’re So Sweet Horseflies Keep Hanging ‘Round Your Face.”

    His final number, “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show,” a gospel-style piece, brought everyone to their feet. As he screamed, shouted, cajoled, and agonized imitating “Brother Love,” the faith-healer of his own creation, Diamond’s face grew red with exertion. His manager, Steve Prince, recalled that Diamond once fainted and fell offstage during the number.

    And then he was gone–without an encore, while the crowd stood immobile for a while before leaving. Prince said later that when he is performing to a small group, Diamond prefers a “tight” show, and incorporates his usual encores, “Kentucky Woman” and “Brother Love,” into the show to keep the momentum going.

    From the cheers, whistles, screaming, popping flashbulbs and an occasional female sniffle coming from the youthful crowd, Diamond apparently succeeded. They only seemed stunned when it was all over.



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