Fresno, California - Selland Arena (Convention Center)

Sep 25, 1970

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  1. Fresno Bee

    September 26, 1970

    Neil Diamond
    Linda Ronstadt
    By David Hale

    One of the most exciting concert billings of the year had to be that of pop music stars Neil Diamond and Linda Ronstadt.

    The program last night in Selland Arena lived up to its promise, more or less. Diamond was especially impressive, combining a tight, revitalizing performance with a loose, informal approach while Miss Ronstadt, onetime lead singer of Stone Poneys, survived some opening difficulties and proved herself to be as much a pleasure to hear as a country singer as she is to see.

    Diamond was accorded a reception bordering on that of a superstar by the crowd of several thousand. They yelled for his appearance, whistled and clapped along during his performance and rushed the stage at the completion. Some of the more adventurous teen-age girls attempted to reach their idol by scaling the fence at the rear of the hall; they would have made it but for a phalanx of police.

    Diamond was impressive, all right, backed by a solid trio. We could have done with less of the patter, but things like recalling his anxiety over an appearance at Fresno’s Crimson castle early in his career (“There must have been 200 people there!”) helped establish his modest, likeable personality.

    He is also a musicianly singer, with a generally pleasant voice capable of handling folk ballads or the harsh black blues idiom so identified lately with Joe Cocker. Most of the material is his own.

    “Cracklin’ Rosie” is typical of Diamond’s best work, combining the simplicity of the late ’50s rock and roll tune storyline (the title is a reference to cheap wine as a weekend substitute for a woman) with a slick arrangement and an infectious beat.

    “Solitary Man” is a superior tune, and “You’re So Sweet,” a takeoff on hillbilly music, was amusing.

    (The remainder of the review was omitted here because it deals with Linda Ronstadt.)



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