Anaheim, California - Anaheim Convention Center

Sep 26, 1970

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  1. Los Angeles Times

    September 28, 1970

    Concert by Neil Diamond
    By Robert Hilburn

    Neil Diamond, who received a standing ovation from an enthusiastic full house Saturday night at the Anaheim Convention Center, is clearly one of the hottest properties in pop music.

    In fact, the dynamic singer-songwriter-performer’s records are selling so fast that he has both album and single hits on two different labels currently.

    “Cracklin’ Rosie” (which is the nation’s No. 6 single) and “Gold” (the No. 10 album) are both on Uni (Diamond’s current label), while “Solitary Man” (the No. 28 single) and “Shilo” (the No. 90 album) are on Bang (his old label).

    His public appearances are doing just as well. The 9,000-seat Anaheim facility was sold out nearly two weeks before the concert. His October date at New York’s Carnegie Hall is already sold out and a second show has been added.

    In both his writing and singing, Diamond has a high sense of drama. His songs are filled with sharp tempo changes that add to the impact of his powerful pure rock (as opposed to blues-rock or soul) voice and the unrelenting drum-guitar-bass beat.

    He is a particularly effective performer on stage. Though his comments between songs tend to wander, he has excellent projection when he is singing. The audience response Saturday was consistently strong.

    Like Elvis Presley, Diamond uses some country (“Kentucky Woman”) and gospel (“Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”) influences in his music.

    In fact, Diamond is, in many ways, a natural descendant of the country-rock side of the rock revolution of the mid-1950s. In that role, he is filling a void that has existed for years and is reaching a concert audience (the 25-35 age group) that has been somewhat untapped in recent years.

    While there has been a steady stream of male soul singers and blues-rock singers since the mid-1950s, there has been relatively little progress in the country-rock area that first launched Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and others.


    It is important to note that Diamond’s style is not a replay of the 1950s, but an evolution of it. It is what might best be described today as pop-rock.

    While Diamond isn’t the only singer working in that new pop-rock style (others would include Joe South and, at times, Waylon Jennings), he is the first–other than Presley–to become a star in it. That’s why his potential, both on records and in concerts–is so great. He may well be the start of a new trend.

    With him Saturday at Anaheim was Linda Ronstadt, that country-rock sensation whose recent Greek Theater and Troubadour appearances were reviewed here. She was well received.


  2. Orange County Register

    September 29, 1970

    Singer Gives Relaxed Show
    By Cheryl Adams

    Neil Diamond is the kind of performer who makes you appreciate him more every time you hear him–and he is the kind of guy you like a little more every time you see him.

    When singer-songwriter Neil Diamond gives a concert, you know it’s all him. That special quality of voice is unmistakable and about 98 per cent of the songs he chooses to perform are his own.

    Diamond appeared at the Anaheim Convention Center Saturday night for a one night stand, and before he left the stage, most of the approximately 9,000 people in attendance were on their feet cheering.

    It is unusual for a songwriter to be able to sing well. But in Neil Diamond’s case, that is an understatement. He has taken his own songs and with his own distinctive voice, has made hits out of them–one after another.

    He told his audience Saturday that one of the nice things about being a songwriter is that you can write about whatever you want.

    Takes his latest hit, “Cracklin’ Rosie.” Diamond said he was visiting in Canada when he was told how some of the men in a northern Indian village find Saturday night dates when women are scarce. They go to the local store, buy a bottle of cracklin’ rose wine, and make that their best girl for the evening.

    Diamond took the story, made a song of it, and hence the lyrics–“Cracklin’ Rosie, you’re a store bought woman.”

    The singer often writes about things that have happened to him. One of his most tender songs, which he claims is almost autobiographical, tells about his boyhood days in Brooklyn and another about Brother Love, an evangelist, and his salvation show, a revival that Diamond attended and consequently, wrote about.

    The songwriter is a relaxing person to watch. He is assured, calm and professional, yet possesses an almost boyish charm that endears him even more to his audience. He jokes easily with his audience and talks to them, not at them. His is a personal performance.

    Almost all of Diamond’s program was made up of his own hits, for he has enough to fill an entire program. He seems to know those are what his audience has come to hear. His presentation of non-hits was limited to one or two songs.


  3. Hollywood Reporter

    September 30, 1970

    Neil Diamond–Anaheim Convention Center
    By Sue Cameron

    Neil Diamond received a standing ovation from 9,000 fans at the full-to-the-brim Anaheim Convention Center Saturday night. It was spontaneous and deserved. Diamond is a great artist and a dynamic and warm performer.

    In a smaller room, such as the Troubadour, Diamond’s every body move and nuance make the room come alive. He’s not a mover in that tasteless, blatant sex symbol trick–he has taste. In a big concert it is difficult to achieve a rapport with a crowd and make each member of the audience feel as if you are singing to him. Diamond does. The moves can’t be seen as well, but he talks to the audience between numbers as if it is a living room conversation. Some of the set patter should go, such as the comments about girls’ hair in pin curls–that is dated and superfluous. But when he tells you stories behind the song he wrote and then sings that song, something magical happens.

    A big audience-warmer is Diamond’s request to all the audience members who have flash cameras to flash them at the same time on the count of three. It is a good gimmick. Diamond sings all his hits, and “Holly Holy” really came off exceptionally well. He switched to a stool and a single spot and put down his guitar to sing the beautiful “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.” His autobiographical “Brooklyn Roads” was also nice, and the closer “Brother Love’s Travelin’ Salvation Show” included a sermon by Diamond that left the crowd cheering.

    Opening the show was Linda Ronstadt, who has already been reviewed both at the Troubadour and at the Greek Theatre. She was enjoyable Saturday night and has wisely cut down on the double entendre cracks in favor of more singing.



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