Kankakee, Illinois - Abe Lincoln Gym

Oct 03, 1970

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  1. Kankakee Daily Journal

    October 5, 1970

    Neil Diamond Concert Pulls Standing-Room-Only Crowd

    The largest audience to ever cram into Abraham Lincoln gymnasium, an estimated 4,000 persons, grooved with Neil Diamond for about an hour Saturday Night.

    The show, which also featured comedian-TV-movie star Sandy Baron, was a smashing success despite a couple of technical boo-boos.

    Diamond, backed up by a competent trio of musicians, two guitarists (one woman) and one drummer, received a loud, standing ovation at the conclusion of the concert.

    Singing such big hits as “Cracklin’ Rosie,” “Solitary Man,” “Sweet Caroline,” “Holly Holy,” “Brother Love” and “Kentucky Woman,” the young singer-composer received rousing applause and cheers. His audience “clapped along” on several numbers.

    The technical difficulties included the accidental pulling out of a plug which turned off the amplifiers and the very untimely blacking out of the spotlight later in the show. The “black out” came during Diamond’s singing of a tender and difficult ballad, “Brooklyn Roads.”

    The gymnasium was packed 15 minutes before the show began and hundreds of ticket seekers were turned away at the door. The show was sponsored by the Kankakee Community College Student Association.

    The audience was made up primarily of high school and college aged students and long hair, beards, beads, head bands, buckskin vests, sandals and flair pants were prominent. However, there were a number of “Oldtimers” (the 30 and over set) in attendance also.

    The crowd estimate was made by college officials who said over 4,000 tickets were sold and “at least 1,000” persons were turned away at the door.



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