Dallas, Texas - SMU's McFarlin Auditorium

Dec 11, 1970

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  1. Dallas Times-Herald

    December 14, 1970

    Pop: A Polished Diamond
    By Linda Metcalf

    Neil Diamond is certainly not one in the rough, but rather a smooth, polished gem of a performer who likes to write songs, sing them and give of himself to an audience. He had ample opportunity to do that in two concert appearances Friday night at McFarlin Auditorium.

    Diamond the writer has contributed a good variety of sound to popular music. He began in early rock days with songs like “Cherry, Cherry,” “Thank The Lord For The Nighttime” and “Solitary Man.” But his frame of musical reference grew and he progressed to lyrical ballads, moving gospel sounds, and more recently, “The African Trilogy,” a folk ballet based on African folk music.

    His own compositions could easily fill a concert, but in person the emphasis is on Neil Diamond, performer. Therefore, he proved his versatility as a vocalist with a gentle rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “Clouds” and a moving “He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother” by Bob Russell and Bobby Scott.

    The Diamond voice was also in great shape for “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation show,” a firey gospel number that he literally gave body and soul to.

    There were other touching moments, too, like the autobiographical “Brooklyn Roads” and his explanation of the motivation for writing “Holly Holy.” Diamond had a very relaxed, easy manner when conversing with the audience. He said later in an interview that he preferred live audiences and the opportunity to rap with them. It was very obvious that both performer and audience enjoyed the relationship.

    Backed by four very talented and together musicians, Neil Diamond packed a lot of electricity into his show. His poetic music and warm personality make for an enjoyable evening. Let’s hope in this case “Diamond” means a return engagement …soon.


  2. Dallas Morning News

    December 14, 1970

    Diamond, Doors Ignite Weekend
    By Philip Wuntch

    Concert boppers were given an athletic workout Friday night as Neil Diamond presented two shows at McFarlin Auditorium while the Doors played two shows at the State Fair Music Hall.

    The Diamond concert was the first for the popular singer in Dallas and proved that his magnetism is not limited to the stereo. The dark-haired singer showed plenty of finesse whether talking about growing up in Brooklyn, explaining how be wrote each song or simply nonchalantly retrieving a falling microphone. If anything, one hadn’t really expected Diamond to be such a talkative fellow.

    He scored sharply with the poignant “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” the surging “Sweet Caroline,” the fast-clicking “Cracklin’ Rosie” as well as “Kentucky Woman,” “Solitary Man,” “Holly Holy” and “Red, Red Wine.” Oddly enough, he did not do “Do It,” but that was the lone disappointment of an otherwise striking performance.

    Diamond was sided by a fine backup group, including former members of Country Joe and the Fish, the Association and a former accompanist of Billie Holiday. Comedian Fred Smoot, who scored earlier this winter at Trini Lopez’ return concert at Moody Coliseum, opened the show with first-rate comedy support.

    (The remainder of the review was omitted, as it dealt with The Doors.)



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