Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Milwaukee Auditorium

Feb 12, 1971

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  1. Milwaukee Journal

    February 13, 1971

    Diamond Gives Polished Show
    By Thomas J. Hagerty

    Recording artist and composer Neil Diamond brought the “now” and the over 30 generations together Friday night. And it was evident that the sellout crowd of 6,300 in the Auditorium will be long in kicking the Diamond habit.

    The contrasts between Diamond’s fans were sharp. Teenagers–mostly girls–darted from back rows with flash cameras to snap close-ups and dodge anxious ushers. Most older fans seemed to have little trouble sitting back and taking in Diamond’s simple, direct messages about life, love and loneliness, set to the compelling throb of the simplified psychedelic beat.

    The evening began with the Clara Ward Singers who shook and jittered their way through several renditions. The crowd, though, wanted Diamond. The 15-minute intermission announced before Diamond appeared drew the only boos of the night.

    Diamond’s appeal rests partly on the variety he brings to his lyrics. The songs are simple but deep. And, after 5 albums and 50 recordings, Diamond obviously knows how to entertain.

    “Solitary Man,” his first recording six years ago, drew the heaviest applause. But perhaps the most touching was “He Ain’t Heavy…He’s My Brother.” The song was written by the late Bob Russell, a close friend of Diamond. Diamond remembered Russell by raising a hand toward one dim light from the balcony while he sang.

    Besides Diamond, credit also must go to guitarist and backup singer Carol Hunter, who had played behind Jimi Hendrix and Arlo Guthrie.



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