Oakland, California - Oakland Coliseum Arena

Oct 20, 1983

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  1. After seeing the Vocalist in ’81 at the Cow Palace, I was determined to go to more than one show…so this time, I got tickets to three of the four shows at the Oakland Coliseum!! As we drove in, the marquee outside the arena said “Neil Diamond-Four Sold Out Performances-A Record”. I particularly remember that on the first night, I guess the preproduction ran late, because the NDRRT were still doing a sound check around 7.00pm-they wouldn’t let us into the arena, of course, but we could hear strains of “Love On The Rocks”. Suddenly, I realized that we were hearing a new song-“Primitive”-being rehearsed as well! I shouted something to the others around me and we all became pretty excited. Later on I found out that it was the first time he had performed “Primitive” live!! He did the “American Popular Song” medley that night, and even sang “The Star Spangled Banner”. It was the longest concert I have ever seen (I’m up to 19 now) running almost three hours. He did “Dancing Bumble Bee” with the neon-trimmed guitar, right after the band intro…he introduced Reinie last, then had him begin the bass strum for the song, dramatically turning to face the audience with the neon guitar. He knew how to work the crowd! Then, on Sunday night, we were thrilled by “Fire on the Tracks” (the actual performance that you hear on on “Stages”, so you can understand how significant it was for me hearing that cut). I can tell you that when Neil asked us how we liked it, we all went crazy. I still have pictures from that night.

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