The last couple of weeks I've been listening a lot to the latest FTD "escape" The Wonder Of You. As you probably know, it features the August 13, 1970 Dinner Show, the sixth and last one to be recorded by RCA during that particular engagement.
I won't bother with a review, as I totally agree with the one written by Tygrrius over at the Elvis Australia site. Instead, this fantastic concert once more made me think about which show I would pick if there existed a one-use-only Elvis concert time machine.
No doubt one of the shows from the Elvis third Las Vegas engagement would be a very strong candidate. One of my absolute favorites is the Midnight show recorded on August 12, available on the 3 disc set That's The Way It Is - Special Edition released in 2000.
As Alex Richardson puts it in the latest The Man And His Music issue, while reviewing the unofficial CD/DVD package That's The Way It Is: The Complete Works:
"The perfect blend of old and new material - the highlight being the seemingly impromptu sit-down-with-electric-guitar session - from a man who was firing on all cylinders, this is a very strong contender for Elvis' greatest show ever."
Sometimes when I fantasize like this about which show I would like to travel back in time to see, I cheat and bend the rules a little. When I do, it's possible to pick both an early show (say, from 1969-72) and one from the later concert years (1973-77).
Still, I always have a hard time choosing between the legendary Pittsburgh concert from New Year's Eve 1976 (released by FTD in 2003) and the afternoon show performed in Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, on July 19, 1975 (available on the bootleg Americas Own). Both stand out as some of the best concerts Elvis did during those years.
It must have been an incredible experience sitting in audience watching him perform "Rags To Riches" or sing "Bosom Of Abraham/You Better Run."
But of course there are other highlights. The shows from Elvis' third tour in November 1971 show him in top form, as do the the ones from tour number eight that took place in the summer of 1973. And of course it would have been incredible to see Elvis perform during the filming of Elvis On Tour or when he was recorded live on stage in Memphis on March 20, 1974. Not to mention Madison Square Garden or the famous Aloha satellite show.
What it boils down to is that not only is it impossible to travel back in time to see Elvis, it's also extremely difficult to pick that one concert to attend. But if a time machine materialized right now in my living room I would punch in the following date and location: August 12, 1970, The International Hotel, Las Vegas, around midnight!
PS: Thanks for lending me the title to this post, Tygrrius!