Sunday, March 7, 2010
One week after the concert in London, the thing I remember the most about Elvis Presley In Concert was the incredible response from the audience. This was especially true during the second act when show stoppers such as "Suspicious Minds" and "An American Trilogy" earned standing ovations from every single soul in the arena, yours truly included.
Another moment that comes to mind was the bald guy two rows in front of me wearing one of those shirts Elvis fancied during rehearsals for his August 1970 Las Vegas engagement. When Elvis sang the part about "gazed at your bald head and wished you had hair" on the big screen, his buddies seated beside him pointed at his head and all of them had a great laugh.
I also remembered feeling incredible good, thinking once again, how lucky I am being a fan and what Elvis means to me. And, judging by the people all around me, I wasn't the only one having those kind of thoughts.
As for the show itself, I felt it was more "in sync" than when I saw it the last time, in 2000. Elvis' voice and the musicians sounded very coordinated and never out of time. In other words, the illusion that Elvis sang "live" was a very real one.
But maybe this should come as no big surprise. The concert was part of the sixth tour of Europe, so the band should feel very much at ease with the concept by now. Which leads me to the only bit of criticism I have about the whole show: the song lineup. Although a very strong one, it differs little from the one used during earlier tours.
Granted, there's only a few movies and television specials to choose from, but they include a lot of material (released and unreleased) that hasn't been used. I for one would love to see "I Just Can't Help Believin'," "Patch It Up," and "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" from That's The Way It Is. And why isn't more footage from Elvis On Tour than "How Great Thou Art" and "Sweet, Sweet Spirit" adapted to the show? And while I'll at it, wouldn't it be cool if Act 1 was the Aloha show and Act 2 a concert from August 1970?
Those thoughts aside, Elvis Presley In Concert is an incredible experience. I think the introductory text in the tour programme says it all:
"Who but the legendary Elvis Presley, his outstanding bandmates and his incomparable fans could make such an amazing thing happen? Elvis was the best. He surrounded himself with the best singers and players. Together, they performed for the best fans anyone could ever dream of having. Elvis said it then and it's still true today: "You're a fantastic audience. Thankyouverymuch."
Movie showing the last minute of "Suspicious Minds."