The main June tour was a short nine day stretch that began in Springfield,
Missouri and included the taping of the now-infamous 'Elvis In Concert'
special for CBS-TV in Omaha, Nebraska and Rapid City, South Dakota. In
Indianapolis, as on virtually any show he gave in 1977, Elvis sounds very
tired -- frankly, he shouldn't have been performing at all, as the video
evidence of the afore-mentioned TV special bears out. Comparing his
efforts here to even the previous December shows how far the standard had
fallen. In just seven weeks, Elvis Presley would die at his home in
Perversely, 'Adios', given all the limitations just mentioned, is quite
nice. The audience tape source (in stereo!) for this second escape, uh,
release from Mystery Train is different from the one used for the original
vinyl issue ('The Last Farewell') -- it's softer and fuller, the
graciousness of the crowd more apparent. Indianapolis was very pleased to
have Elvis in town that Sunday evening! And Elvis responds in kind. He
pulls out spontaneous renditions of "Please Release Me" ("that was totally
unrehearsed"), "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water",
three numbers rarely given space in his set list in 1977 and generally
charms everyone in the building. As usual most of the older numbers are
trashed, while something like "I Really Don't Want To Know", short as it
is, is delivered with skill and finesse. Even "Can't Help Falling In Love"
is imbued with a warmth not found on other shows of the period.
Before leaving, he spends nearly four minutes thanking everyone associated
with the tour, including his dad Vernon, cousins like Patsy Gambill ("she's
as nutty as a fruitcake"), girlfriend Ginger Alden, even sound engineers
Bill Porter and Bruce Jackson (who would take over concert sound for Bruce
Springsteen, beginning with the amazing 'Darkness On The Edge Of Town' tour
in 1978)! Some people have theorized that this meant Elvis "knew" the end
was near, but it's more likely that Elvis wondered (and worried) what his
reception on the next tour (scheduled to commence in Portland, Maine on
August 17) would be like -- this was the last show he would do before the
bodyguard tell-all book "Elvis: What Happened?" went into bookstores and
tarnished his "clean" image.
Regrettably, Mystery Train truncates the outro vamp and announcer comments
about a last chance to purchase an "Elvis Super Souvenir" before going home
(it can be heard on 'The Last Farewell') -- it's as ironic a moment as the
sequence in the 1977 TV Special where the frame transitions from a vendor
counting money to an overweight, obviously unwell Elvis arriving backstage.
A more apt summary of this sad ending to a brilliant career has not been
For anyone wishing to possess a complete show from 1977, 'Adios' is more
than adequate. If you want to own a piece of history, this disc is
Sound rate **1/2