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Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:19 pm
CD4 of the 4 CD box set "Close Up" is "Live In Texas 1972"
recorded live April 18, 1972 at the Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas (onto a 16 track master tape).
The overall sound quality and mix of the show is quite good.
In my opinion, Dennis Ferrante seems to improve with each new live show he does.
The biggest examples of this are the recent FTD release "Elvis At The International" and now this latest conquest.
The sound quality of this tape far surpasses the much degraded quality of the MSG afternoon show tape.
Although the noise level or "tape hiss" is quite apparent throughout the entire recording, it does not detract from the clarity of the mix.
There is no distortion of the instruments as can be heard on AAITG.
The mix of instruments, especially the drums and brass being quite prominent, is about as close to perfect as one can expect.
It is a warm mix that definitely puts you in the audience as the crowd can be heard throughout the show.
Dennis seems to use the audience as a method of exposing the ultimate live experience (he used this technique on AAITG) where the crowd noise level is increased in all the right places.
There is no question that this is Elvis at his most powerful.
This is the master in his element.
The songs may all not be the best versions and he may not converse as much with the audience as he did in later years, but Elvis is without a doubt in total control.
One thing you'll notice during this performance is that it should have been titled "No Fooling Around" as Elvis spends very little time interacting with the audience.
The show starts out with the 2001 theme and an excellent rendition of See See Rider (understandably similar to the April 9th evening performance from EOT).
The following two performances of Proud Mary and Never Been To Spain are difficult to describe.
It's one of those things where you know you've heard them before but "you ain't never heard 'em like this!"
You Gave Me A Mountain and Until It's Time For You To Go are standard versions and relatively flawless.
Polk Salad Annie is a real driving version and you can't help but get into this one.
The mix on this particular tune really stands out... close your eyes while you're listening to it and you'll understand what I mean.
That's the only way I can explain it.
Next up are some of the standards, all with excellent "70's versions" with Hound Dog having the bluesy beginning (it doesn't quite have the same feel as HD from the MSG evening show).
How Great Thou Art as it was performed on this night was quite enjoyable but I would say that the Hampton Roads performance is superior. This version follows more along the lines of the original 1966 version.
If you have ever heard Elvis' live performance of How Great Thou Art from Portland in the fall of 1970, I would say this version follows that closely.
One thing I found missing and quite unfortunate about HGTA (from this performance) was the flute solo sections as can be heard during the grammy winning performance from Memphis 1974.
(that is a particular standout for me as I always loved that part of the song)
I think the flute solo is there, it is just not brought up in the mix for some reason (I believe the "woodwinds" were brought along when Elvis toured).
I Can't Stop Loving You follows and next is Love Me Tender with Elvis messing around at the start.
Suspicious Minds has "heavy" orchestration with Elvis' voice lost at times during the course of the performance.
It actually doesn't take anything away from the song and the brass sounds "majestic"
He does play with the crowd during the slow-down bridge of the song - this section can be seen on EOT.
Following the introductions (which again can be seen on EOT) Elvis performs an absolutely beautiful version of For The Good Times which rivals the MSG Saturday evening show.
I don't normally enjoy listening to FTGT but this performance is exceptional.
Next up is "Burning Love" and is exactly what you see on EOT - no editing.
The sound is great and although Elvis screws up the song and ends it early, it's still an admirable take and worth hearing.
When he screams the "Lord Almighty" and "Higher and higher" parts, you can hear the laughter in his voice during "it's burning through to my soul".
Trilogy is a fairly tame version but the ending is comparable to the Greensboro show (as seen on EOT).
Elvis closes out the show with "Funny" and Can't Help Falling In Love which is excellent with Elvis singing with complete confidence.
The show ends with the now cliche "Elvis has left the building" and some Elvis souvenir promos by Al Dvorin (and it fades during his announcements).
I was somewhat apprehensive when I first heard of this show being released as our first exposure to the On Tour performances - this being the "least attractive" of the four shows.
My opinion has definitely changed.
This is an excellent performance displaying Elvis at the height of his powers.
The live experience you feel while listening to this show is like nothing you've heard (put out by BMG).
The AAITG is similar in that respect but the sound quality distracts the listener from the full effect of the performance - you don't have that problem with the Texas show.
"Live In Texas 1972" is a fine effort from Ernst, Dennis and the BMG group and a worth while addition to the Elvis Presley live experience (unfortunately you have to buy it as a 4CD box set... you can't win 'em all!!!)
Last edited by elvis-fan on Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Tue Jul 01, 2003 6:26 pm
Thanks Elvis-Fan...great review..
I'm looking forward to hearing this show when I get my copy...
Tue Jul 01, 2003 7:17 pm
Thanks a lot elvis-fan for that easy and well-written review!
Tue Jul 01, 2003 10:53 pm
Thanks for your replies.
Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:26 pm
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Last edited by FrankieRider2 on Wed Jul 02, 2003 8:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:42 pm
Hey Brad that's just about one of the BEST reviews iv'e ever read about ANY concert-excellent detail! Now i can't wait to hear it myself in a few weeks in Australia!
Wed Jul 02, 2003 1:05 am
Yes - a great review of the concert.
I listened to it today myself. The only thing I would change about the mix is I would bring up Ronnie's drums more (I'm being selfish - I'm a drummer
Speaking of Ronnie - he also screws up the ending of "An American Trilogy" - he comes in too early but they pull it together.
"Suspicious Minds" is kind of sloppy on the end with the breakdowns - but it still rocks.
"For The Good Times" and "How Great Thou Art" are excellent versions.
I don't mind the "hiss" - I much rather keep the clarity of the tape intact (IMO).
Now I need to listen to the other three CD's
Wed Jul 02, 2003 1:35 am
great reviews guys!!
by the way, just curious, does the san antonio close up mix keep the organ--or is it eliminated?
Wed Jul 02, 2003 2:45 am
Hey Brad! I sent you an e-mail the other day regarding your Niagara Falls post. I attended that concert. I was wondering whether the picture you posted was from that concert and if so are there any more? I took 4 or 5 shots from far back and Elvis is only a white dot. I have been looking for pictures all these years and have not had any luck.
Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:01 am
Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. The pic was taken from the website http://www.elvis-in-concert.com
There are only two pics from that show posted on that site. Both I believe are from the evening performance. Here they are:
Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:07 am
These pics were originally into the ' Jumpsuit Junkies ' section and removed when we made some changes. They were taken by J.R. Caillé and are from the evening performance.
Wed Jul 02, 2003 3:55 am
Nice review elvis-fan, Can't wait to get my hands on this set.
Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:01 am
what can i say : EXCELLENT REVIEW !!! for a EXCELLENT release !! i've gought my close up set yesterday and it's a blast . about the 72 show : the sound is almost perfect , the work behind this release is great ! i'm not able to add anything more than all the details you gave here folks , but for me , and it's a personnal point of view, this live release is probably the best one . eveything is here : sound , feelings, highlights, mistakes (yes ! it's also a part of a live performance) , everything !
it's not "close up" , it's closed to perfection !
all the best
Wed Jul 02, 2003 4:20 pm
I agree, elvisavenue.
This is probably the best live performance that BMG has issued to date.
It really has it all.
(I'd say the August 12, 1970 MS is a close second but definitely doesn't have the same feel as the Texas show -
and the Vegas show is a different experience altogether so I guess it's difficult to compare)