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Review of Elvis RPO concert in London

Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:14 pm

Hi I went to the Elvis RPO concert in London on Thursday, I thought some people might be interested to hear my opinion.

Firstly, the O2 arena, which is really big, was more than 90% full from what I could tell, it was a good atmosphere.
Before going into more detail, my summary would be that, although I have no interest in buying the RPO albums, it is still a great experience to hear the power of Elvis’ voice and the richness of the live orchestra acoustics in in an auditorium setting, and you really have to experience this to fully appreciate what a performer he was. To me the show itself was not as special as the one with the TCB band, but it was great to see Priscilla, and she walked into the audience a few feet away from me.

To warm up, the RPO plays “If I can dream” with the lyrics on a big screen. The graphics were so poor, any school kid could have produced better visuals. There were even spelling mistakes! It looked like a really cheap opening. Luckily it got better…
I thought the whole first half of the show was abit flat. It starts out with several songs from Aloha & TTWI where Elvis is already sweating and his hair messed up, which made no sense. They should definitely keep See See Rider as the opener, nothing else makes sense.
Compared to seeing the TCB shows a few years back where Elvis asks James to play, and there stands James, simply can’t be replicated any more. That unique experience has gone forever.
The quality of the video on Just Can’t Help Believin is so bad, it really jars. I can’t believe that Rick Schmidlin didn’t actually restore that tape at the same time as doing the rest of the movie.
How great thou art, as the last song before the interval, killed the energy to be honest. It was the only clip from EOT, Elvis looked much worse than in the previous clips, and religious songs are simply not that popular in the UK.
Not a neg, but it was pretty weird watching Elvis sing “she took my one ray of sunshine, she took my pride & joy etc.” with Priscilla watching on!

The 2nd half of the show exploded with several ’68 numbers. The video quality was fantastic, and I found myself thanking Steve Binder for recognizing and capturing Elvis’ talent like nobody else cared to.
During Memories half the audience held up their phone lights, it looked incredible.
Suspicious Minds really was a highlight, everyone was on their feet and it sounded great with the orchestra.
Love Me Tender worked great, they mixed the ‘56 movie footage with the ‘68 footage. I would have liked to have seen that trick for other songs too.
During one of the love songs, they showed a montage of Elvis with other women, Nancy Sinatra and Ann Margaret included. I had a lot of respect for Priscilla for allowing that!
Just Pretend and Trilogy sounded amazing.
It really was special to hear Priscilla talking over some of the Xmas home movies.

All in all, I’m really glad I went, there are moments of incredible power. But the production itself definitely has room for improvement.

Re: Review of Elvis RPO concert in London

Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:37 pm

I saw it in Manchester, and I have to say, it was Priscilla who slowed things down, and didn't have much to say. She took up a few minutes walking through the first few rows, but seemed insincere. I hate the story of how she brought American Trilogy to Elvis, and she didn't have anything really interesting to say.

The ending of the 1st half with Bridge was an absolute highlight, one that brought my partner to tears, and she's not really a fan. I get what you're saying about the first half, but the only thing about the first half I didn't like was the 3 songs without footage. Why not use Can't Help Falling In Love from the 68 special - it's a sublime version! Don't - it's a nice enough song, but the orchestra didn't add too much too it, and again, they could have maybe used footage from the TTWII rehearsal? I thought the start of Burning Love and Steamroller was a good one, and while I jUst Can't Help Believin may have been in poor quality, it feature d many new camera angles not seen in the original movie. Was this maybe a re-edit prepared for the SE, but not included???

The second half, once it got going was excellent. The sight of the whole orchestra up on their feet dancing to Blue Suede Shoes was a sight to behold!

All in all, I'm glad I went, and it was definitely a different vibe / sound to Elvis The Concert, but I wouldn't go again - once was enough.

Re: Review of Elvis RPO concert in London

Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:59 pm

It's always baffled me why they just don't seem to put the effort in and restore the video properly as it should be? Make it a top show with the big band and and a fully restored Elvis!

Re: Review of Elvis RPO concert in London

Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:06 am

Ive seen the show a few times but missed the one on Thursday. My two friends like the RPO stuff of which I dont and,to date, still have not purchased. Strangely, they were disappointed in the live version whereas I really enjoyed it. A great show and the future given the age of the TCB band now.

Thanks for the review.

Re: Review of Elvis RPO concert in London

Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:18 am

As far as the live video shows go, the future should be collaboration with locally famous rock band(s) backing up the King.
It takes more effort to pull off by country, but will take things to the next level.
RPO, been there, done that.