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Here Come The Stars

Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:33 pm

The audience was waiting eagerly for the arrival of the King, when the orchestra started to play Also Sprach Zarathustra, which lead into the Opening Riff. And then Elvis finally arrived, dressed in his Inca Gold Leaf Suit, that he had worn first during the summer of 1974. He had re-activated the suit in October, but strangely he combined it with the belt buckle of the Indian Feather Suit, which was now worn with a different belt.

As usual the King took his guitar from Charlie Hodge and started the show with See See Rider. Today's version was a good one, sung well and performed dynamically. The same could be said about I Got A Woman, which was once again delivered well.

Elvis gave the guitar back to Charlie and welcomed the audience. He told them right away that he had slept until 07.00 pm (maybe he wanted to warn the fans that he wasn't really awake), but then he turned his attention to a lady at the edge of the stage. What Do You Want? he asked her, but the answer made him respond You Can't Say That - There Are Kids In The Audience, Including Mine! The fans loved conversations like this and of cause Elvis also took some gifts, the people brought to the stage for him.

He went on with Love Me and gave away dozens of scarves to the females in front of the stage. The song itself was performed in a mediocre way, but the main attraction were the scarves, not the song. If You Love Me, Let Me Know - If You Don't, Get Out Of The Picture! was Elvis' introduction to the next song. The Olivia Newton-John hit If You Love Me (Let Me Know) had been a part of the show for two years now, but the fans would have to wait for another six months until they could buy it on a record. In June 1977 a live performance recorded in April of the same year would be featured on the album Moody Blue. Today's performance was good and the King delivered the country pop tune well. The same could be said about You Gave Me A Mountain, which gave Elvis the opportunity to take full advantage of his rich baritone voice. The result was nothing but impressive and a proof, why he was in the business for such a long time.

My Third Movie Was Called "Jailhouse Rock". The Words Of This Song Are So Fast, I Sound Like Donald Duck! This was the introduction to the first of the greatest hits he would sing tonight, but despite Elvis' comments the performance wasn't bad at all. Maybe a little too fast -as usual-, but still more than solid. Of cause the man in the glittering jumpsuit wasn't the image of a rockin' rebel, but nevertheless Elvis delivered a good performance.

The King went on with his best sold record ever (and a song, that is still amongst the ten most sold single releases of all time), It's Now Or Never. In contrast to the versions of the following year, the arrangement still was simple. It started with an intro that sounded like a mandolin and during the chorus a solo trumpet was played. And of cause there was Elvis' voice, which let the song shine. At times he sounded nearly like an opera singer, he sang it just great. With the following Trying To Get To You the King returned to his beginnings at SUN Records in Memphis. And once again he delivered such a great version, that outclassed the original recording. After the song was over, a woman used the moment to ask, when Elvis would come to Jacksonville. He quickly replied that he had just been there (in September), but now the fans started to ask about a lot of cities. Next Year! was Elvis' reply and quickly he went into Blue Suede Shoes to end the discussion about tour dates. But in contrast to the other oldies that night, his performance of Blue Suede Shoes wasn't too good, the rendition was a little too lifeless. Fever was better, Elvis seemed to have fun with it and the audience loved it, too.

Now someone was calling out for Heartbreak Hotel, but Elvis rejected the request. Instead of singing his classic, he introduced America, The Beautiful. But suddenly a little girl appeared on stage, which somewhat shocked the King. The Child Came Out Of Nowhere! he said and added You Don't Have A Chance Against Kids And Animals. A fan realized that the girl had a stuffed teddy bear in her arm and made a comment about it, which made Elvis laugh A Guy Said "She Got The Animal With It!" That's A Strange Thing To Do Before "America, The Beautiful". After this little interaction the King went on with the song and once again it was an opportunity to show the power and richness of his voice. America was performed very well and Elvis delivered a moving rendition of this patriotic song.

But the next highlight was about to follow. Charlie handed the King the lyrics to Bridge Over Troubled Water. While the band played the intro Elvis apologized for the lyric sheet by saying ...Almost Never Done, but as it turned out he needed the sheet only on the first verse. The cover photo of the CD shows Elvis while singing Bridge Over Troubled Water. The fans loved every second of Elvis' impressive rendition, but the true highlight of the evening was yet to come.

Without any introduction the King suddenly began to sing What Now My Love. And even though this song hadn't been performed during the last three years, the band joined in without loosing a second. Elvis sang the first lines as he used to do, but then he started to recited them. He did it in such a dramatic, moving and emotional way, that it must have sent shivers down the spine of everyone around. When the chorus came, Elvis started to sing again and took the song to a dramatic, opera like finale. It was an impressive performance, which got even more impressive because it wasn't rehearsed. But it showed only, because just the band was playing, not the orchestra.


They Say, That A Man Is Judged By The People Around Him - Look At Those Freaks! said the King and started to introduce the band. Despite great performances of Early Morning Rain and Love Letters it was a long lasting affair, the orchestra even performed School Days twice, because Elvis wanted to give their guitarist the opportunity to play a solo. And of cause Elvis also introduced two of his fellows in the audience, Engelbert Humperdinck and Roy Orbison. Two other "stars" where Vernon Presley and Lisa-Marie, who were also attending the show.


Our Latest Record - As Far As I Know - Is Called "Hurt". This was the introduction to the next song and it almost seemed funny, that Elvis wasn't informed if his next single (Moody Blue, coupled with She Thinks I Still Care) had already been released. By the way, this engagement would have been the right time to introduce these songs to the audience by performing them on stage. But that would have needed a rehearsal and so Elvis preferred to sing the well known Hurt. Nevertheless his performance was great and his voice sounded nothing but brilliant. Unfortunately this couldn't be said about Hound Dog, which was wrecked as always. The Show Wouldn't Be Complete, If I Didn't Do A Gospel Song We Did In '67. It Features The Stamps Quartet And It's Called "How Great Thou Art". With this introduction Elvis saved the final part of the show, because he sang the gospel classic in such a great way that made his embarrassing performance of the previous song forget.

With a short Than You Very Much, Take It Home! Elvis gave the signal for Can't Help Falling In Love and within two minutes or so he was gone.

On this 04th December Elvis certainly had performed the best show of the engagement. Despite the fact that he had sounded a little out of breath at times, his voice was pure, strong and powerfull and the selection of songs was very good, too. Mybe because Engelbert and Roy were in the audience, Elvis gave a little more then usual. But whatever the reason was, the show was great!

In 1995 a CD called Love Letters From Nevada featured a very good audience recording of this show. Fourteen years later Straight Arrow re-released the show on Here Come The Stars. They used the same source for the project, but of cause re-worked the tape with the latest technology. Now the recording sounds a little better, but the greatest improvement is the presentation. The CD comes along with a booklet of 16 pages with well written liner notes (by "Gemini", who was in the audience that night) and a lot of pictures. As a bonus, four songs of "Gemini"'s tape were used. They have a lot of hiss, but Elvis' voice sounds a little more natural then on the main source.


Also Sprach Zarathustra (Intro) / See See Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / If You Love Me (Let Me Know) / You Gave Me A Mountain / Jailhouse Rock / It's Now Or Never / Trying To Get To You / Blue Suede Shoes / Fever / America, The Beautiful / Bridge Over Troubled Water / What Now My Love / Band Introduction / Early Morning Rain / What'd I Say (Solo of J. Burton) / Soli of R. Tutt, J. Scheff and T. Brown / Love Letters / School Days (Solo of the orchestra) / School Days (Solo of the orchestra, featuring a guitar solo / Hurt / Hound Dog / How Great Thou Art / Can't Help Falling In Love / Exit Theme

Trying To Get To You / Bridge Over Troubled Water / What Now My Love / Hurt