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Home > You saw the Old Concerts? > Page 7
You saw the Old Concerts?
Feb. 2, 1973, Las Vegas Dinner Show .
It was a once in a lifetime experience! Having been an Elvis fan since 1956 when I bought my first Elvis record, Don't Be Cruel, I had always dreamed of seeing him perform live. My opportunity came at the end of a business trip to Los Angeles when I decided to make an overnight stop over in Las Vegas to see the show on the way home to Toronto. It had been advertised on billboards all over LA. On arriving in Las Vegas, I was immediately hit with bad news. Elvis had cancelled his shows the day before due to a high fever and flu and it was questionable whether he would appear that day.
Anyway, I bought tickets ($15 including a steak and lobster dinner) and joined the line for the dinner show about two hours early. Rumours kept circulating that Elvis would appear, then he wouldn't and it wasn't until they started seating us that we were finally assured that, yes, Elvis would go on. As I was seated at a table well back in the showroom, a $20 tip to the Maitre'd obtained the commitment that after dinner, I would be moved up to the front near centre stage. Sure, enough, as the plates were being cleared, along he came and moved me to a long table right at the edge of the centre stage, close enough to touch Elvis as he passed by.
As Jackie Kahane and the Sweet Inspirations warmed us up, the room became increasingly tense with anticipation. I can't describe the excitement I felt as the opening strains of 2001 began. Then all at once, out bounded Elvis like a splendid white knight, looking fit and showing no visible signs of his illness, although he did say that he still had a fever of 103 degrees and did appear to be perspiring profusely. Elvis opened with See See Rider and went through much of the program that was seen on Aloha From Hawaii which had been broadcast barely two weeks previously.
Elvis' jumpsuit was a nearly identical American Eagle outfit to the one he wore on Aloha. The only differences I could see were that the inserts in the bell bottoms were baby blue instead of red and the blue rhinestones in the eagle were baby blue instead of royal blue. The only picture I have ever seen of this jumpsuit since was in the book included with the Walk A Mile In My Shoes box set.
Elvis performed for a full hour which seemed to me to pass by in seconds. Several times, he passed in front of our table and stopped to kiss the girls (I passed on that but did shake hands). I don't remember him giving out scarves, but he undoubtedly did. I remember the feeling of intimacy of the performance as Elvis made deliberate eye contact with everyone he could, making each person feel that he was singing directly to them.The highlights of the show, for me, were when sang Steamroller Blues, which was his newest song at the time and when he went to the piano and played a medley of songs. In a note of irony, it seemed that Elvis put a little more intensity than usual into his rendition of Fever that evening.
All too soon, Elvis launched into the beginning of Can't Help Falling In Love, and as quickly as he had entered, was gone to the echo of "Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night."
For the next couple of hours, I wandered in a daze through the lights of Vegas, considering going back for the midnight show. My decision was made for me when they announced that alas, that show was cancelled. It was fortunate in deed that, in the spirit of "The show must go on", Elvis decided to perform in spite of his fever, the one show that I was able to attend.
I'll never forget it.
Yes, I had the good fortune of seeing Elvis three times in concert. All three times were in Chicago, October 1976, May 1, and May 2 1977.
It is very exhiliarating to be at an Elvis concert. The electricity that is generated by the fans actually raises the hair on your arms. When the music starts and you are waiting for Elvis to come out on stage is a feeling of wantingness like no other feeling, then, out of the corner pops out Elvis and the crowd goes crazy, camera flashes by the thousands and screaming like you've never heard before.
Elvis literally took command with his presence and he was so damn good that before you realized it, the show was over and away he went. Walking out of the arena after the show, people are just so talkative and friendly and so darn happy that what they just witnessed was so inspiring and awesome that it will live in their hearts and souls and memories forever.
Elvis was, is and always shall be the greatest entertainer that ever graced the stage!
TCB for Elvis....
Tom Sanocki......helping keep Elvis #1
I was an Elvis fan since I was 8 years old.
I got to see a few good concerts while living there. By far Elvis put on the best show that the city would want to see. Elvis fans make his shows.
He actually seemed like he was playing for the crowd, a reaction his fans treated with respect. They stayed pretty much calm except when Elvis got too close to some young female fans. But that was to be expected, he was great doing one of my favorites How Great Thou Art.
It was a cool evening outside after the concert but it seemed like everybody was still warm from the radiant glow Elvis gave everything in the building.
Thanks for making one of my favorite memories come back to my life.
c t b forever
Another Boston concert
I remember everything. A month earlier, I'd seen the full-page ad in Sunday's Boston Globe. I was attending Holy Cross College, in Worcester, about an hour from Boston. On the following Monday, I left early, on a train for Boston, and was one of the first ten people in line. It was sold out, on the same day.
On November 10, me and my girlfriend at the time, a nurse from a Worcester Hospital, left for Boston, on her Ford PInto. Whe we arrived, parking was already a big problem, but we managed. As I entered the Garden I noticed that ads for an argentinian singer by the name of Sandro, were beinbg displayed next to info about Elvis'concert. As a peruvian, I knew Sandro well. He was, at the time, already somewhat fading as a big star in Latin America, but I couldn't believe it that, of all people, he would be also appearing at the Garden, which is a pretty big place. His concert though, was not there, but somewhere else in the city. Amazingly, I saw him a few minutes later, standing in the first row. Luck was not with me that day. First, my recorder didn't work. Then the flashbulb for my camera didn't either. I have, therefore, no mememtos that I could have kept from that incredible evening.
Luckily for me, Elvis was indeed in top form that night. Although I half-expected him to appear in his white jumpuit, the image of him walking on to the stage in that black matador outfit blew me, and my girlfriend away. I was on the tenth row, to the left side od the stage, and he looked about three inches tall!!! It wasn't a great seat, but in the end, it was OK.
There was a certain electricity in the air. The huge roar, the sound of the 2,001 intro, his magnificent appearance, and especially, the time he took to utter the first words of "That's all right" made it even more electrifying. I was delighted when he followed it with "I got a woman", but I wasn't expecting the full stop, then the re-entering in the song's finale, and again, it blew me away. As far as I am concerned, the only dissapointment was his rendition of "I'm leaving". I didn't know the song, and I thought that perhaps it slowed the show a bit. "Bridge" was one of my favourites, and heard live, it really got to me, as did "Suspiciou s Minds", which he ended with several karate moves to the sound of a Ronnie Tutt solo. At the end of "Can't help falling in love" and as Elvis dissapeared, my girlfriend, who wasn't an Elvis fan per-se, kept hoping for the King to comeback on the stage, but I knew better. Before I could say anything, the famous words were heard, quite loud, over the huge amplifiers: "Elvis has left the building. Thank you, and good night"
We headed back to Worcester, where I tried to convince my roomates, and other underclassmen in the corridors near my room, that they had really missed a great show. A few were interested, others said Elvis was no loger the King. How wrong they were. One of them, even after almost thirty years, told me recently that he regretted not being there with that night. But, as Elvis used to say, "That's how the mop flops"
Thanks and regards
Michigan concerts and New Year's Eve too !!
I was only fourteen at my first Elvis concert so I was kind of in a daze.
I did get a scarf from him, it even has his sweat on it! I wouldn't wash my hand for days because he touched me! It was an awesome experience.
Even though there were hundreds of people there, you felt like he was singing just to you. Even with all the screaming you kinda blocked it out to hear only his voice.
I have been in awe of him since his 68 concert special.
Always an Elvis fan,
Nevada, California, Arizona
We saw around 30 concerts live, in Vegas and around California and Arizona.
From the lst shows in Vegas to the last show done in Tempe Arizona where he was pale, very THIN and shakey but he did a great show. 3 days later he was puffy, bloated looking, pastey grey of skin, weak and obviously quite ill.
BUT he was out there pouring his heart out, trying to please the many people that he knew were there just to see him again. Elvis knew how to give, how to love, how to relate compassionately and he did his best to bring happiness to his concerts.
Anyone who hasn't been there can't understand those who have-it's something you have to experience first hand. Just like being in love-it either is or it isn't.
When we're all gone from this earth-those of us who saw him, who breathed the same air-there will be only written word, film and photos. And Elvis will still live in the minds and hearts of the people. Why? Because he loved them.
Las Vegas, NV. Bloomington & Indianapolis, IN
My dream my whole life was to see Elvis and my dream came true in 1971 I was in Vegas on a trip with my dad and my 2 sons and we stopped at gas station and attendant told us Elvis was at the International Hotel and I had $100 and told my dad I didn't care if it took every penny I had I was going to see Elvis.
When he came on stage I felt like my heart just stopped he was so amazing and all I could do was stare. Then in June of 1974 I saw him in Bloomington, IN. had floor seats and I tired getting up to the stage 2 x's and was escorted back to my seat by security and told not to do it again! But I tried the 3rd time and when security came towards me Elvis said "Let Her Come", and boy did I beat it to the stage of course everyone else got up also but I got right at the edge of stage and Elvis grabbed my hand and that is a moment I will remember all my life. All I could do was once again stare and cry.
Then I was lucky enough to see him at his last concert in Indianapolis, IN. in June of 77 and I was so very sad because you could tell he was sick, couldn't remember some of the words to his songs, but not one time did that great wonderful voice falter. I cried through most of the concert and I just knew something bad was gonna happen, and it did. But I thank God thank I got to experience all that I did.
Las Vegas, NV. Philadelphia, PA
I saw Elvis 3 times Phil, PA 11/7/71, Las Vegas Hilton Aug. 1973, Phila, PA 6/28/76
I was surprised when I saw him in 1976 I did not know how sick he was then at the time he had gained a lot of weight. The album covers at the time used pictures of him looking good from the early 70,s
I would like to say the Vegas show was great and he looked great. He was in rare form that night. At the beginning of the show the See See Rider Vamp went on for a longer than normal time. I remember looking at James Burton's face, he looked as if to say: when is he coming out! What is going on!
I also saw the Elvis in Concert March 21, 1998 at the Sony e Center in Camden , New Jersey. After seeing Elvis 3 times in person , the new Elvis in Concert show really come as close as it gets to the real experience.