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CONCERT DATE: June 23, 1974. Philadelphia, PA. The Spectrum

Wellllll, Well, Well, Elvis Shakes It Up
by Jack Lloyd
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 24, 1974

About 40,000 pilgrims - mostly of the female species, arriving in shifts - assaulted the Spectrum on sunday to have themselves a good scream. For many of them, it was a relighting of the fires that first ignited 18 years ago. Elvis Presley was the lure, the spark.

The "King" of rock 'n' roll was back, and the crowd was on handto witness a whole lot of shakin'. No one was dissapointed.

And a few of the people present were even aware of Presley's significance as a pop music pioneer, a performer who blended black blues with white country and turned it in to a new pop art form.

One can only speculate, of course, on Presley's influence, had it not been for visual aspects of his performance, the "controversial" element that was viewed by the Establishment "with more than a little alarm-back in the mid '50s. the bump-and-grind show, the corscrew motion of the leg.

No matter. The total "package" clicked. Presley was the right performer at the right time, and the passing of 18 years apparently has made little difference. Not on the basis of afternoon and evening concerts at the Spectrum on Sunday. Each show was a solid sell-out, and in all fairness, it must be pointed out that quite a few of the Elvis fanatics at the Spectrum were still being taught proper use of the potty back in 1955.

despite his rustic roots, the blues and country, Presley's act is strictly Vegas. Things got under way with a quick opening routine by a Nashville group called Voice. Then came comedian Jackie Kahane, followed by a slick pop-soul female trio called the sweet Inspirations. It was all highly polished entertainment, but nothing that could hope to match the proceedings that came after intermission

The orchestra of Joe Guercio, fresh from Vegas, plowed into its introductory strains, the "2001 Space Odyssey" Theme setting a most of magnificent expectation. And then out galloped Elvis to the psychedelic explosion of flash cubes. Thousands of them. It was rock 'n' roll like the good old days. "C. C. Rider," he sang. The physical gymnastics aer still in frantic working order.

As for the audience ... well ... those teenyboppers who get so worked up over the antics of david Cassidy and Donny Osmond could have learned a few things about going bananas.

And as for Elvi, one half suspects that his act is almost a parody of Elvis, even though he's the one who invented the game.

He struck a contortionist' pose legs almost doing a split (the complete splitwas to come later), leaned down low and groaned out the words, low and sensual (I guess): "Welllll, well well well well well..." over and over again, twisting and turning and gyrating.

"That's it, thank you very much, folks," he said as if sensing the audience just received everything it came for. But Elvis was kidding, of course.

Before Elvis was through, he gave them the full treatment. "I Got A Woman," "Trying To Get To You," "All Shook Up," "Love Me Tender," "Houn' Dog," "Teddy Bear," "Don't Be Cruel," "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You".

In one way, it was like a lot of Spectrum rock concerts. Missing, though, was the aroma of grass. And, of yes despite their frenzy, most of the fans really did behave themselves."

Courtesy of Jeannine Crerand