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CONCERT DATE: December 29, 1976 (8.30 pm) Birmingham, AL. Birmingham Coliseum.

Elvis Presley concert full of humor, zest
By Gene Butts
Birmingham News
Thursday, December 30, 1976

For more than 18,000 loyal subjects Elvis Presley is still the once and future king, despite the rumblings in the ranks and a few defections

That Elvis was rapturously and reverentially received when he came on stage at the Birmingham-Jefferson Coliseum Wednesday night was predictable. He managed to sustain the screaming, rushing momentum during his entire performance.

Elvis was in good voice, good shape, good health and good spirits. He had lost weight and gained confidence. His act was full of humor, zest, and occasional beauty

For seasoned Elvis-watchers there were few, if any, surprises. The set was basic fare with old hits and new interpretations of more recent material. His choice of songs leans increasingly toward ballads and middle of the road selections instead of the raw and raunchy rock that flashed him to prominence.

His stage antics were traditional and the audience response to each was thrill hysteria and a popping of flash bulbs that produced impromptu light shows.

EVERY KING has his courtliers. Elvis was surrounded by the usual side men, horn men, comedians, solos, duos, trios and quartets that customarily flesh out his appearances, but the attention, like the sound system, was geared to Elvis alone.

He is living proof that attempts at experimentation and innovation are not essential within the context of rock concerts. You simply need to have a positive talent, charismatic personality, a passion for performing, and the experience of handling an audience at any time in any place.

Presley is still possessed of a fine voice which he uses with great enthusiasm on material that reveals him as a traditionalist, romanticist and sardonic-observer of the phenomenon he has become.

It's interesting to note that Elvis Presley, once damned for lewd and lascivious performances, may well have the last GP rated rock show on the road.