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CONCERT DATE: June 25, 1976. Buffalo, NY.

Elvis Proves He's Still King
by Thomas Putnam
Buffalo Courier-Express
June 26, 1976

Elvis Presley, king of a generation of rock 'n' roll, shows no sign of losing his hold on his audience. He sang for nearly 18,000 people. Friday night in Memorial Auditorium, looking cool in his white western suit, at home in the spotlight of purple and violet beams.

For many pop stars, entrance is everything, but there is a little diminishing of the tension when Elvis performs. A steady pitch of excitement from the crowd provides the accompaniment for his voice.

Of course there were attempts by some fans to join Elvis on stage, and some were successful. Stuffed toys were given to him, and a living three-year-old doll arrived on stage and offered a purple and yellow dog getting in return one of Elvis's scarves and a polite kiss that made everybody in the auditorium happy.

As fast as Elvis removed a scarf from around his neck to give to some lucky lady, another took its place, put there by a stage man who had a large supply on the piano.

When he entered, a guitar was hung around his neck, but this was a prop that he soon discarded.

"She's my baby," he sang "don't ya understand," the words coming after a vocalise on te blues between Elvis and a guitar in the band.

"Over here, Elvis!" a woman shouted, while others reached up with their arms, screaming and stomping their feet. A sign in the auditorium read, "Elvis Still The King After 20 Years." Still the king of rockin' and rollin' and screaming and stomping, all ingredients in the music of this star performer.

The auditorium not only came alice for Elvis, it turned suddenly well lighted by flash bulbs popping. The microphone once started to give Elvis trouble, and he spoke to it, as comedian Jackie Kahane earlier on the show said we speak to telephones. "Don't you feed back," Elvis told his mike.

The best of rock 'n' roll and the gentle huskiness of Elvis' voice were made for moving large crowds, although individuals feel that Elvis is directing his performance to them. Why else come from as far as Fresno, Calif, if not to have Elvis sing just for you?

He led the audience in "amen," conducting with his body moving slowly down and rising as his arms slowly beat, the Dying Swan of pop music. His dance is that of rubber legs, small accents from his hips. nothing too active for an audience that only needs to be reminded of the pelvis thrust.

He is grateful to his audience, thanking it for loving him. "You're fantastic," he said, taking the words out of their mouths.

While he sang "Oh Lucky Me" fro a medley of his record hits, three women in the front row fought over a souvenir scarf, tearing at it, each wanting to be the lucky one.

Every time he turned around, the audience behind the stage screamed. His success is that simple.

Appearing on the first part of the program was the band from Las Vegas, a quartet of gospel barbershoppers, the comedian, and the Sweet Inspirations trio, ladies of high-power sock 'n' soul.

Elvis came on to the strains of the Zarathustra music from "2001", a prelude for a man enjoying his own pop odyssey.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez