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CONCERT DATE: April 26, 1973. San Diego, CA.

Elvis Still Rock Royalty
by Carol Olten
The San Diego Union
April 27, 1973

A tribute, if you will, to Elvis Presley

"Elvis in Person" last night at the Sports Arena, the everliving epitome of rock 'n' roll. A hunk-a hunk-a burnin' love. Surly. Pouting. Dreamy. Romantic. "Hip-swivelling. Pelvis-grinding. Husky. Smouldering. Like the ideal male in a Steve Roper comic, still ready to make those '56 Chevies peel, those front porches shake. Elvis, at 38, still much deserving of a tittle a small potatoes singer gave him when he was a lad just out of Tupelo, Miss. - Mr Gypsy Rose Lee.

14,435 ATTEND

Elvis performed before a capacity house of 14,535 persons here in the Arena, a heroic pop idol it would seem to everyone present, dressed in a white suit studded with silver jewels.

He offered his screaming fans gospel, romantic ballads and, best of all, vintage rock thunder that only Elvis seems capable of. The selections were prime cuts - "Johnny B. Goode," "Hound Dog" "Blue Suede Shoes" - you don't get much truer vintage than that.

Also on the bill were tepid versions of "Steamroller Blues" and "Fever," plus a generous supply of ballads such as "Love Me Tender" and "Heartbreak Hotel."

In true southerly fashion Elvis pulled out a stirring gospel song "How Great Thou Art," and the inevitable "Dixie," his voice soaring as if he had seen a vision of Tara in "Gone With The Wind" and the orchestra backing him as though it were playing the score.

Other Elvis tunes packed in to the evening included "C. C. Rider," "I Got A Woman," "Suspicious Minds" and "I Can't Stop Loving You" the last of which Elvis sung as a departing lullaby.


The show, itself, was very similar to the one Elvis brought here a couple of years ago after coming out of a nine year hibernation with his first live performance in Las Vegas. The Vegas format remains a definitive pattern with an introductory comic, large orchestra and a fill-in spot taken by the Sweet Inspirations, a black, female vocal trio which used to back Aretha Franklin.

It has its kinks, this format, especially in the token comic, Jackie Cochran, whose material seems a combination of all the dumb jokes ever told on a nightclub stage.

The continuing reminders before the show and during intermission of "last" chances to buy Elvis' "giant posters, photo albums, satellite pictures from the recent "Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii" television special and autographed cards, likewise, detract from the show.

But a tribute to Elvis, please, nonetheless. Kings can always be forgiven for these small faults.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez