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CONCERT DATE: November 15, 1972. Long Beach, CA.

Elvis Thrills 15,000 At Concert In Long Beach
by Scott Paul
The Valley News
November 24, 1972

Elvis Presley managed to present an inspiring performance last week at the Long Beach Arena despite lackluster supporting acts and a distracting hard sell of his posters and records before the show and during intermission.

He thrilled the 15,000 sellout crowd with many of his early hits along with a few more recent songs. Presley was more effective with his old rock 'n' roll songs - "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog" and "All Shook Up" - than he was with ballads like "The Wonder of You" and "How Great Thou Art."

Tossed Scarfs

In fact, much of the concert seemed to be right out of the '50s with screaming fans reacting to "Pelvis's" every move. Apparently half the audience brought their cameras because every time Presley would turn in a new direction he would be greeted by a burst of light and clicking shutters.

Elvis used everything in his bag of tricks including wildly-swinging hips, exaggerated vocal style and even tossing several of his scarfs to the crowd.

Still despite the dramatics, Presley has a rock-gospel voice that can't be beat by any current singer. His showmanship only adds to the entertainment, helping to make Elvis concerts more than just a musical treat.

The audience seemed to be composed of many of his original fans now in their 30s and 40s, some rock fans, and a few children with their parents.

Taken in Stride

The concert started out slowly with the stale comedy of Jackie Kahan whose entire act seemed a combination of jokes told a drew some response from the older portion of the crowd but almost none from the younger set.

Following Kahan came Sweet Inspiration, a fema1e gospel trio that backs up Elvis and other major groups. The main part of their set was a medley of Aretha Franklin's hits and not very impressive.

During the intermission, as before the show, one of Presley's aides hawked all kinds of Elvis memorabilia from posters to current records. Whereas a rock audience at a recent Rolling Stones concert booed a similar type off the stage, the Long Beach crowd seemed to take the hard sell in stride.

Mixed Reaction

Presley came on after intermission to the accompaniment of Strauss' Knotts Berry Farm doing also background for the movie "2001" to a tremendous roar from the audience.

Every song was greeted by cheers from his frantic fans and polite applause from his more subdued admirers. One group of young girls (perhaps 13 years old) seated behind the stage pleaded for Elvis to turn around all through the concert. When on occasion he whipped around to face them, they went hysterical.

Overall, Presley's portion of the show was quite enjoyable and was good enough to overcome the weakness of the concert package as a whole. His current concert tour will end in Hawaii in December.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez