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CONCERT DATE: April 27, 1975 (2:30 pm). Lakeland, FL.

Maybe Health Slowed Presley's Performance Here
by Jeff Kline
Lakeland Ledger
April 28, 1975

According to well informed sources Elvis Presley is not in the best physical condition. They claim he has a physician traveling with him who treats him for whatever is wrong.

Hopefully this is the case for in this writers humble opinion, Presley's show was something of a disappointment.

To state it bluntly, he didn't move his celebrated pelvis enough. He didn't dance about the stage in his one piece white jumpsuit, screaming into the microphone, lifting the people out of their seats and sending them on a far out trip.

By now, this writer is the most unpopular guy in Polk County probably, but like it or not, that's the impression one had following yesterday afternoons show.

To be fair however, it must be emphasized that the Presley show was one of the smoothest running, most professional shows to play the new Lakeland Civic Center. To begin with the show started promptly on time. It moved rapidly, going through several opening acts before reaching intermission, after which Presley appeared.

Vocally, Presley sounded great. He's singing as well as he ever has, perhaps even better than before and his backup vocalists are superb as well. And despite some occasional sound problems due to the amplification system and the Lakeland Civic Center acoustics, the orchestra sounds good too.

The problem lies in that Presley just doesn't come off as the person one expects after spending $2 on a picture program and looking at the 20 photographs of a perspiring Elvis, smiling and singing his heart out.

He moved some, he got that infamous pelvis into action every now and then, but it wasn't enough. Decked out in a black two-piece suit with silver sequins, he looked a little too big to move and jump about the stage, even though he is a black belt in karate expert.

Most publicity photos of him now show him in the one piece, white jumpsuit or perhaps in a red jumpsuit, performing a fast paced show. But the one he's doing now just isn't right somehow. There's not enough of that old fire and grace that used to knock'em dead years ago.

He's 40 years old, staunch fans will say while coming to the rescue. And so he is, but these staunch fans remember him for the 50s and 60s. His basis style of music hasn't changed over the years and the fans won't let him change. Too bad, too true. The 35 year old and above women weren't screaming for a 40 year old Elvis when he sang a rendition of "Hound Dog," they were screaming for a 20 year old Elvis whose waist movements were considered immoral at the time.

But somehow no one, not even this reviewer who can't first hand remember any Elvis songs older than 1966, doesn't want to believe it. Perhaps its because he's "The King" and it's a great thrill for a person to be able to say he has seen Presley perform.

Thank goodness for the news that a physician is traveling with him. He's not feeling well and that's why he appeared tired and subdued Sunday afternoon. When he's feeling better, his show will be a lot different.

Courtesy of Kurt Hinkle