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CONCERT DATE: March 28 1977 (8:30 pm). Austin TX.

The King Still Reigns
by Paul Beutel
Austin American-Statesman
March 29, 1977

At 42, Elvis Presley may be perched precariously on the top of the rock-and-roll hill, but Monday night at Municipal Auditorium, he proved he's not over it yet. Six thousand fans - mostly female - paid up to $15 to watch The King swivel and sing for one hour. And several got more than that. During one part of the concert, Elvis tossed a series of scarves and towels into the audience as hordes of souvenir-crazy women, many well into middle-age, charged toward the stage.

The evening began in true Las Vegas fashion with an assortment of bried sets: The Hot Hilton Horns, Elvis' back-up band; J.D.Sumner & The Stamps Quartet, a who-cares gospel group; Jack Kahane, a ho-hum comedian who lectured against pre-martial sex and the evils of marijuana ("The only soft drug is suppository."); and The Sweet Inspirations, a dynamite black female trio, who actually provided some of the evening's flashiest and most musically exciting entertainment. Too bad they only sang three songs. Elvis finally hit the stage at 10.25PM, 25 minutes later than scheduled. The audience had been fed a line about "sending out for a missing amplifier part" during the delay, but Elvis later confessed that his car had been blocked in the parking lot.

From the moment he arrived on stage amidst orchestral strains of the theme from "2001", Elvis could do no wrong. He launched into C.C.Rider and was greeted by shrieks of orgiastic glee. During the second verse, the hips began to undulate and the head began to shake, although not as much as they did 20 years ago. "It's been a long time, hasn't it?", Elvis questioned, with reference to his Austin appearance. SCREAM! came the reply. "But we're going to make up for it tonight!" SCREAM!! SCREAM!! Following that remark, what else could he do but belt forth with I Gotta Woman?

No doubt about it. The world's most publicized pelvis may have slowed down a bit, but the voice and the style are still there, as distinctive as ever. Unfortunately, the legendary rotten acoustics of the Municipal Echo Chamber did not help Elvis' fondness for slurring his words. Still, it was Elvis - in person - running though an abbreviated bag of old hits and new. So what if he has to dye his hair and fight the battle of the middle-age bulge? For many of the eternally young-at-heart in Monday night's mob, time had lost al meaning as they were again boppin' to the Jailhouse Rock. Long live The King.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward