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CONCERT DATE: April 21 1977 (8:30 pm). Greensboro NC.

Elvis: Still the Real Thing
by Betty Beam
Greensboro Record
April 23, 1977

He came. He sang. He conquered. He always does, and Greensboro is no different. Elvis, the king of hearts and rock 'n' roll, captured almost 18000 souls crammed into the Coliseum Thursday night. His voice may have been weaker, his belly rounder, but just the sight and sound of the familiar 42-year-old singer was enough to cast chains around adoring mothers, crying daughters, curious fathers and wistful grandparents. They had all waited weeks, some even years, for this hour. They endured and tried to enjoy the pre-Elvis distractions.

By 9.30, when intermission arrived and still no Elvis, no one seemed to mind. They just entertained themselves. Girls brushed their hair. Women re-arranged their Sunday-best. Some laughed. Everyone talked and fidgeted. A few of the more restless ones wandered down aisles, stopping to gawk at a young man dressed like Elvis. He wore it all, from the white suit, shoes and scarf to a black wig and sunglasses. He even posed for pictures with those trying to pretend he was more than second best.

But the, suspense hung in the air and fans scurried back to seats. The lights dimmed, drums rolled gasps rose as a white-clad figure strolled onto the stage. The spotlight flipped on and screams and flashbulbs pierced the darkness as Elvis stood there soaking it all in.

Fans spent the rest of the precious hour swooning at songs, grabbing scarves and offering stuffed animals and flowers. Outstretched arms responded to It's Now Or Never. Shrieks greeted his not-so-swiveling hips. And by the time he reached Fever, he managed to stoop for a few moments in that familiar and so-called sexy knee stance. But the passion subsided and the multitudes quieted to I Love You So. Silhouettes of ushers stood motionless in the doorways as blue light bathed the idol.

The house lights came on long enough for Elvis to introduce each member of the group. The crowd knew the end was approaching when the lights dimmed once again to Hound Dog, more white toetapping, scarves and mutters of "thankya very much." Elvis gave the last of his strength to How Great Thou Art and Wise Men Say. Then he paraded to each corner of the stage, smiling at the screams and was hustled off by bodyguards.

Most of the Elvis lovers swear it is all worth it. Their souls were nourished and stirred. They say he is sexy and has a voice out of this world. They feel they know him and he knows them. And few of the older ones will admit he brings back their youth, at least for a while. Long live the king, they say.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward