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CONCERT DATE: May 28 1976 (8:30 pm). Ames IA.

An Older, Slower Elvis: Still Very Much The King
by Jim Bealey
The Des Moines Register
May 29, 1976

AMES, 1A. - Elvis: Still the king. Sort of.

When he decided to wall at the Hilton Coliseum here Friday night, the legendary voice rang true. But he didn't hit 100 per cent until the last half of his 75-minute act.

Apparently his voice Is wearing thin, and the singer paces himself to avoid running out of steam part way through the night. When he chose to cut loose though, the husky, robust voice was a delight.

On the strength of that alone, he is entitled to keep his crown.

His sense of humor pulled him through the low spots. Elvis was quick to size up the situation - to see that the 14,750 onlookers were there for his hips as much as for his voice.

Stiffly, but with feeling, he treated all to the torso toss and pelvis pivot that earned him his reputation. After a simple wiggle brought screams, he cracked a grin and asked, "Isn't that how I got started in all thls?

He substituted his friendly clowning for crooning until it seemed he couldn't possibly salvage the set, then did a real job with "I'm Hurt," "Heartbreak Hotel" and "How Great Thou Art."

The creamy, golden voice was not gone; the audience quivered and melted.

Elvis is an entertainer, and judged on that standard he is impressive. He never has claimed to be a great musician, just a charismatic singer. He still is when he chooses to be.

A few good songs were able to erase a half hour of weak, slurred, slightly ragged vocalizing.

His band - perhaps two dozen strong - was solid and tight throughout. Standouts were super-picker James Burton on lead guitar and drummer Ronnie Tutt.

Taken as s whole, the show was a success.

Elvis came off well; his band, slightly better. And there seemed to be little question among the audience that they got their money's worth.

But those who paid scalpers' prices may have left uneasy. It wasn't, after all, a $100 performance.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez