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CONCERT DATE: July 29, 1976 (8:30 pm) Springfield, MA.

King Elvis Casts Spell on Audience
By Sam Hoffman
Springfield Daily News
July 30, 1976

Elvis Presley is still King. The singing monarch strode into Springfield Civic Center last night and spent better than am hour on stage, entertaining his subjects and making just about everyone there happy with a bag of his oldies, goodies and Goldies, as well as his latest hit single I'm Hurt, which ought to net the King a few more riches... and deservingly so. It was a paunchy looking Elvis this year and even a large belt failed to hide the fact that even the King probably can't say "No" to a second helping at the dinner table.

Musically, The Elvis Presley Show was a smasheroo. The one disappointment - a big one in our books - was his failure to include that beautiful ballad Love Me Tender on the program. Aside from that note, Elvis did his thing and the audience showed its pleasure with screams and cries of "Elvis", hand-clapping, foot-stomping, and those who could whistle, did.

There aren't many performers today who can hold audience attention from start to finish. Elvis is one who does it every time and anywhere he appears. Last the audience was under their King's spell of song, charm, chatter and a toss of a scarf. The latter is a fixture in a Presley performance and some of the lucky persons who grabbed off scarves had to pay with a kiss. The Civic Center may have been in semi-darkness but the moment Elvis stepped on stage, an endless barrage of camera flashes made night look like day.

Elvis may have slowed down his pelvis gyrations some but his program of song was right on target. From opener C.C. Rider the singing monarch moved quickly into Is It All Right? and Amen, a couple of hand-clappers. The bag of songs included Please Love Me, If You Love Me, Give Me a Mountain and Help Me. There were also some older Goldies such as I'm All Shook Up, Don't Be Cruel, Jailhouse Rock, You Ain't Nothing But a Hound Dog and Only Fools Rush In.

Unlike most Presley concerts this one was minus a religious flavor. There were several religious songs on the program but they were delivered by a gospel group which preceded the King. Elvis usually sings them himself. He did offer up a neat version of America the Beautiful, a big vocal and musical sound.

There was no question the audience showed their affection to the man. They did it in so many ways - with flowers and a variety of gifts which somehow made their way on stage. There were sings hoisted aloft telling Elvis he was loved and some parents who brought their youngsters edged close to the stage and held their offspring up high to get a closer look at the singing monarch. We asked a few people in the audience if they felt it was worth plunking down the price of a ticket to see Elvis Presley and the chorus was unanimously "Yes". Our sentiments exactly.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward