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CONCERT DATE: July 28, 1976. Hartford, CT.

Bumps Are Gone But He's Still King
by J. Greg Robertson
The Hartford Courant
July 29, 1976

The paunch was more noticeable than the pelvis, but Elvis Presley still thrilled a devout audience at the Hartford Civic Center Wednesday night.

The 41-year-old living legend conserved his energy through most of nearly two dozen songs in his 75-minute performance. But if he couldn't shake the way he once could, he demonstrated that he can still belt out a vocal at will.

The show opened with a 45-minute set consisting of J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet, a show-biz gospel group, the Sweet Inspirations, a slick female rhythm and blues vocal trio and comedian Jack Cahane who provided amusing generally wholesome patter on the daily incongruities of life. "Married women don't have - e.g. ulcers - but they're carriers."

After a half-hour intermission, the music swelled, the lights dimmed, the audience screamed and the King strolled out on stage resplendent in an ornate baby blue suit with matching large-buckled belt. Diamonds gleamed on both his hands as they made grand gestures.

He opened with "C.C. Rider" and "I Got A Woman" and worked through oldies of his own and of other performers. They included "Treat Me Like A Fool" "If You Love Let Me Go", "All Shook Up," "Teddy Bear," "Don't Be Cruel," "And I Love You So," "Jailhouse Rock," and "Fever".

A country style version of "America" was followed by "Poke Salad Annie," "Early Morning Rain," "Johnny B. Goode," "Love Letters," "I'm hurt," "Hound Dog," "Ain't It Funny," and the finale "Hawaiian Wedding Song".

Much of the show consisted of the ritual exchange of gifts with women from the audience. They brought him offerings of flowers, imitation guitars, a teddy bear, a crown and lingerie. Elvis, in turn passed out dozens of silk scarves, the more valuable ones having been used to wipe his brow or chest. He frequently mumbled through the lyrics of songs while engaged in the crowd-pleasing ceremony.

He exhibited total confidence and relaxation and joked amiably with excellent backup musicians and with the audience.

It was really only on "I'm Hurt" that he poured on the vocal power and managed a half split, hardly like his early lascivious bumps and grins.

But the flashing cameras, which took on a strobe light, effect throughout the show, and screams attested to the magnetism of the man and his image.

Courtesy of Geoffrey McDonnel