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CONCERT DATE: March 1 1974 (8:30 pm). Tulsa OK

Elvis Show Has One DrawBack - It's Just Not Long Enough
by David C. MacKenzie
Tulsa Daily World
March 2, 1974

The man from Tupelo, Miss. didn't disappoint 11,000 of his fans Friday night at Mabee Center.

Sporting a white sequined outfit, and passing out blue scarfs like a garment merchant, Elvis Presley went through the hip-thrusting motions and blues oriented material which made him a scandal 20 years ago.

Predictably, security personnel had some difficulty in restraining screaming women from rushing the stage for a hand shake, scarf or a glance of old.

Probably the only drawback for most of the fans was the brevity of the show, Elvis did a variety of songs, ranging from his old hits to country, blues and gospel tunes, but his set only lasted 45 minutes.

In addition, two of his back up groups, the Sweet Inspirations and J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet weren't shown to their fullest advantage.

Both did, however, add volume and texture to Elvis' part of the show. Sumner, an incredible bass singer, led in an earthshaking version of Kris Kristofferson's "Why Me Lord," and his voice was used again to advantage with Elvis. In an outstanding rendition of "Let Me Be There".

Elvis seemed to enjoy performing, but seemed somewhat perfunctory in rehashing his bump and grind numbers of old.

He was more at home singing jazz titles like "Fever," country song like Willie Nelson's "Funny How Times Slips Away," and gospel tunes, all of which meant no where as much to his fans as the winks, the easy grins and matador like stances.

His band was top-notch and James Burton, who got only a smattering of applause when introduced played a crisp and raunchy guitar.

The emcee rightfully boasted that Elvis' "starts on time, runs on time and finishes on time". Very much, evidently like a Swiss watch.

It's flattering to realize that Presley, whose last performance in Tulsa at the end of a tour, chose Tulsa to kick off his present tour, including two shows in the Houston Astrodome.

And yet, the question remains.

Are audiences coming for Elvis the musician, with his splendid group of artists, or for Elvis the personality?

At times Friday night, it seemed the audience could have been stricken deaf and would have enjoyed the show almost as much.

Courtesy of Sebastiano Cecere