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

Showcase
by Bill Donaldson
Tulsa Tribune
March 2, 1974

Elvis Presley's Tulsa fans were much luckier this time than they were when he was here two years ago.

The last time, they heard him in his final performance of that particular tour. This time around, they heard the very first concert of a tour that I am told will involve 24 performances in 20 days.

That kind of schedule can only wear a man down. and that is the only way i can explain the difference in his performance at ORU's Mabee Center Friday night and the one I heard in the Assembly Center Arena two years ago.

The former show struck me as perfunctory and sloppy. Presley seemed to feel little but contempt for his audience as he manipulated them expertly to elicit the expected screams and frenzy. Perhaps it was only fatigue.

He was an altogether different performer Friday night, giving as good a performance of a program of varied songs as i have ever heard him do in person. In movies, or on recordings.

ALL THE FAMILIAR Presley mannerisms are still there. They seem more calculated and less abandoned than in the early years of his career, but they still result in the same screams of delight from "girls" ranging from the preteen years to old enough to know better.

The hip thrust, the leg movements and the hand gestures were all put on display with rare good humor, and Elvis seemed to be enjoying the response.

He was at his best with solid rock arrangements of songs like "Ain't It Funny?" and "Can't Help Falling In Love With You". He was less successful with a song like "Fever." He lost control of his audience only during a "Dixie - Battle of Republic" medley when he was trying hard to establish a definite mood and the audience wouldn't stop screaming.

Comedian Jackie Kahane and a female trio, "The Sweet Inspirations" provided the first half of the show. The Inspirations and JD Sumer and the Stamps Quartet, with a male trio and another female singer, provided support for Elvis in the second half.

It was a brisk, professional, first-rate show. But then, how can any rock singer who can survive introductory music from "Also Sprach Zarathustra" do less?.

Courtesy of Sebastiano Cecere