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CONCERT DATE: May 11 1974 (8:30 pm). Los Angeles CA.

Elvis - A Little Bit Of Everything
by Robert Kemnitz
May 12, 1974

Elvis Presley twice sold out the Forum Saturday and the audience, including a sizeable amount of ladies sporting hairsprayed beehive hairdos, went all out in their welcome. Verging closer than ever on self-parody, the legendary king of rock 'n' roll still proved that his status is well-founded.

All decked out in a white jump-suit with a sequined eagle on the back. Presley pounded his way through a few choice offerings from his Fifties hey-day ("Hound Dog," "Teddy Bear," and "Don't Be Cruel") with his hip-swiveling prowess intact. These brief moments of the old magic were the highlights of his performance Saturday.

He fared less well with the more contemporary material. Mickey Newberry's "American Trilogy," a medley of "Dixie," "All My Trials" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic," given a disproportionate build-up, smacked of self-righteous patriotism. His excellent version of Kris Kristofferson's "Why Me Lord?" was marred only by grating, too-bass, cater-wauling of one of the back-up vocalists.

Between songs Presley would get a towel, from a man on stage who seemed to have an endless supply, wipe the sweat from his brow and fling the towel into the audience. The ladies with the beehive hairdos went wild in their frantic crambles for the precious souvenirs. Only a legend like Elvis Presley could get by with such a blatant display.

Still there was enough of the old Presley power on hand to forgive him of the sham. (He still uses the opening bars of Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra" as his musical intro) His electric stage presence is undeniable and his vocals riveting as ever. Besides, like it or not, he is still the undisputed king of rock 'n' roll.

The Sweet Inspirations, one of Presley's three groups of backup singers, helped open the show. They proved, with a pack offering of oversone soul tunes, that they are much more effective in the background.

Courtesy of Sebastiano Cecere