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CONCERT DATE: July 13 1975 (8:30 pm). Niagara Falls NY.

Legend of Elvis Lost Excitement
by Wilder Penfield III
The Toronto Sun

Elvis Presley may be a sedate singer of 40 now, but he is still a legend. And if he fails (for the 16th year in a row) to play Toronto, local fans will go to wherever he is playing. This year it was easier. Yesterday he gave two shows at the International Convention Center here, and 3619 Torontonians packed 77 buses to be present. The Salsberg's Ticket people, who sold out the allotment without fanfare two months ago, report that this was the largest charter bus fleet ever assembled in Toronto.

Another 20 busloads came from Kitchener. The legendary Colonel (Tom Parker) added an $1.50 nip to the $10 ticket bite because it was part of a promotion for radio station CHYM. And here in Niagara Falls it was Canada Day a couple of weeks late as one fan managed to present him with a Toronto Maple Leafs sweatshirt. When he accepted it, posed with it and kept it, a lot of us foreigners in the crowd went delirious. The rest of the first show was fairly routine for a Presley part - even listless.

He gave more individual attention to the requests of the girls who stormed the front in hysterics and were thrown around like cardboard boxes by the security people than he did to the 10000 or so who remained in their seats waiting for his famous rabble-rousing kicks and visual tricks. Oh, it was an amiable enough show with moments of driving energy (Burning Love and T-R-O-U-B-L-E), rushes of nostalgia (Love Me Tender and Hound Dog), and even a bit of Cecil B. DeMille style religious ecstasy (How Great Thou Art).

But most of the audience, who weren't able to accept his scarves, handshakes, kisses and private conversations in person, looked on hopefully, took so many flash pictures you could read by them for minutes at a time, and waited. The tinny sound system (Presley remarked on it himself) may have been partly to blame - when people screamed or whistled in your vicinity, he was inaudible. He also confessed to some difficulty in waking up.

Whatever it was, he didn't offer much to reinforce the legend - 17 songs, many of them just fragments, some clowning, some totally unnecessary instrumental solos, and a lot of ambling from side to side so that the now-portly gentleman could accept explosions of love from his audience. The explosions never really came. The only time everybody stood up was to leave.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward