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CONCERT DATE: July 14 1975 (8:30 pm). Springfield MA.

King Does His Thing: Elvis Shakes 'Em with the Oldies
by Sam Hoffman
Springfield Daily News

They came from near and far, all ages, to see the King do his thing and Elvis Presley didn't disappoint. A capacity audience clapped, shouted, whistled and screamed for the man who made it a night to remember, especially for that group who lived through the '50s.

It was Elvis for a solid 65 minutes on stage at Springfield Civic Center Monday night and if the first of his two-night stints here is any indication of what to expect, tonight's audience will walk away thoroughly savoring the show. The average age of Monday night's audience had to be in the early 30s and some hobbled into the Civic Center with a leg in a cast, ditto an ankle, on crutches, using canes. Even pregnancy failed to keep them away.

A sign in the lobby barring cameras or recording devices was ignored. The very moment Elvis came on stage (9.40 PM), night turned into day, with flashbulbs popping everywhere. It was Fourth of July fireworks all over again. Elvis looked spiffy in a gaucho outfit, with a bit of gold embroidery here and there. Oh yes, those colorful Elvis scarves were also plentiful and they went out to the crowd. Some women received Elvis kisses with them, much to the delight of everyone. There was a mild breakthrough during one of Elvis' numbers when a young girl rushed on stage, past bodyguards and police, and hugged the surprised performers who reciprocated with a hug.

And for those who came to see that famous pelvis in action, Elvis again didn't disappoint, although he confined much of this anatomical exercise to only a few numbers. C.C. Rider and I Got a Woman were program openers with pelvic tremors.

For the most part, however, Elvis stayed away from the latter and stuck to singing some of his oldies, goodies and Goldies; got lots of kissing in and gave away a bag of scarves. Musically (and vocally) Elvis still has it working for him. Please Love Me and If You Love Me Let Me Know were pleasers all the way, the latter being of the country-western flavor. An Elvis biggie of way back when, Love Me Tender brought bouquets of flowers from admirers to the edge of the stage.

For those who remember and will never forget, Elvis did I'm All Shook Up, Let Me Be, Don't Be Cruel, You're Nothing But a Hound Dog, Burning Love and Only Fools Rush In to name a few. Like most Elvis Presley concerts, religious songs are included and Monday night they were Follow Me Jesus and How Great Thou Art.

The opening night audience included sign carriers, lauding their idol with affection. Elvis buttons were plentiful and a number of women wore T-shirts bearing his picture.

Elvis wound it all up with Time Slips Away, Little Darling, Train I Ride and finished with Only Fools Rush In. A few handshakes around the stage and Elvis was whisked away by a cordon of bodyguards to a waiting limousine and an undisclosed hideaway. Was it all worth waiting in line last March in the cold and having to plunk down $10 for a ticket? You'd better believe it.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward