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CONCERT DATE: March 14 1974 (8:30 pm). Murfreesboro TN.

Elvis Performs; Crowd Pleased"
by Mike West
Murfreesboro Daily News
March 1974

He is "the King." No one who witnessed Elvis Presley's performance last night at MTSU's Murphy Center will disagree - unless they just like to argue. To begin with, the concert had no major flaws. Most similar performances have something drastically wrong with them. An amplifier might blow, the performer might be tired or the sound system might be out of balance. At any rate, something always goes out of "kilter". But not last night.

The only flaw was the warm-up comedian's jokes which were stale, to say the least. Who cares about jokes anyway? Elvis' warm-up group, "The Sweet Inspirations" were great - but not as great as the "Big E." The audience, the largest in Murphy Center's brief history, was tense but not vocal. After all, Elvis fans are a different breed from any other set of fans. They're "rabidly" loyal, but they're also hard to please, but: When you get down to it, Elvis did more than please them.

He opened with a rock-a-billy number See See Rider and closed with his classic Can't Help Falling in Love. Everything in between was fantastic. Personally, the high point was a moving, well orchestrated version of Kris Kristofferson's Why Me Lord which featured the super bass of J.D. Sumner. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet served in a backup role, along with the Sweet Inspirations and Kathy Westmoreland. However, it was Sumner who almost stole the show. His gravely bass voice can hit rock bottom - and then some.

Another "high point" was Suspicious Minds. The amount of musical drive achieved during this number was incredible. Increasing the effect was the power of the musical arrangements, handled very capably by Elvis' backup band. American Trilogy - a Mickey Newbury concoction - was also enough to make one feel patriotic which is amazing when you consider the nation's current disenchantment. Perhaps this feeling points to the reason for Elvis' success. He offers his fans a musical world that's quite an improvement over their daily, often disenchanting grind.

Elvis can sing with "hurt." But he also sings with hope - the hope that life is a little better than it seems. His music serves very efficiently as an escape vehicle. Hope plus escape from the day-in-day-out drag. What more can an entertainer offer his fans? Would you believe professionalism? The ticket takers almost messed things up by inefficient ticket taking methods, etc. but the professionalism of the Elvis road show pulled them through. The show was ready to begin at 8.30 PM but all of the crowd hadn't arrived yet. So the show "waited." This has got to be the most amazing fact about the entire concert. I want to see Elvis again.

Courtesy Of Scott Hayward