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CONCERT DATE: June 22, 1973. Uniondale, NY.

Presley Mixes His Early Hits with More Recent "Safe" Songs
by Ian Dove
New York Times


Elvis Presley, onstage in 1973, is the old rock revolution made respectable, the machinery taken over, the appearance and posture counting as much as the music. Presley at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island Saturday was safe as milk.

It was not always thus: Presley, hip-grind and black leather, once menaced Ed Sullivan, not to mention parents. Now he wears white and ends his performance, clad in a dinky snap-on minicape, posing for a full minute on both sides of the stage, drawing his final quote of screams(yes, still!) and applause. Then he disappears. "Elvis has left the building," intones a loudspeakered voice from above. The idol has left the earth.

And the music: for almost an hour, nonstop, there are the hall of fame oldies that started it for him and - judging by age - most of his audience. There is more contemporary material, again safe and secure works such as Bridge Over Troubled Water and What Now My Love? Presley even turns the stage awash with loyalty with Battle Hymn of the Republic - patriotism, the last refuge of the middle-of-the-road rocker.

It's all production, slick as oil, with big band and back-up singers. Much is made of an affected routine involving scarves, which are thrown to the audience after being handed to Presley by a musician, who is as much butler as guitarist.

Courtesy Of Scott Hayward