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CONCERT DATE: June 25, 1973. Pittsburgh, PA.

First Area Appearance, Elvis Proves He's King
By Jim Reynolds
Beaver County News


Charisma is a strange, mysterious, intangible commodity that is practically impossible to define. It is an elusive quality that is sought by many but possessed only by a few. It is that certain something that sets a person apart from everyone else. The Kennedy's have it. Willie Mays has it, even Lassie has it. And Elvis Presley has it in abundance.

He proved it over and over again at his concert at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena Monday and Tuesday evenings. There was no doubt as to who the "king" still is in the show business world during Tuesday night's show. His first appearance on the stage set off a demonstration of enthusiasm that never abated throughout the program. Every song, every pose, every movement brought cheers, applause and screams that must have been heard downtown Pittsburgh. Elvis could have commanded the audience to have done anything and they would have obeyed. Such is the power of the "king."

As I sat there Tuesday, I speculated on what kept this unique fascinating personality at the very pinnacle of success. It has been 17 years since Elvis burst upon the scene with "Heartbreak Hotel." In the time since, many top groups and stars have come and gone, but Elvis remains. He's never slipped from the top rung. His records still sell in the millions, his concerts are sellouts and his movies always make money. I finally concluded it was a combination of talent and ability, hard work, shrewd handling y his manager, Col. Parker, who has been guiding him all these years and finally, but perhaps most importantly, is that elusive thing called charisma. Without it, no one could have lasted so long.

The Arena was sold out with the crowd about 70m per cent women, most in their mid twenties to thirties. The girls who have grown up with Elvis. Astute showman that he is, Elvis didn't make his appearance until after the intermission. This disappointed many fans but it is a common practice by many of the superstars. A comedian and singing group, "Sweet Impressions," occupied the first half of the show. Finally, after what seemed a lifetime, the spotlight hit center stage and there he was in all his glory. The famous form-fitting white fringe suit, the white cape, the flashing sequins, the thick tousled hair, the charming boyish smile and the lean hard body. The crowd exploded.

Elvis mixed his songs well. Many of his all time hits such as Hound Dog and Love Me Tender were included among with newer hits such as Steamroller Blues. He was backed capably by his singing group and the "Sweet Impressions." But there was no doubt as to who dominated the stage. It was a slick, professional show handled by a master. Age has only matured Elvis. His famous movements are included now, it seems, only as an afterthought and the pace is perhaps a shade slower. The voice is deeper and more husky and he seems to have a little trouble reaching some of the higher notes. But the power is still there and it would appear that Elvis will be going strong for many more years.

Courtesy Of Scott Hayward