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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1974 > September 30, 1974 South Bend, IN.
CONCERT DATE: September 30, 1974 South Bend, IN.
Elvis Still Sings 'From Gut'
by Bill Borden
The South Bend Tribune
Tuesday, October 1, 1974
Elvis Presley must have had a stomach ache today.
"My stomach always hurts when I sing from the gut," the shaggy-hairedman they introduce as the King of Rock and Roll said as he began a number before a full house Monday night at the Athletic and Convocation Center (ACC)
Sure enough, Elvis was back
And here he was, gyrating to the primitive rock beat of "You Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dog" just like he'd done nearly 20 years ago on the Ed Sullivan show. Singing from the gut, too.
He was fresh, vital, confident and talented when he started plucking a guitar as the Hillbilly Cat down in Mississippi during the mid-1950s and he hasn't changed much.
His audience has, however.
The little girls in saddle shoes and pedal pushers who watched him during the 50s on television (from the waist up mind you) now you are pushing 30 or 35. And the ducktailed boys no longer have grease on their hair - if indeed they still have hair.
While most of the fans were in their late 20s or early 30s you saw quite a few older people and plenty of teen-agers, many of whom screamed incessantly from the higher reaches of the bleachers.
Presley has lost none of his sexual grace, and he still commands a chorus of screams every time he tosses his head to flip the hair out of his eyes.
The show opened with a three man vocal group from Las Vegas called "Voice" which passed muster with a few fast-paced rock tunes.
After that came Jack Kahane, a Los Angeles comedian who talked about telephones and astrology and paranoias and pimples.
Soul Group Performs
He was followed by The Sweet Inspirations, a soul group that has been with Elvis for the last five years.
And then, after a short intermission. Elvis came on in a white jumpsuit with diamonds on his fingers and a scarf around his neck , heralded by screams and strobe like flashes and the theme to "2001"
He was in control from then on.
After opening with a selection of rock-and.-roll tunes like "C.C. Rider," "Teddy Bear" and "I've Got A Woman," he turned to some Arthur Crudup blues.
And can he sing the blues. He shouts and sights them with emotion, singing about love and bad tunes and suffering the way so many other singers try to do but never quite carry off
Presley switches gears, then, and delivered a medley a medley of his old hits. He sang them without fanfare, making little attempt to recapture or parody his youth until "Blue Suede Shoes"
That was enjoyable enough, but it was a dramatic version of "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" that most moved the audience. Presley not only made the song work, but also had a few people near tears.
He joked with the audience afterwards and introduced a few members of his 40-man Las Vegas show before rounding out the evening with "Poke Salad Annie," "I'm All Shook Up" and "Hawaiian Wedding Song"
These supposedly were Presley's final scheduled tunes.
But his loyalists now clap ping hands and screaming wouldn't let the concert en on such a high peak.
So Presley lunched into a rollicking version of "Johnny B. Good" an old rock and roll favorite.
As the show ended a young girl with a $10 ticket stub in her hand and a $100 smile on her face leaped out of a seat, ran up to the stage and yelled "Kiss Me, Elvis"
He bent down and kissed her on the cheek, giving her the silk scarf from around his neck.
Presley appeared to be feeling good enough to have done a couple of songs more. But he had done his work well for the evening. He lived up to the institution he had built around his name.
Presley will be performing before another capacity crowd again tonight in the ACC before he and his 85-man troupe pack up and head for another city to do another concert
Courtesy of Geoffrey Mc Donnell