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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1972 > April 19, 1972 Albuquerque, NM.
CONCERT DATE: April 19, 1972 Albuquerque, NM.
11,857 jam coliseum -- and Elvis wows 'em
by Charles Wood
The Albuquerque Tribune.
April 20, 1972.
They sat inside Tingley Coliseum, 11,847 of them, many of them going to their first concert in years. They were young and old, superbly-dressed and shabbily-dressed. But all were interested in one man.
Here in 1957 "Elvis Presley," the man behind me said, "Elvis the King." Elvis, the best selling recording artist of all time, making his first appearance in Albuquerque since 1957 when he played second bill in the old armory.
His 26-piece band and chorus were cutting loose with the opening chords of "2001" when Elvis came on stage.
The applause was deafening. Camera flash bulbs popped from every part of the coliseum, creating the effect of a wild, psychedelic strobe light.
Elvis picked up a golden guitar and immediately went into a flashy rendition of "C.C. Ryder" before the applause died down.
Elvis, now 37, looked like you'd expect a musical superstar to look.
He wore a white, military-type suit with a baby blue cape. His shirt was open from the collar to his waist.
"It's been a long time since I was in Albuquerque. And it's fantastic to be back. I hope y'all enjoy the show." Elvis said.
He went into "Love Me Tender," and he was starting to go.
Then it happened.
He hit "Polk Salad Annie" with almost everything he had and he was off and running---- the crowd was his for the next 50 minutes.
Teen agers screamed. Young people applauded. And older people sat back and enjoyed it all.
His songs ranged from fast-moving rhythm and blues music to church hymns.
His old songs received the biggest rounds of applause.
Three songs Elvis sang in Albuquerque in 1957 he performed again last night "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel," which reportedly is Elvis' favorite.
But this seemed only natural for Elvis, a former truck driver from Tupelo, Miss.
Towards the end of his performance, he tossed his neck scarfs into the audience.
And the crowd loved it. Then he asked that the houselights be turned on. "You've been looking at me all night, and now I want to look at you for a minute," Elvis said.
What he saw was an audience whose attire ranged from hotpants to pedalpushers, from evening gowns to blue jeans.
Outside the stage door hundreds of anxious autograph hunters were gathering in hopes of finding Elvis.
"I'd think I'd rather fight the rioters in Albuquerque last summer than fight my way through that crowd," said a state policeman.
Inside, Elvis continued his performance.
Suddenly there was a blare of trumpets and Elvis dropped the microphone and ran off the stage.
"Aw---," someone said.
Elvis didn't stop running until he reached a side exit where a chauffeured limousine waited with the door open and the motor running. It whisked him off to his private plane on which he would fly home to Las Vegas, Nev.
Last night's tour ended a 15-day, 15-city tour for Elvis, who is more than $1 million richer than he was two weeks ago.
Courtesy of Cathy Henkenius, president, The Elvis Club of Albuquerque