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CONCERT DATE: April 26, 1976 (8:30 pm). Seattle, WA.

Elvis Presley: still The King
by Patrick MacDonald
Seattle Times
April 27, 1976

Elvis Presley returned to town last night for a performance in the Coliseum and The King was loose!.

Looking a little paunchy and pale and sometimes slurring his words, Elvis was nonetheless obviously feeling good and seemed to be having a great time on stage. He laughed and joked a lot, threw dozens of scarves into the audience, sang material "from the future, the past and in-between" and did a few challenging numbers that showed he hasn't lost any of his vocal power.

The audience still screamed at the beginning of every song and whenever he moved his body, although the screams weren't as loud nor as lasting as the old days. Elvis' audience has gotten a little older, just like he has (he's 41), although he still attracts the most interesting and diverse group imaginable.

"There were a lot of fanatical fans of every of every age and type, many of them wearing Elvis buttons , tee shirts, hats, jewelry, embroidered coats, etc. For those who didn't have them, there were hucksters selling all of them and other things, too - binoculars, pennants, posters, programs and various Elvis souvenirs. A carnival atmosphere prevailed as cries of "Elvis souvenirs!" rose up all over the building before during intermission, and after the show. (The scarves, just like the ones Elvis gave away, cost $5).

ELVIS ARRIVED on stage to the strains of the "2001" theme (Strauss' Thus Spake Zarathustra") and, after the screams died down, opened the show with "C. C. Rider," the same tune he opened with here almost three years ago to the day.

When the uproar subsided after the song, he said "WEll," and the audience started screaming again.

"All I said was well," And they started screaming again, louder. (He did the exact same thing here in 1957 at Sicks' Stadium.)

A lot of the tunes he did have been in his repertoire some time too, like "I Got A Woman," "Amen," "Treat Me Like A Fool," "All Shook Up," "Hound Dog," "Blue Suede Shoes" and "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You"

But he did some new material, including My Way (which he couldn't get very serious about - he brought out laughing), "Polk Salad Annie," "And I Love Her So," both sides of his new single, "Hurt" and "For the Heart," and a Bicentennial patriotic n number, "America the Beautiful," which he recited and sang.

He did a couple of challenging numbers, including the spiritual "How Great Thou Art" and "And I Love Her So," a love song, and in both of them he reached some difficult notes. He may not be as earthy a singer as he used to be but he's still got a good pair of "pipes".

HE WORE one of his famous rhinestone jumpsuits, a white one with a beautiful Indian pattern front and back and on the legs. He wore a diamond cross around his neck and several large diamond rings in his fingers - tapped, he said, so people wouldn't pull them off when he shook hands.

And he shook a lot of hands , especially during the last song, "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You." He also crouched down on stage several times to kiss girls who stood there.

He talked and joked with the audience a lot.

"I supposedly got married last week," he said. "I find out more stuff about myself by reading newspapers."

If you appreciate us right everybody gets a Cadillac after the show tonight," he quipped, referring to recent incidents where he has randomly given away Cadillacs.

HE WAS BACKED by a six-piece rock group, an eight piece band and conductor and 10 backup singers, six men and four women.

Three of the women were the Sweet Inspirations, a soul trio who have appeared with Elvis for years. The men, a gospel group, opened the show along with the orchestra and the Sweet Inspirations. They did a 45-minute set, after which there was an intermission, followed by Elvis.

Elvis took time to introduce each member of his band and also thanked his crew by name at the end of the show.

The sold-out audience, although very enthusiastic, was somewhat subdued. Few tried to rush the stage, even when Elvis was throwing out scarves, until the very end, when there was quite a crush.

A number of people rushed up to present gifts during the show, however, including several drawings , flowers a huge inflated beer bottle and a royal crown on a satin pillow (the little girl who presented that got a scarf and a kiss.)

There were several banners unfuried to the audience, including one that read, "You're Still King Elvis". That seemed to sum up everyone's opinion.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez