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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1970 > November 12, 1970 Seattle, WA.
CONCERT DATE: November 12, 1970 Seattle, WA.
Elvis Still Has It
by Stephanie Miller
November 13, 1970
The houselights darkened. The flashbulbs started popping. Squeals started to swell, and on swaggered Elvis Presley to the Coliseum stage last night wearing slinky white bell-bottoms and white buck shoes, western fringe hanging down his laced up shirt and a Kelly green sash dangling from the swinging hips that made him famous.
He put on a mere 40 minutes show for the more 15,000 fans, but it was a heckuva show. He kept the swoons to a minimum, letting the songs to roll off one after the other, and held the crowd in his everlovin grasp throughout.
He still has the sultry, down in the throat quality that made "Love Me Tender, Love Me Do, his heart-breaking trademark.
Stalking from one end of the stage to the other, he conducted the band, the lead guitar and the octet of vocalists that introduced the show through 15 years of songs.
"You Don't Have To Say You Love Me," "Please Caroline," "Go Johnny Go," and "Ain't It Funny" - he rolled them off with the ease of a pro. And he never lost contact with the audience. "You've all seen me, now I want to look at you," he drawled as he asked that the houselights be turned up a moment.
If the teens started to squeal, he cracked a joke mid-medley about how Glen Campbell would sing the song, or pointed to some fellow walking down the aisle.
He kept it real, in spite of his magnetic presence.
He didn't take himself seriously, and that's just what the crowd, which took in teens to totterers liked about him. Introducing himself as Johnny Cash, he launched into an imitation of the bumps and grinds Tom jones enjoys.
He's got humor
And he still has the Elvis charisma. He threw his head around during "Heartbreak Hotel" until his coalblack hair covered his forehead.
And he threw his green neck scarf to a blonde in the front row.
But it didn't get out of hand. He came to sing, and sing he did. He gave a new flavor to the greats from the 50's - "You Ain't Nothing But a Hounddog," "Blue Suede Shoes," - and sang with appealing richness the gospel tune which won him a Grammy in '56 - "How Great Thou Art."
That was his serious tune, and when he was dissatisfied with the entrance by his back-up singers - "The Sweet Inspirations" black female quartet and "The Imperials," male quartet - he started the song again.
He's a musician, too, in spite of the gimmicks of letting his voice trail off into nowhere and garbling the words for the sake of swagger. His voice has matured measurably since the days when he pulled microphones nearly out from the cords. It's still sexy but it's also mellow and trained.
And that's nice to know, that he's relying on his voice for drawing power. his comeback is attracting all ages, from 15 year-olds who have never heard "Heartbreak hotel" to 30 year-olds who have.
The advance entertainers - the singers and the comedian, Sammy shore, who are accompanying him on both his six-city tour and his stint in Las Vegas - did much to heighten the atmosphere.
When the squealers in the crowd scrambled to the stage as soon as Elvis sang his last note, the PA system announced he had left the building.
That green scarf he threw them was a teaser.
Courtesy of Francesc Lopez