Home > Newspaper Articles > 1971 > November 8, 1971 (8:30 pm). Philadelphia, PA

CONCERT DATE: November 8, 1971 (8:30 pm). Philadelphia, PA

16,000 Scream as Presley Brings Back Rock and Roll
by Jack Lloyd
Philadelphia Inquirer
November 9, 1971

The most bellyhooed entertainment to hit Philadelphia in years came and went Monday night, Elvis Presley struck and now everything is back to normal in the South Philadelphia neighborhood surrounding the Spectrum

A capacity crowd filled the sports arena for the splashy Vegas-type show. Most of them - 16,601 paid - screamed and shouted and oobed and ashed

And it was just like the good old days of rock 'n' roll. Back when Elvis brought the new sound and his nervous hips out of Memphis to establish a whole new direction for pop music.

Certainly, it cannot be said that Elvis failed to give the costumers their money's worth. He gave them an hour of what they came to see and hear, Elvis Presley.

There was a chatter of disenchantment from many in the audience when it became evident that they would have to endure an hour of unexpected entertainment before being greeted by Elvis.

The Sweet Inspirations opened the show with a 20-minute set of soul-oriented music. Then came comedian Jackie Kahane, who had a rough time winning over the Elvis fans with his club-based act.

Kahane was scheduled for 35 minutes, but he gave up ahead of schedule. Small wonder. The crowd didn't come to giggle. They came to rip it up with Elvis

But they had to rip it up with restrain as a result of stern warnings that no one was to leave their seat during performance. The penalty for disobedience was not made clear by the announcers, but the man seemed to mean business.

Elvis pounced on stage in a dazzling white outfit and blinked at the explosion of flash bulb that greeted his arrival

There wasn't much chatter with the audience. Just that splashy brand of Elvis showmanship and most of the big songs that one associates with Elvis, spanning the past 15 years - "That's All Right, Mam" "I Got A Woman," "Love Me Tender," "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," "Johnny B. Goode," "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," "Suspicious Minds" and all the others.

Elvis was backed by 15-piece orchestra (local musicians) led by his personal conductor, Joe Guercio, and his own five-piece rhythm section.

Elvis obviously will never be what he once was. A country boy who sang the life out of a blues song. It's all too slick now. But he is a showman. Maybe that's the trouble. It's all so well planned and choreographed.

Courtesy of Jeannine Crerand