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CONCERT DATE: June 28, 1976. Philadelphia, PA. The Spectrum

Elvis Cools His Fever Pitch
by Matt Damsker
The Evening Bulletin
June 29, 1976

PROBABLY BECAUSE ELVIS Presley has been leading a relatively active performing life for the past four or five years - inclusing a number of Philadelphia appearances - his concert last night at the Spectrum lacked the overall fever pitch of audience anticipationand response which - had characterized earlier shows. Instead, and largely owing to Elvis' lackluster performance, the evening amounted to a generally low-key if familiar ritual for a capacity audience of 19,000 - fans of practically all ages, themselves proof of Presley's gap-bridging and undiminished appeal

"As many times as I've seen him. I never get enough," gushed one female fan, a thirtyish blonde with high-piled hair who was clutching what looked like a rosary of Elvis badges. "he's the only one star I come to see at the Spectrum. There's nobody like his - she giggled - "I mean: nobody like him."

"yeah, I suppose it is more or less the same show over and over anymore," mused David Klabe, 26, of East Falls, "but I wouldn't want to miss him. My friends can't understand why I prefer Elvis to any of the younger rock stars, but I just tell them that Elvis came first and he's still the best. And anyway, how can you not admire his staying power?

Fifteen years old Mindy Cohen of Northeast Philadelphia had a simpler explanation for her presence last night: "I just love how he looks in those beautiful costumes, and he moves so sexy" She blushed. "Of course, I don't know his music that well, because he had most of his big hits before I was born, but my mother tells me he sings as good as ever - she's here too, you know."

And so were the legion of concessionaires - hawking and array of "official" Elvis T-shirts, scarves, badges, pennants, posters - and a few scalpers who found that most of those who arrived at the Spectrum had already purchased tickets.

"The action's not so hot this time" lamented one scalper who was willing to part with his tickets for half their face-value. Commented a concessionaire "Business is a fair - just fair - tonight. I guess a lot of Elvis fans already have all the dhirts and posters they'll need for a while."

As for Elvis himself, he generated the usual thunder and lightining as he took the stage to screams, cheers and a strotoscopic frenzy of flash cameras. From there, however, and looking puffy and paunchy in one of his white sequinned outfits, he performed without much energy or enthusiasm, as a result, the bulk of the audience, while thoroughly respectful, never quite came to life.

It was clear from the start that Elvis was merely going through the motions as, with an appropiate sense of self-parody, he struck a few of his classic poses and handed out a succession of sweat-dampened scarves to the frontline faithful, a few of whom he bent to kiss. But for the most part he walked through his by now standard repertoire of 50s rock hits and later pop and gospel tunes as if too tired - or bored - to care.

Courtesy of Jeannine Crerand