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CONCERT DATE: October 24, 1976. Evansville, IN.

Elvis Knocked Them Out Like He's Done For Years
Scott Hill
The Evansville Courier

The triple wrapped Ace bandage on her left wrist made it a little difficult to handle the borrowed binoculars, but she managed.

She looked to be the age that would have made her a teen-ager when Elvis Presley stormed America two decades ago. And finally she was seeing him live.

"Look at me, just look at me" she pleaded to a stranger, "I'm shaking from my toes all the way to the top of my head" Why! "I don't know."

Shaking the pam out of her wrist, she raised the binoculars with her right hand and observed Elvis. She let an ooooohhhhhh escape from her lips.

"It's just not fair that you have to get old and can't scream like the young kids," she paused and then she realized why she was shaking. "I can't scream. That's why I'm shaking!"

There was no [...] for her to feel inhibited. From the concrete floor to the [...], the women screamed loudly and often. She would have blended in perfectly.

Elvis, the Living Legend with a capital L, was back and you couldn't generate more excitement by putting the Grand Canyon on a flatbed truck and touring the country with it.

At 41. The King not dead.

Singing to the largest paid concert crowd in Roberts Stadium history, Elvis knocked them out like he's done for 20 years. The King may be 41 but he's not dead.

During his 65 minute onstage he sang all or part of 24 songs, striding across the stage and dripping several dozen sweat soaked towels into gaggles of females beneath the footlights.

The legendary pelvis didn't move as in years past, but the legs did, and that was plenty good for the shrieking masses, some of whom gave Elvis gifts that appeared to be portraits or posters.

The woman in the ACE bandage had gotten a bad seat for this second coming - behind the stage - and had abandoned it for a front view of Elvis. "What POWER that man has" she said only moments before begrudgingly returning to her seat.

Throughout the stadium, concertgoers peered at Elvis though binoculars - brought from home, borrowed, and even a $6 variety sold by vendors who were part of Elvis 80-member entourage.

"You are the ONE!" crowed one teenaged boy high in the bleachers. "He sure don't look his age." said another.

Elvis' entrance followed 45 minutes of opening acts and a half-hour intermission that sent the 13,500 plus unprepared patrons into a collective moan upon hearing about it.

"Thus Spake Zarathustra," the classical ditty made famous by the movie "2001 A Space Odyssey," was his entrance music. Had it been for any other entertainer . It could have been called very, very pretentious. But somehow, it just fit.

Bathed in eight multicolor spotlights and wearing a white jumpsuit, he walked calmly onstage, bowed subty to his fans and launched the fast-paced, well-timed show.

From "C.C. Rider" through "Jailhouse Rock" through "All Shook Up" and on and on. Elvis operated his spring-loaded legs in his time-proven manner of eliciting screams - screams that erupted even when The King stood still in that inimitable way of him.

He is all Glitter and Big Time. When the house lights dimmed at 8:30 pm. elvis was eating dinner at Drew Regional Airport where he'd park his four-engine jet earlier.

Dressed in his plane.

The plane was where he dressed for the show - and where he undressed after it. A black limousine, doors open, sat ready, backstage for Elvis quick exit. There was no encore.

Among his entourage are program hawkers who stand at the entrances Fans grimace when he tells them the souvenir books costs three bucks, but they buy them anyway after one of those you-only-live-once. to the heavens or their mates.

Throughout the stadium, more members of his troops sell $5 posters, $3 buttons and those binoculars. "Check them out before you buy them." the spyglass hawkers yell.

Elvis spent a few minutes more onstage than was predicted earlier, and he left them screaming for more.

Courtesy of Scott