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CONCERT DATE: April 28, 1975. Lakeland, FL.

Final Elvis Performance Was More Alive, Exciting
by Jeff Kline
Lakeland Ledger
April 29, 1975

Elvis Presley did it one more time last night. For the third time in two days he sang and moved his way through a number of songs for a capacity crowd of frenzied fans in the Lakeland Civic Center.

In comparison to his first concert Sunday afternoon, last night's was more alive, more exciting. Elvis himself seemed in a better mood, less tired than before, something possibly explained by the fact he had the chance to spend more of the day resting, whereas he had performed two concerts in Tampa the night before Sunday Lakeland performances.

Like before he joked with the audience and members of his group. "Hello, I'm fatty," he said at one point. "That's what it said in the paper."

For the most part it seemed the crowd was more excited over seeing the legendary superstar than were their counterparts Sunday afternoon. Like past audiences, they screamed and shouted when Elvis gave away scarves and kissed several female spectators, but then one girl threw her white hat onstage.

Picking it up, Elvis told the girl to come to the edge of the stage where he gave her the hat back along with a scarf and a kiss. But the incident started something and before the night was over Elvis had been bombarded with a teddy bear, a bra, a pair of women's panties (an item he placed over the head bas singer J.D. Summers) and a couple of pocketbooks.

"Aren't you cold dear?" Elvis asked the young girl who claimed to have thrown the panties.

At one point Elvis walked to the rear of the stage to give a scarf to one of the girls standing by the railing. The girl, however, had more than just a scarf in mind as she grabbed Presley's wrist pulling him off-balance. Presley remained calm and to show there were no hard feelings, gave her a kiss.

At concert's end females admirers rushed to the edge of stage to get closer and to perhaps even touch their idol, crushing security guards and spectators alike in the process.

"We were rushed.." one girl who had a front row seat and who got a scarf admitted, "but it was worth it".

Despite "The King" being 40 years old, a factor that didn't seem to bother him last night, his fans, both young and old, are as loyal as ever.

"I saw him when he first went on the Ed Sullivan Show back in 1956 or so and he hasn't changed a bit," one older man said. "His hips don't move as much but he still moves that left leg like he always did."

And he still gives the fans a thrill just like he always did as could be witnessed by the screams that accompanied every song, especially his older ones, at all three concerts.

But most everything has to come to a close and so it was with Presley's show. He sang his last song, took his last bow and touched the final outstretched hand of some admirer and surrounded by his bodyguards, left the stage, climbed into a big black limousine and left the Civic Center.

Today is an engagement in Tennessee with a whole new place and a whole new crowd. Elvis has left Lakeland and Polk Country, but not before he made some 25,000 fans happy.

Courtesy of Kurt Hinkle