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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1972 > June 9, 1972. New York, NY.
CONCERT DATE: June 9, 1972. New York, NY.
ELVIS INVADES NEW YORK - A Mr. Presley Puts It On at the Garden
By Patricia O'Haire
Saturday, June 10, 1972
Elvis is the man's name, and if anyone has to be told what his last name is, then that person has had to be spaced out or on the moon for the past two decades or so - but in any case, the last name is Presley.
Elvis the Pelvis, was how he was called at first, and it's true, the pelvis is still swinging despite its 37 years. And he showed off how proficient he is in other areas - singing, dancing and playing guitar last night in the first of a series of four concerts he is holding this weekend at Madison Square Garden.
The Garden concerts mark the first time - ever - that Elvis has allowed himself to be seen live and in person in New York City, and it was an event, indeed.
The show was going right on time at 8:30, featuring a comic that nobody listened to. The main attraction, Elvis himself, didn't get started until 9:15. And from then, until the show ended about an hour later, Elvis was on stage, singing his old familiar numbers. "Heartbreak Hotel", "Blue Suede Shoes", "Love Me Tender" and "Don't Be Cruel", which I consider one of his best.
His voice was good, for the most part. The sound system however, was not behaving all that well, and anyone sitting - as I was - behind the amplifiers, had a lot of trouble understanding his diction on quite a few numbers.
It wasn't hard to understand his rhythm, however. The backup band was doing an excellent job; he had a chorus of four men and four women working beautifully in harmony and in counterpoint to his singing.
His program consisted of his old familiar tunes, but he wasn't at all restricted to the hit records and numbers he had made a decade or so ago - he dropped in some more popular hits of today.
He went through for example, Three Dog Night's "Never Been to Spain", which sounded a lot more forceful coming from him than from the original group; he did "Rollin' on the River", a Credence Clearwater number, then Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".
Let no one say Elvis has locked himself into any specific area - while each of those songs was familiar, he managed to brand each of them with his own distinctive marking, rhythm and humor.
Elvis is an interesting performer. As the lyrics of the Beatles' "Hey Jude" goes, he "can take a sad song and make it better." And he does.
And he proved it Friday night in front of oh, maybe 24,000 or 25,000 adoring fans. He made a believer of me. I hope he comes back soon.
Courtesy of Mark van Hout