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CONCERT DATE: May 28 1977 (8:30 pm). Philadelphia PA.

Elvis Still Upstages His Legend
By Lyford M. Moore
Philadelphia Courier

PHILADELPHIA - Place him in a crowd and he's not no different from anyone else, no different from many men in their early 40s whose big fight in life is against obesity.

But place him on a stage and give him a name - Elvis Presley, for instance - and he commands attention, instant attention.

Although it's been more than 20 years since Presley first appeared on television, his immense popularity continues. People who were only teenagers when he began his rapid rise from small town truck driver to international millionaire still shriek at merely a glimpse of him. Elvis tee-shirts stretch crazily as the women inside try to touch him, to pass him a note, a teddy bear, anything to make them somebody.

THIS PAST Saturday, Elvis brought his legend to the Spectrum, and. as is the case wherever he play, sold it out.

Nineteen thousand people crammed into the sardine can-shaped arena for the occasion and, from the press box, it looked more like a political convention. Men and women strolled up and down the aisles, stopping every now and then to slap an acquaintance on the back. Many carried large signs proclaiming Elvis the greatest or boosting him for some public office.

To the, an evening with Elviswas the Super Bowl, the Stanley Cup and the World Series all rolled into one.

After 90 minutes of preliminary entertainment, the cult got what it wanted. The King hustled on stage, and flashbulbs began popping - illuminating the Spectrum like a zillion and one lightning bugs. Presley stood there for a full minute, smiling, facing in every direction with his armsraised high. The multitude roared its approval - the same multitude which, 20 years earlier, had been told the sideburned kid from Tupelo, Miss., would fade away as quickly as he arrived.

GOING TO a Presley concert is well worth the price of admission, if only for the people watching opportunities.

As Elvis shifts from one end of the stage to the other, the screaming frenzied fans follow in waves - squaling in delight as their main man rolls his hips toward them or tosses one of many "soiled" satin scarves into their sea of wishful, clutching hands.

"It's now or never," Elvis blares into the microphone, his voice barely audible above the accompanying musical instruments and background singers. "Ooooo," screams the crowd, drowning out the words that probably follow. More flashbulbs. Utter hysterius.

DURING his hour and 10 minuteson stage, Elvis touched all [...] - rolling his knees and hips suggestively and reaching out blindly to the people as multi-colored spotlights traced his every step, changing his white sequined costume to red or blue. "Little Sister," "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog" were some of the big hits he recalled from the past, with "Hound Dog" setting the place on fire. "My Way" was borrowed from Frank Sinatra, "Johnny B. Good" from Chuck Berry.

The only things missing from the Presley of another era were a guitar and the wild gyrations that once prompted the late Ed Sullivan to ban Elvis' lower extremities from his television show.

Probably the most applause came at the end of the show when Elvis promised everyone he'd be back next year and then, ina somber voice remarked: "Contrary to what you may have read or heard, I'm in good health."

With that he was gone. There would be no curtain call, no second round of applause. today was over, next year was to be anticipated.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward