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CONCERT DATE: June 14 1972 (8:30 pm). Milwaukee WI.

Drums, Lights, Shrieks - Elvis!
by Joel McNally
Milwaukee Journal
June 15, 1972

The lights dim. Drums start pounding. Brass blaring. The music from "2001" builds and builds to a crescendo. You expect the heavens to open.

It is that kind of buildup that makes an appearance by Elvis Presley an event - despite few notable contributions to the recent creative revolution in rock music; despite all those bad movies.

And despite the fact that my mother said a decade and a half ago that he would have never last.

When Elvis swept onto the Arena stage Wednesday night in his flowing white and gold cape and a white suit slit from throat to navel, they were screaming again.

Despite the reception, Milwaukee set a dubious kind of attendance record.

Fred A. Muth, Auditorium Arena manager, said the attendance was 10,550. That means there were more than 1,000 empty seats. It was the first time since Elvis resumed live concerts two years ago that his show had not sold out.

The attendance might have had something to do with Milwaukee frugality and the $10 tickets. There was certainly no lack of enthusiasm among those present.

In fact, the screaming actually started between the warm up acts. Between the comic and the Sweet Inspirations, the house went dark and somebody walked across the stage. Whoever he was, he evoked shrieks.

Elvis' show is incredible and outrageous. There is nothing wrong with that; it always was. It was the outrage of our parents toward Elvis the Pelvis that helped create a sense of community among youth in the benign mid-50's.

The sense of community would grow. So would the sexual revolution that Elvis showed us the first twitchings of.

Sex is still a big part of Elvis' act, although the only song he did that could qualify as sensuous was Kristofferson's "For The Good Times".

But even when Elvis is singing about hound dogs and teddy bears, all he has to do is move a few strategic parts to have his admirers squealing.

Like they tell you at the start of burlesque shows, th emore your cheer the more you get.

Camp Added

He has started to camp it up a little, though. In the middle of one frenzy of pelvic grinds, he stopped suddenly and looked at his watch. Then he started again.

It was not easy to figure outwho was doing all the screaming since guards would not let anyone leave his seat. Those nearest me were teenagers who might yell for David Cassidy, too.

But most of the crowd was not that young. Some must have been my contemporaries - the 50's fans now become parents. They screamed for gold scarfs he threw to the audience

Some New, Some Old

The music is partly the old stuff - "Heartbreak Hotel," "Blue Suede Shoes," "All Shook Up," "Don't Be Cruel" and partly new - "Never Been To Spain," "Proud Mary."

The stage is filled with backup singers and an orchestra that sometimes dominates and perhaps covers the star a little. It's a far cry from the Jordanaires.

At times the production takes over, Mickey Newbery's sensitive arrangement of "America Trilogy" was turned into a Radio City Musical Hall Easter pageant.

But it was all fun. Some of it has to be seen to be believed. The show will be repeated at the Arena at 8:30 tonight.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez