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CONCERT DATE: June 21 1974 (8:30 pm). Cleveland OH.

Elvis Packs Hall, Pockets
by Frank Hruby
Cleveland Press
June 1974


Public Hall, the scene of many circuses, sideshows, mob scenes and musical events, was host to another one of all those last night as Elvis Presley packed them in 10000 strong. As usual, the splendid showman, Presley did everything his audience expected of him in a perfectly orchestrated event. He sang at least two dozen songs, mostly his hits old and new, and if not his then someone else's, like Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Hound Dog, Believe Me, Help Me, Fever, Why Me Lord?, Can't Help Falling in Love, Suspicious Minds and a host of others had the crowd screaming as indeed they should when Elvis is around. It took Elvis an hour to appear while Voice, comic Jackie Kahane and the Sweet Inspirations held forth for the first portion of the show - just after the "overture" which consisted of a ten-minute plug for all the Presley posters, souvenirs and programs on sale.

This show is, after all, one of the biggest circus-type ripoffs going. To do my in-depth research on this 20th century phenomenon I bought a three-dollar souvenir program book - for which I got 18 color photographs of The Pelvis, plus a map of his current tour. which we were informed is completely sold out.

The crowd was made up of Elvis fans of all ages, from size three to size 40. Since it has been reading about and adoring the star for 20 years, it knew all the correct responses. Screams, throwing items on the stage (nothing more exciting than a little pillow), reaching up for handshakes and kisses, vying in mock ugliness for the 50 or so scarves Elvis threw over the footlights - you know, the whole bit. It was all fairly ruly. Elvis himself still sings as well as he ever did, gyrates, pumps and grinds in what used to be lascivious but is now more or less standard manner.

It was as much fun watching the audience as it was the show. Women and girls would sneak up the aisles to get a closer look and the cops would all of a sudden notice them - after a slight pause. One blonde moved up in a crouched position (both to avoid the police and so not to obscure vision) and right behind her sneaked the cop - like something out of a Keystone Comedy. The goon squad onstage was ever on the alert to ward off any riotous onslaught that might materialize - and wound up looking slightly ridiculous.

Presley wore a white outfit with two sequined peacocks appliqued one on the chest and one on the back, with the tail features going down the side of each pant leg. Whether Elvis ever took himself and his hip-swinging sex symbolism seriously I do not know, but if so he no longer does. He mocks himself and his famous style and has a wonderful time doing it. Wouldn't you, with 10000 people out there at $10 a head?

Courtesy Of Scott Hayward