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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1973 > April 22 1973 (3:00 pm). Phoenix, AZ.
CONCERT DATE: April 22 1973 (3:00 pm). Phoenix, AZ.
Elvis Presley Wows Fans At Coliseum
by Jack Swanson
The Arizona Republic
April 24, 1973
Many were in their seats more than an hour before the scheduled 3 o'clock curtain for the Elvis Presley Show at the Coliseum yesterday. But it wasn't until 4:20 that the eerie rumble of the organ sent shivers up the spine with his trademark, the theme from "2001 Space Odyssey.
Elvis' resident comic for the last couple of years, Jackie Cahane, was as awful as ever. He and the Sweet Inspirations only made the time drag longer, it seemed, until the star of the show came on.
Women and girls outnumbered males by at least three to one. The girls were of all ages and many mothers had brought their young daughters.
One pretty blonde mother sitting near the stage had brought two red carnations.
"Just to be prepared," Barbara Hughes of Scottsdale answered when asked what she planned to do with them.
"They're just in case he might walk right by me. I was afraid if I didn't bring them he might walk by and all I could do was shake his hand and say, "Hi."
"I know it must look silly for a 30-year-old mother to be acting like this, but I can't help it. My poor husband. We couldn't get two good seats together down here so he's up there somewhere."
She pointed toward the upper reaches of the vast Coliseum, crammed with people.
The performance had been sold out three days before Elvis' appearance.
But if Mrs. Hughes or anybody entertained thoughts of getting close to their idol they were useless. A dozen tall Department of Public Safety patrolmen guarded the stage area, turning back anyone who got too close.
When Elvis finally got on after intermission, he donned and threw it to the girls in his trademark black guitar which he doesn't bother to pretend to play anymore, and strode into "C.C. Rider." Pausing only for quick sips of water, he sang for 60 minutes almost without break.
The man his fans call The King was loose, exhuberant, in a good mood.
The 38-year-old singer is much better before a big, younger crowd than in some of his recent nightclub appearances where the audience is older, richer and more reserved.
Every wiggle drew screams as in the old days and he had fun playing with his fans.
Several times he mopped the perspiration off his face with a silk scarf around his neck the front row. They fought over it like wildcats.
He gave them a superb show, a mixture of old, old, tunes like "Blue Suede Shoes," and new ones, backed by the 20-piece Las Vegas Hilton orchestra, the Sweet Inspirations and J. D. Summer and the Stamps.
The Stamps and a particularly good, low-voiced bass provided excellent help with "How Great Thou Art," for Easter.
The singer's personal sound system, set too loud during the warmup acts, turned some of his songs to mush and quite a few fans complained they had difficulty hearing the crooner.
He acknowledged a standing ovation with two encores and while the spotlight was still playing on the curtain as if he were going to return, Elvis ran 10 steps from the stage and jumped into a black Cadillac limousine waiting with its motor running.
Exactly 27 seconds after his last note, the 1imousine roared through the Palm Street exit. He smiled and waved briskly as he looked back.
Courtesy Of Archie Bald