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CONCERT DATE: April 29, 1973 (8:30 pm). Seattle, WA.

Wiggling Elvis sings Seattle Into a Frenzy
by Steve Chensvold
Seattle Post Intelligencer
April 30, 1973


In November of 1958 an East German newspaper for youth published an article describing Elvis Presley as a "psychological tool of Western politicians thirsting for atomic warfare"

Two years earlier, at the initial stages of his career, Seattle city fathers denied the singer the use of Civic Auditorium for a concert. San Diego officials the same year refused his application to perform unless he stopped wiggling.

The cold war has thawed to a cozy capitalistic conspiracy. But Elvis hasn't stopped wiggling.

Last night's Presley concert at the Seattle Center before a capacity-sized audience of some 6,800 fans confirmed the fact that the Tupelo, Mississippi, native still has whatever it is he's got.

As he ran through a standard grouping of many hits, as well as his more recent interpretations of "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me," "Mountain," "I'm Leavin'," and "What Now My Love," the bejeweled 38 years old performer strutted, posed, jerked glanced from boyish eyes and slowly and professionally built his act.

Backed by six excellent side men and a sometimes stuffy nine member chorus plus a large reed and brass section, Presley put feeling into his slower songs, highlighting a fine baritone that never really finds expression in his faster pieces.

His voice rising in intensity and surprisingly powerful, the singer shut down the place with a moving version of "dixie" and "Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory"

After a 17 year career which has seen the performer clobber the film record, and concert markets, Presley's appeal remains somewhat of a mystery.

For one thing, though often uneasy onstage and extremely dependent on fellow singers and musicians, the man has considerable talent.

Whether he takes his sexual image seriously is no one's business but his. The point is, audiences still see him as an Adonis-like creature, and quickly get caught up in his magnetism.

As part of his act the singer keeps a good supply of scarves, which he stuffs inside his plunging shirt and then tosses out to eager hands. The seven Seattle police officers who formed a protective rim just in front of the Arena stage last night got a taste of the excitement Presley generates, as they had to break up a tug of war between several fans struggling for one of the silk mementos drenched in Presley sweat.

Presley makes money and he makes people happy. Maybe, like the East Germans suggested, he is a psychological tool. For some his youthful appearance and wilful wiggle fills a vacuum in their lives. In the final analysis, that is what art and music is all about

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez