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CONCERT DATE: April 28, 1973. Spokane, WA.

Elvis Show Incredible
by Wayne Carlson
April 30, 1973
Spokane Daily Chronicle

An incredible carnival called the Elvis Presley show was staged twice in the Coliseum Saturday, and Spokane has apparently survived the sights and sounds onslaught.

Seeing was almost believing for 12,900 persons - predominantly female, late 20s and early 30s crowds - who viewed two shows.

The carnival had it all: The Gypsy king, the hawker and the fool.

The hawker, slicked-down and mustachioed, acted as emcee. He also sold "Elvis super souvenirs" before the show, during intermission and after the show.

He peddled autographed pictures of the gypsy (Bob Dylan's name for Elvis) for $2, posters for $1 and medium sized and giant "flashbacks" ($3 and $5) in Shimmering, Silent Silver and Glimmering Gentle Green.

The fool was up next. A comic forgettable but for his red suit and bad taste, Jackie what's-his-name talked of homosexuality, heterosexuality and hairdressers.

Another warm-up act followed, this time by the talented Sweet Inspirations, who offered a medley of Aretha Franklin's hits.

And then the magic began: the lights dimmed, the band struck up the theme song from "2001: A Space Odyssey" and out strutted the undisputed king of rock and roll.

Dressed in a bell-bottomed white outfit, studded with sequins, white boots, three diamond rings on one hand and two on the other, Elvis walked to one side of the stage and then to the other. He picked up his prop guitar and, left leg a-twitchin', belted out "C.C. Rider."

Bedlam followed: Following the opening number, Presley paused to talk. "Well..."

Up in the balcony came to screams. Elvis smiled: "Maybe ah'll just stand here all night" But he didn't

He mugged, he gyrated, he posed, he strutted, he directed the band with lavish gestures. And he sung.

Elvis' powerful voice, with the assistance of his own super sound system, triumphed even over what are laughingly called the acoustics of the Coliseum.

Presley raced through 24 songs in an hour. He possess not only one of the strongest voices ever heard in the Coliseum but has become a consummate performer. On Saturday, he obviously took great delight in his flamboyant, outrageous posing for the flashbulbpopping, binocular-armed throng. He danced and directed the band with gestures, arm jerks and karate chops.

He quite clearly does not take himself too seriously and winds up a parody of himself.

But, who cares? The audience loved it all.

At one point, he took a drink of (presumably) water, mopped his perspiring face with a towel, looked mischievously out at the audience, then hurled the dripping cloth into the seats.

He smiled as he prepared to execute one of his antics, knowing the response it would evoke, the laughed along with the stage troupe and the rest of the audience when the reaction came.

He changed lyrics ("Heartbreak Hotel" became "Weird-Named Hotel") His left leg moved violently during "Fever" and he pounded it with his fist, as if to say, "Stay put..."

Best-received numbers were "American Trilogy" ("Dixie," "All My Trials" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic"), "I Can't Stop Loving You," "Suspicious Minds," "What Now My Love?," "You Gave Me A Mountain" and "Love Me Tender"

But Elvis could have sung a medley of Guy Lombardo's greatest flops and had the audience in his bejeweled hands.

For the crowd was there to see a living legend in the flesh and Elvis didn't disappoint.

For 10 bucks a head, the price was small. Indeed.

Review courtesy of Francesc Lopez