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Concerts Reviewed - 1970

THERE'S NO TOMORROW August 24, 1970 MS
by Evan

LAS VEGAS - August 24, 1970 Midnight Show:
When Elvis performed on this night, he was approximately halfway through his third Vegas season, and the MGM film crews had now stopped filming officially for ten days (despite some footage from the August 15th dinner show surfacing at the end of Polk Salad Annie. It was around this time that Elvis resorted to wearing on at least two occasions his off stage two piece suits with shoe string breast (for example, the front cover of the bootleg LP THE LEGEND LIVES ON or the back cover of the '70s Masters box set promo OUT OF THE BOX SAMPLER RJC-66765-2). Another variation, although slightly shorter in the jacket was seen in TTWII showing Elvis hanging out with his fans. In fact, Elvis makes mention of his change in "sartorial splendor" at the dinner show on August 21. He basically notes that he is wearing a dark suit in favor of his usual white suit.

The audience recording begins with the opening riff of THAT'S ALL RIGHT MAMA mixed with the applause of the 'big freaky International's' audience. For an audience recording of this era, the sound is remarkably clear. Elvis' performance is very clearly sung, and lasts just on two minutes.

"Thank you" Elvis says shyly through the applause. "Well" is echoed by the Imperials and the Sweet Inspirations. "You don't really know what I'm gonna sing yet do you?" Elvis asks in mock criticism to his stage friends, as he has done on almost every night for the past three seasons. "Well" he sings again. This recording is good enough to allow the listener the ability to hear Elvis' talent as a singer, even in this one syllable word which he makes into two. "Well I said I got a woman" is sung slowly and softly. IGOT A WOMAN quickly builds up to a rocking temp, and has the Sweets clapping and yelling all the way through. These versions are always good from this time. Elvis slurs the final lyrics into a soft AVE MARIA. "We don't do that song. Arrrrrrrhhhhhhh I got a woman" is closed with its usual bluesy cresendo. "You're a good audience ladies and gentleman. The second song I ever recorded is called Tiger Man" As with most audience recordings some of Elvis' dialogue is inaudible. He makes a few comments about Tiger Man which causes the crowd to laugh, and suddenly Elvis sings "Blue, spannnnish eyes, loveliest eyes in all of mec'ico. Watch this!" Elvis starts TIGER MAN, and the band picks up a thumping version behind him. The instrumental by James Burton is typical. The girls scream their approval when Elvis performs his strobe wiggle, but shortly there after he ends the song, a running time of no more than 1" 30 sec.

"Thank you, good evening ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Golden Nugget. My name is Johnny Cash. If you see me walk back here and drink water it's because I'm thirsty! It gets very dry here in Las Vegas". The show room is very quiet for about ten seconds before a whistle is heard. "That's the way to whistle" Elvis replies". I've also got some Gatorade up here to aid your gator" Suddenly the tape is edited and we next hear Elvis midway through I JUST CAN'T HELP BELIEVIN'. Undeniably a favorite amongst fans, the horns and strings on this classic are very prominent on this recording. In fact, one could be mistaken for thinking it was the version from TTWII. The crowd, as always, is fooled into thinking the song has finished before it picks up again. Elvis allows the applause to die completely before signaling Jerry Scheff to begin YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING. This is a very powerful version with Jerry's bass being very prominent throughout, and so too are the strings. The part "Baby baby, I'd get down on my knees" has Elvis add the line, "This suit's on too tight". Ronnie's drums crack the air in this part, and is always my favorite part of the song. Jerry kicks off POLK SALAD ANNIE, and both men and women scream their approval with this song that had by this time gained the reputation as being THE song of the current Presley performances. The dialogue has Elvis start in falsetto, Some y'all never..."before quickly reprising in his normal voice. It is evident Elvis is starting to grow bored with this spoken intro. But he brings screams from the girls as he and Ronnie dual with body movements and drum beats. Elvis does not complete the introduction when he soon starts the song. After the line, "Ever-y day before suppertime" Elvis completely misses the line, "She'd go down by the truck patch". He also misses the line, "everybody said it was a shame". This is a disappointing version considering Elvis' ability at this time to really perform.

"Before we go any further I'd like to introduce you to the members of my group". Right at this point, a woman near the tape recorder can be heard singing the line "There's no tomorrow". Elvis continues, "Charlie, this is Jerry, Lamar this is Luke. We got Judas on the piano". Again, the same woman can be heard saying, "Well, play it Elvis". Elvis then starts the introductions as normal starting with the Sweet Inspirations, and "..the Inspirations' husbands, the Sweet Imperials". Kathy Westmoreland follows, then "my favourite guitar player, Chuck Berry! Chuck?" James Burton launches JOHNNY B.GOODE which allows Elvis to make up for his poor performance of PSA with some dynamic singing. Darlene Love from the Blossoms is introduced, as well as the Osmond Brothers. He then starts WHEN THE SNOW IS ON THE ROSES, which includes two false starts whilst Elvis finds the right key. This lasts approximately one minute, and afterwards Elvis introduces Ed Ames, the first artist to record this song.

"Next I'd like to do a beautiful song. I had a record with it which was pretty big, but no bigger than the rest of them!" THE WONDER OF YOU starts and Elvis completely stuffs it up. He seems so embarrassed he makes excuses instead of singing. Then when he does sing, he seems so rattled that he hardly recovers from it.

The tape edits to the playful start of HEARTBREAK HOTEL, but this classic is short lived as Elvis stops James from performing the instrumental and simply ends the song. Very unfortunate!

ONE NIGHT gets the "dirty bitch" treatment, and Elvis screams out to Glenn D, "Play it Jerry Lee". As Elvis sings, "...has been to lonely too long" he stops the song and says, "Stop, go back to the bridge" and continues, "Always lived...". ALL SHOOK UP receives a false start before being dropped all together in favor of BLUE SUEDE SHOES/WHOLE LOTTA SHAKING GOING ON/BLUE SUEDE SHOES. The crowd enjoys this medley, but it's not Presley at his best, that's for sure. An again this woman sings, "There's no tomorrow".

"This next song which I recorded. You got to stand like this 'coz if you stand straight up you'll strip all your gears" Elvis recites his usual introduction to HOUND DOG whilst hunched on his left knee. For the third time 'There's no tomorrow' is sung!

"This is a very tender love song, it's a ballad. And you get up in a girl's face and you say, 'YOU AINT' and it blows her hair straight back, fewwwwwit" The crowd is in hysterics with Elvis' story. "YOU!!!! See, I was twenty when I recorded this, my voice was much higher back then. Get the Ozmond Brother, he can cut it. You Aint (falsetto), you all (haha). You, aint butta. Aint nuthin' butta, aint nuthin' butta. YooooouuUUUUUUUUUUuuuuuuuuuu aint stop your ass son" Finally Elvis sings Hound Dog, and really puts on a fine vocal performance but it lasts a mere 25 seconds and there is not instrumental from James Burton.

"I'd like to get serious. I'd like to get serious for just a little bit" leads into BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER which brings little applause. Despite Elvis' inability to stop his impulsive behavior tonight, he seems to recognize his poor performance and really lets loose vocally in Bridge in an attempt to prove he is really the great singer the audience expected to hear. The crowd do not offer any standing ovations, and so James starts SUSPICIOUS MINDS. Elvis offers the "shove it up your nose" lyrics, and tries to be humorous by changing other lyrics but stuffs it up, and so continues with the usual words. Several times Elvis calls out, "Ronnie" to bring to his attention that Elvis wants some rapid drumming to compliment his movements. The most exciting part of this performance is the extended ending of drum beats, which even has Elvis tell his audience to "Watch this"! The start of Can't Help Falling in Love starts but is stopped when Elvis decides to perform RELEASE ME. A very good version is deliveredd with a few different lyrics and some nice work by James Burton.

As soon as Release Me is concluded, CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE starts. The sooner Elvis gets of the stage the better off the world will be. Tonight's performance sucked, and it is completely Elvis' fault. I think it is more disappointing to hear Elvis performing poorly when he was fit and healthy, than when he was sick. There are many 1976 and 1977 performances that despite being bad concerts had more effort injected into them than this 1970 show. Poor shows in 1970 were usually few and far between, but Elvis' boredom is evident in this midnight show. In theory, Elvis should have been more bored with his dinner shows as there was a more conservative audience and fewer people. The midnight shows are generally considered better because there were more fans thus creating a better interaction between Elvis and his admirers. What has saved this concert from being completely written off is the first three songs performed, When the Snow is on the Roses, the fun introduction to Hound Dog, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and Release Me. But approximately fifteen minutes of good performances out of a fifty five minute set must have left a lot of the non fans feeling somewhat negative about this man his fans call The King. There's no tomorrow seems more and more appropriate now then it did at the start of this concert.


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