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Concerts Reviewed - 1972

Welcome To San Antone - April 18, 1972
by Scott

As most concerts of Elvis's this one begins with the 2001 theme. For some reason there is a voice that comes too way to clear at one point during the performance of it-a man's voice-then, the rockin' theme begins and the second Elvis hits the stage you can tell by the screams from the crowd. The guitar comes through a little louder than usual during the opening theme. Then Elvis begins with, "C. C. Rider." The guitar continues to come in too strong, though this is probably a good recording of this for guitarists who want to learn the song. The lead guitar is faint in the background and the back vocals come through okay, though Elvis's voice seems faded into the background at times; then comes in strong again. There is a dramatic part where the band and singers get quiet, as was common for them to do on this number and then the song finishes to be followed immediately with "Proud Mary"

Again the rhythm guitar comes in too strong though the vocals seem stronger, especially J. D. Sumner's bass throat. The drums don't seem to come in that strong, but the sweet inspirations can be heard nicely. Far from being the best version of this song I've heard and it's somewhat short too. Elvis immediately goes into "Never Been To Spain" without any dialogue about the town or the crowd. This is a good version of this song, especially with the rhythm guitar coming thru so clearly. It seems like the lead guitar is coming in better now as are the orchestra musicians, but the drums still seem lost in the mix. Ah, now the lead and it sounds good with the music blended well behind it. It seems that the singers, including Elvis, were really into this song. They put a lot of effort into it and give a nice rendition of it in this show. Elvis thanks the audience for there huge applause at this first really impressive performance in the show and the band begins the song "You Gave Me A Mountain."

What can I say, though the mix is getting better, the rhythm guitar is still coming through stronger than anyone. The backup singers are blending together well. This song is nicely performed, and though I have no idea what year this concert took place since my CD offers no information on it, it seems to me that it was quite a few years before the band began to get tired of it. On this one the louder guitar offers it a very unique sound indeed, with the soft jazzy chords being played.

With still no addressing the crowd Elvis and the guitarist immediately go into the song "Until It's Time For You To Go." For the whole first verse all you can hear are Elvis and the guitarist until the backup singers come in at the chorus. Elvis seems to be fooling around during it a little, becoming happier I guess and there are screams from the crowd that suggests he might be either passing out scarves are facing parts of the crowd he'd earlier ignored. With a wonderful gospel like ending the singers all join together to close out the song. And then, "Polk Salad Annie" begins immediately. Once again the rhythm guitar comes in stronger than anyone, though it seems Elvis's voice is stronger now and a nice bass solo is played though it doesn 't come out too strong in the mix. The horns come through nicely and there are times here and there when the other instruments fade that you can hear the drums, but for some reason the drums are still very faint in this recording. Elvis thanks the crowd and begins to talk to them now. He announces that he'd like to do some of his early hits now and begins singing, "Love Me."

The song is performed well with the guitar coming in stronger than anyone else again, though the mix seems to be getting a little better among the others. I hate to keep mentioning this because it sounds like I'm criticizing the soundman. But it's so obvious. "All Shook Up" is next on the list and it's performed well with the handclaps coming through nicely and Elvis getting into it. Elvis then starts "Teddy Bear" at a much faster pace than the original, causing the backup singers to sound amusing behind him. As expected they go into another song halfway through it. The song is "Don't Be Cruel." The handclaps once again come through very well and it seems like Elvis screws up the words for a second but nobody seems to notice. He doesn' t even laugh like he often does when making a mistake.

"Heartbreak Hotel" is next with the band doing a good job and Elvis doing as good as usual on this particular number. The lead part comes through nicely, though it offers no other licks than most of the other live versions we've all heard before. This song was one of the most famous of the early Elvis tunes, some even argue that it was the song that made him world famous.

The slow jazzy version of "Hound Dog" is next, just like on the Madison Square CD, and this one offers some great licks on the guitar that come through great. This is a great version of this song. It then kicks up into the faster speed with the band increasing the tempo as they go along. Sadly the song ends way too early.

All Elvis shows must offer at least one gospel song and this show gives us his most loved one of all. "How Great Thou Art" comes through nicely on Elvis's voice, but not so much on the orchestra. The backup singers come in great though with a great blend of male voices underlined by JD's awesome bass. It almost seems like the orchestra isn't even playing in this one. I don't hear many of the horns that were apparent earlier. An organ comes through and then at the end you finally hear the horns come in to end the song.

No patter again. Quickly into another song-"I Can't Stop Loving You." And the orchestra comes through very strong on this one as does the backup singers. Elvis is really into it and offers a great version of this number. The rhythm guitar of course comes through stronger than any of the other instruments. Since I'm a rhythm guitarist myself I'm really glad I have this CD now. "Love Me Tender" is next with Elvis introducing the song, reminding the crowd that it was his first movie. He seems to want to joke with the lyrics at the very beginning but chooses not to and goes on with the song as written. He must be passing out scarves because it sounds like just about every woman up front is crying out during it. The song itself is played okay by the band and Elvis, though it seems cut short. I can't blame them though, I'm sure they were tired of this song by then.

"Suspicious Minds" is next and done well, with the female singers coming through nicely. Once again the rhythm guitar outplays everyone and it's very noticeable on this number. The organ sounds good on the refrain though, with Elvis laughing at something and saying, "I've had it man, I mean to tell ya!" He says something else but it's hard to make it out. I can only imagine what it was that distracted him, probably a woman throwing her panties at him. When it comes time for the dramatic pull back Elvis drops down with his voice to the bass part for a few words. The audience seems to really be into the way this song is performed and Elvis once again substitutes the lyrics to, "I hope this suit don't tear up, baby." Then the whole stage erupts with the loudness of the ending with a soft fade out at the end and a few beats from Ronnie Tutt. Elvis jokingly starts to sing the chorus again as if he's going to surprise the band but nobody joins in and he then goes into the band introductions.

The band introductions are cut short in the editing and we're immediately going into the country ballad, "For The Good Times." The mix is getting a little better but it's not off the guitar yet and I doubt that will ever change. I guess the rhythm guitar's amp was mixed in louder for the whole duration of the show. Not that I'm complaining. It's a nice change. The voices come through great on this number too. Elvis seems to enjoy singing this song, though it's never been one of my favorites. Elvis then introduces his latest hit, "Burning Love." What follows is one of the oddest mixes of this song that I've ever heard. For quite some time all you hear is the guitar and organ. Elvis forgets the words as he often did on this number, and who can blame him. The lyrics are a joke on this song, which is probably why Elvis hated it. At the end of the song the voices come out very strong and you can finally hear Ronnie Tutt's drums at the very end. If you're a drummer though, this is not the CD you want. Trust me.

I can't think of any Elvis show where the song "American Trilogy" didn't impress me and this show is certainly no different. Though Elvis loses the rhythm for just a brief second in the beginning, this song is still one of the highlights of the show. At one point some woman in the crowd begins to scream at Elvis, which was not uncommon on this song since it's so quiet in parts-the women know they can be heard. The orchestra comes through great at the big build up as do the backup singers and the guitar mix doesn't hurt this song at all since the chords being played are so soft to begin with. The flute part can barely be heard on this recording. Elvis goes way up on the vocals at the end and holds it strong. He then thanks the grateful audience afterwards. One of the sweet inspirations is laughing at something after the song. Elvis tells the audience that they are far from being finished, which gets a good response.

Elvis complains to the light man at the beginning of the next song, "Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away." There must be some scarves being passed out because the crowd is going nuts at times. This song is done well by the band and singers and is one of the better tunes on the CD. It comes off a lot less formal sounding because of the guitar mix, which is good for a song like this one. Elvis drags out the ending, asking the band members, "You think I can hit that note?" He is referring to that low bass note that he often ends the song with.

For some odd reason, despite the promise of a lot more songs, the next song on the list is "Can't Help Falling In Love" which receives the usual sad cries from the crowd. The song is performed as good as usual with the closing theme following quickly. Finally come the words that every Elvis fan of the 70's dreaded."Elvis Has Left The Building."

My overall opinion of this CD is that it is a unique once because of the guitar mix and offers a little variety because of that. It's hard to say if Elvis was in a good mood or not, since he rarely spoke to the crowd, though I do believe a lot of this show was edited out for reasons of space. A nice CD for the Elvis collector to have and since I play guitar I'm especially glad to own it. Maybe now I can figure out some of those chords a little better with it. Once again a special thanks to your web master for giving me the CD and I wish you all well.

Elvisly yours,


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