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Concerts Reviewed - 1972

November 15, 1972. (8.30 pm) Long Beach, CA.
by The Clint

After doing two 1977 Elvis Presley concerts, I decided instead of doing another concert review of how good that concert was for 1977, to go ahead and do a concert from late 1972. The date was November 15, 1972 in Long Beach, California. The beginning of 1972 was hot, while the end was much like the beginning of 1973 - very leisurely. Elvis seemed very relaxed doing his concerts, and seemed to not put as much energy as he had in April - but this did not make this concert bad.

This concert, of course, comes from a good audience recording. In fact, I hear not much reverb at all in the tapes. I guess the people who processed this did a good job. 2001 booms into arena with its usual grander and the opening rift and SEE SEE RIDER begins. As I said, Elvis used to open with more of an edge in April, but here in November he is much like his earlier August Vegas engagement and in Hawaii. He has a little bit more of a kick than Hawaii 1973, which makes this more like 1972 Vegas. Nothing else really to say about the song, except it does rock. I GOT A WOMAN follows and Elvis seems to punch this song a little better than he did SEE SEE RIDER. It was just perfect. Not 1000 "wells", no goofing off, and no Amen. Probably not his best version, but it ranks up there.

Without much talking, except for a "Thank you very much" and a "Good Evening" he launches into UNTIL ITS TIME FOR YOU TO GO. This Elvis from 1972 with that leisure attitude, actually makes a good Elvis for soft ballads such as this. Kathy Westmoreland is heard nicely during the second verse. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME is next, and it is much like July 1972's version at MSG. All I can say that it is a good version with the deep tones where they belong and everything. The bass goes thumping in the breeze to show that POLK SALD ANNIE is next. This is 1972 baby, and POLK SALD still as that old bass and James Burton 1972 feel. Elvis is still very aggressive with it showing that his 1973 leisure period hadn't taken over on everything yet. J.S. bass run from this concert was nice and dirty. It ends with a nice kick, and Elvis paces around to gain his breath as the "1972 Introductions" play.

Elvis decides he wants to do a "melody of Greek folk songs", but changes his mind and goofs off with the audience. LOVE ME follows the goofing out, making Elvis into a liar. Where are all those Greek folk songs Elvis was going to sing? Where are those Celtic music songs he was going to sing too? Okay I am digressing, but who cares. Like I was saying, LOVE ME begins and while it is the new fast version. It still has a slow feel to it, something it would have in 1972 and 73, and even 74 at times. The song was passable during 1975, and semi-expectable depending on the tour in 1976. As for 1977, you had to play it by ear by then. In this version, he is really attacking the notes at certain points as with "so close to mine" - he hits mine at a high tone. This song was still more than a scarf-toss song at this point, and I don't care if Elvis was slipping in 1972 (says some critics) - this song was hot. A fast powered ALL SHOOK UP follows, and why Elvis was rushing it on purpose - he was able to do so with success and make it really rock at this point.

HEARTBREAK HOTEL follows and except for a quick giggle at the beginning, it is a pretty good version. Elvis does joke about "being sweaty", but it was a different Elvis Presley in 1972. When he joked, it was not really as sad when he tried the self-parody joking in 1977. BLUE SUADE SHOES follows as like all versions from 1972-1977, this is a fast powered version. He attacks it, but BLUE SUADE November 1972 reminds me of a version in December 1976 (in fact that version was better) - and it lasted almost a minute. If you want to say throw away for all the old songs, go ahead and say it. However, in this reporter's opinion, the only "throwaway" song that sounded "throwaway" was BLUE SUADE SHOES.

After doing a good melody set, Elvis announces he is going to do THE WONDER OF YOU. He starts with the second verse, and doesn't try to sing a second verse and it goes straight into the guitar solo, sings the last refrain again and ends the song. It didn't seem Elvis was focused there, or he did it as a throwaway. Then again, it might have been a honest mistake. Either way it was a okay version!

After an average version of WONDER OF YOU, he goes into his TEDDY BEAR/DON'T BE CRUEL. He seems to really attack this version, as his voice is nice and dirty. He gets "deep" on the song. It is fast, but he does put some effort into it. LOVE ME TENDER is done next, and it sounds like a good 1970-72 version of the song. This version has nothing more or nothing less of being one of the best live versions he ever did of the song.

After a gentle song, Elvis kicks into his LITTLE SISTER song. He always did this song well, but tonight he is really attacking it and the band is attacking it too. GET BACK follows the melody and listen to that James Burton lead. It will never touch to original, but it is still cool. Now its time for "you ain't . . . you don't know what I'm going to do . . . only think it . . . When I did this song my voice was much higher and I can't sing standing straight up... That's the biggest lie I ever told in my life". Finally after goofing up we go for the slow sub-sonic HOUND DOG. The band is kicking it, as Elvis is going slow and then all of a sudden - "YOU AIN"T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG" - fast as fire. Great attack on the song!

I'LL REMEMBER YOU would be next. I always loved this song, and this version is just as good as January 13, 1973 in Hawaii special. Great ovation from the audience, and Elvis decides to go gospel and do HOW GREAT THOU ART. I usually don't like 1972 versions of this, because I like the 1975-77 versions so much better. Its not that Elvis is more sincere in the later years, he just sings the "ALMIGHTY GOD" part so much better and different. Here he doesn't hold it, it just runs into "then sings my soul". It's a great version, and I shouldn't be complaining about it - but I just loved that "ALMIGHTY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD" from 1975-77. Still a good version for 1972!

SUPICIOUS MINDS happens next. Typical 1972 version if you ask me. It is not as rough cut as the 1969/1970 versions were. James Burton, the rest of the band, and Elvis seem very lax on it. I'm not saying it was bad, it is just like SEE SEE RIDER in late 1972-1973 - very light and leisurely. It does have some fire in near the end, and "I hope this suit don't tear up, baby". The more the band plays, the song begins to have an edge and then its over. I hear a good rift, so there has to be some karate involved. Has to be! Time to INTRODUCE THE BAND, and since its 1972 this should only last about 50 seconds. It lasts a little longer, and I liked the longer intros but this is how a concert is supposed to be done with INTROS.

Then Elvis does a weird thing as he has just finished a hot and vicious version of SUPICIOUS MINDS he launches into a hot BURNING LOVE. He attacks this song better than he does SUPICIOUS MINDS in my opinion. I think he might goof-up a few lines like he did at the Dress Rehearsal in Hawaii, but who cares. He is singing and attacking the song! I can't say anything bad towards this version, because this version rocks.

Time for a soft song and Elvis launches into FEVER. A big hiss comes into the tapes, but you can still hear the recording. Much like the 1973 version in Hawaii! With the exception that he says something about having "fever with his mistress (or mattress)". The crowd is popping every-time he says "FEVER". Once the song ends, he announces that Lisa Marie was in the audience and "daddy is making a fool out of himself". You're about really four years shy before that really happens full time, Elvis. After the introduction, Elvis goes into YOU GAVE ME A MOUNTAIN. While he always did this song good throughout the years, the best versions might come from 1972-73. He attacked them good in 1977 (which is a shock), and usually goofed off with it in most of 1976. I think he only did it in Vegas and Pontiac in 1975 and I don't know if he did it in 1974 at all. It is a great version. Elvis then launches into CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE and it was a good 1972 version. Then its all over, and the time for the closing rift.

What can I say about this concert, except that it was the a great concert! Elvis sounds great and does a great concert. It wasn't early 1972, but Elvis does a pretty good job of doing the concert. This isn't the best of the latter years, this was the BEST! Okay, maybe not, but it was the one of the best 1972-73 concerts I have ever heard.

The Clint

Clint Johnson

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