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Concerts Reviewed - 1976

Cincinnati, OH. March 21, 1976 Evening Show
by Stefan Kock

On March 17th 1976 Elvis started his first tour of 1976. It was his first tour since the great tour from July '75. The August and December 1975 Vegas seasons showed Elvis in varying forms. After three days Johnson City and two shows in Charlotte on one day the next town on the list was Cincinnati. On March 21st 1976 Elvis performed two shows. Let's take a look at the evening show which started at 8.30 PM.

While the lights are turned down the orchestra begins softly with The 2001 Theme, building to the finale. The excitement of the audience grows with every beat....Then at the end there's a silence, just one second it lasts. Suddenly the band breaks down in the familiar opening vamp. Right away it's clear for everyone who attended Elvis shows before that it is not Ronnie Tutt on drums. The vamp really, really rocks!! On drums is Larrie Londin, and his energetic playing is very upfront on this cd. It sounds fresh and defenitly adds something special to the show. Oh See See Rider....Elvis sounds great, but also a bit tired. The audience is with it right away, yelling, clapping, rushing to the stage for a better look or to take photos. After the song the by now familiar Well Well intro to I Got A Woman folows. What follows is a good sounding version. It looks like Elvis is holding back a bit. Of course after Woman/Amen it's time for Love Me. Tonight we get a false start...That's the slowest I ever heard you guys do that damm song....

The fourt song of tonights concert is a fine rendition of Let Me Be There. Elvis sounds like he enjoys singing this country song. After this tour he would drop the song. He receives great applaus. Love Me Tender is as usual, nothing special., but with great guitar playing by James Burton. Then It's time for Steamroller Blues and Elvis gives it all during the song. Just Brilliant!! Never he performed weak versions of this song and tonight isn't any different. The song changed a lot during he 5 years he performed it on stage. (1st time, Las Vegas August 7th 1972) Next are the oldies. Before them Elvis says: I just go trough 'em...

You Gave Me A Mountain is well sung, but suffers from Elvis sense of humour. Elvis begins to laugh after the line ..blamed me for the loss of ( his wife) an eye....still a good version though. Again the energetic drumming of Larrie Londin catches the attention. Polk Salad Annie rocks. Not the standard of 4 -6 years ago, but very impressive. The Band Introductions are next with a few changes: Larrie Londin replaces Ronnie Tutt, Shane Kiester replaces Glen. D Hardin who will never play with Elvis again. David Brigs is added to the group, playing the electric piano After the introduction Elvis starts And I Love You So., but is lost in the words at the beginning. He asks for the lyrics and says ...I don't know what happened. My memory just went boy, I just blanked out.... He restarts the song and delivers a very good rendition. A new song to the set list is his latest single: Hurt. At this point It's very close to the studio recording, soon he would begin to speed the song up. The audience is so excited after the song that Elvis asks ...Shall we do it again?.... and performs a complete second version. Great!! Burning Love starts a little weak but gets better along the way and ends real strong. Since this is our Bicentinal year, I would like to do our version of America the Beautiful for you.......This is a sublime version. His voice souns strong and passionate. Hound Dog is for the audience only, rushed as ever. Then t's time for Funny How Time Slips Away. This song caused almost aways dissapointment by the audience, because the knew that the show soon would be over. Tonights rendirion is just fine. After a few words to the band and the audience Elvis closes the show with the well known Can't Help Falling In Love, followed by the Closing Vamp.

This concerts is, for 1976, very listenable. Elvis voice sound for the most part very strong, though a bit tired. He's in great spirits en is enjoying himself and the crowd. The shows on this short (March 17 - 22) tour are good and are showing a varied set list. This show deserves to be in every fans collection because of the great sound, the great spirit of Elvis and also for the new band members, who give the songs a new feeling. If you can get it, don't hesitate.You will never regret it!

Stefan Kock - October 2nd 2001

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