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Concerts Reviewed - 1976



And Then The Lights Went Down
by Sami Gunther

Lake Tahoe's concert season started in April 30th and ended in May 9th . This concert was Elvis's longest concert, and last visit in Lake Tahoe. Concert opening with ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA. After it, starts heavy and mighty SEE SEE RIDER. Audience downright exploses! Elvis rocks very well and the Show room is on fire. Elvis thanks and. " Well, weelll!.That's it, thank you very much!" teases Elvis, and sings then I GOT A WOMAN/AMEN. Bass-singer J.D. Sumner "brokes" loudspeakers, but Elvis is not satisfied: " Ladies and gentlemen. he is the lowest bass-singer in the world, and he can do better. so listen this time". One fast stanza Amen, and then J.D. success, and so Elvis is satisfied.

Elvis talks little bit: " Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. We hope, that we have good time here. and we play tonight lot of songs. old-ones, new-ones. and between it. Treat me like a fool..". LOVE ME is basic concert song, and during this song, women in firsts seats gets kisses and scarves from Elvis.

Next song is IF YOU LOVE ME, and it's nice country-style song, and Elvis performs it very lively. When song is over, starts absolutely one of the greatest songs in this concert, YOU GAVE ME A MOUNTAIN. Elvis sings it sensitively, but still also strongly and he sang it like in Hawaii -73 .

"I'd like to do a medley some of my records. you know... Mmmmm..", and the comes ALL SHOOK UP and after it comes TEDDY BEAR/DON'T BE CRUEL and BLUE SUEDE SHOES. Audiences screams and is wild, and likes these 50's classics. Then Elvis talks little bit and starts sing RETURN TO SENDER. Return to sender was rare song in concerts, and Elvis performed it few times in concerts (at least twice in 1976). This concert-version is much better than the 60's studio-version (my opinion), and Elvis sounds very relaxed and good-humoured. He enjoyed, when he entertained people and made happy them. Next "oldie-song" is HEARTBREAK HOTEL, where pianist Tony Brown plays his piano like in some club, and lead guitarist James Burton puts great solos. Basic concert version (boring! my opinion). " Did somebody ask HAWAIIAN WEDDING SONG?. in the movie from Blue Hawaii. (applauses). Elvis sings and the show room is quiet, and audience listens this sensitive song in silence.

"Thank you very much. Because is now our country's bicentennial year. I'd like to do my own version of AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL". Patriotic performance and great interpretation by Elvis. Couple of thanks, and then comes speedy POLK SALAD ANNIE. This is one of my favourite Elvis-songs, and this is not bad version at all. Audience downright goes crazy, and in the end Elvis demonstrations karate and fans like it.

And now Elvis introduces his band: "Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to introduce the members of my group to you. First of all young ladies, who open our show tonight. they're fantastic Sweet Inspirations. This fellow here. he is my personal friend, and sings harmonies with me. Sherrill Nielsen. fantastic J.D. Sumner and The Stamps Quartet. They have a new bass-singer from Raleigh, North-Carolina, and he is 29 years old, and he has fantastic voice, Larry Strickland. Baritone-singer. from Nashville Tennessee. Ed Hill. Lead-singer, blond-head kid here. he is also from Tennessee. he had a great voice. Ed Enoch. The tenor-singer. he sings higher than jet fighter. his name is Bill Baize. And a girl. who sings high voices. she is from Los Angeles, and she had beautiful voice she's name is Kathy Westmoreland. And in the rhythm guitar from Springfield, Missouri is John Wilkinson. EARLY MORNING RAIN, son. And in the lead guitar, ladies and gentlemen. from Shreveport, Louisiana. James Burton". James plays WHAT'D SAY, and JOHNNY B. GOODE (behind his back). " Down in Dallas, Texas in drums is Ronnie Tutt.". Ronnie, bassist Jerry Scheff, pianist Tony Brown plays their own solo. Organist David Briggs plays LADY MADONNA. " When I and David recorded first time together, he played piano in LOVE LETTERS, and I'd like sing it for you.". Beautiful and sensitive version, and it gets huge applauses. Elvis introduces then Charlie Hodge, Joe Guercio and his orchestra.

After introduces Elvis takes guitar and sings THAT'S ALL RIGHT, MAMA and BLUE CHRISTMAS. Sounds very great.

Then starts bombastic and beautiful HURT. "Do you want hear it again?", asks Elvis and fans wants hear it again. HOUND DOG is one of the borings songs in this concert, but fans like it, and I cannot be hear it. The whole audience rocks, and they are like they have not seen Elvis before (maybe).

It's time again talk little bit: " Thank you very much. Has anybody here birthday?. You have a birthday? OK, come here. let's sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY. ladies and gentlemen, I want call here Kathy Westmoreland... She had beautiful voice, and she sings now to you.". Kathy sings MY HEAVENLY FATHER. Then Elvis asks what they play next, and from audience one fan wishes LOVE ME TENDER, and Elvis sings it. During this song women gets again kisses and scarves from Elvis. "Thank you. before we do anything else. I want hear. when Sherrill Nielsen sings DANNY BOY". Audience listen this beautiful and full of feeling in great silence. After huge applauses, Sherrill sings FUNNY HOW TIME SLIPS AWAY. Also fantastic version than Danny boy.

"Let's do now BURNING LOVE", says Elvis, and after his break during Sherrill songs, he feels good again, and he rocks. " Do you want hear. what?. Do you want hear HELP ME. OK. let's take help me?". Help me was song, what Elvis cannot ever perform badly. This is great listening. "I'd like to do now song, called. THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE". Again, one more beautiful and also rare song.

Soon starts very fast JAILHOUSE ROCK, where whole band and especially Elvis rocks hard. Also fans are with rocking. Then comes ONE NIGHT without special talking and Elvis press again great perform.

That's it 50's. Before he endings the show, he sings HOW GREAT THOU ART. Elvis had always liked gospel songs, and he performs them almost always better than other songs. "Thank you. you're fantastic audience, thank you very much.". Elvis gets huge applauses, and takes then again How great Thou art.

"Thank you very much. I've got to tell you. that we have enjoyed here, and we're tired (laughing). and we love to sing. and. I hope, that we meet again. be careful, and make god bless you! Adios!", and then starts piano intro of CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE and after it concert has ended.

Sami Gunther



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