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Concerts Reviewed - 1976

Elvis on stage 27th October 1976
a review by Geoffrey Mc Donnell (Australia)

Elvis's show in Carbondale,Illinois at the southern Illinois UNIVERSITY Arena was to 10,200 fans. It was the FINAL show of a good 2 week tour and 48 hours later Elvis was recording at Graceland.

Well clearly this 2 week tour gave fans a glimpse of a weight reduced Elvis and performing to a much better standard than the previous September tour.From Audrey Bucketts excellent review she thought Elvis had lost 30 lbs. and looked happy and smiling throughout the 70 minute performance.It was a 'good' show..but as close examination reveals it wasn't the best of the tour and unmistakenly Elvis was starting to tire.Barbara Scbechters review in the Southern Illinonian notes that "Ole Elvis still thrills the fans"- despite him looking older and his voice sometimes 'weak' with more flesh than wiggle!.Robert Harris picked up Elvis and took him to the Arena for his performance.

October 27, 1976 (8:30 pm) Carbondale, IL. Southern Illinois University Arena

TRACKLIST:2001 Theme / See See Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me /Fairytale / You Gave Me A Mountain/ Jailhouse Rock / Help Me / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / And I Love You So / Fever /America The Beautiful / Polk Salad Annie / Introductions & Solos - Early Morning Rain - What'D I Say -Johnny B Goode - Solos - Love Letters - Hail Hail Rock'n Roll / Hurt / Hound Dog / Danny Boy - Walk With Me (by S. Nielsen) / Heavenly Father (by K. Westmoreland ) / Blue Christmas / That's All Right /Can't Help Falling In Love

JUMPSUIT:Inca Gold Leaf suit / Chinese Dragon type belt r/t 70 minutes

As usual for this tour it was the Stamps who opened the show at 8.30pm and then the the Sweets and Jackie Kahane(who had a sign saying "I AM NOT ELVIS" written on his back!)Then a LONG intermission before the darkness and FINALLY After the dramatic 2001 Theme Elvis walks onstage smiling wearing his beautiful Inca Gold Leaf Suit and had on a Chinese Dragon type belt.After swaggering on stage taking the Guitar from Charlie and singing C.C.RIDER Elvis accepted flowers before the well,well,wells led into I GOT A WOMAN/AMEN after inviting the audience to 'sing it with me' on AMEN -then J.D Sumner really goofed up the ending so badly that Elvis jokingly motioned him off the stage!With the 2nd attempt Elvis mocked prayer as J.D tried again and with all the Airoplane moves as J.D. made it with his 2nd attempt.After this a girl up front gave Elvis some kind of placque in return for a scarf, then Charlie Hodge managed to spill water everywhere causing Elvis to jump back and take another drink saying "Confucious, he say man with ice in mouth cannot talk" During LOVE ME a LOT of scarves were given out and Elvis received a Rose from one girl.

FAIRYTALE next was introduced by Elvis as "The story of my life" Elvis performed his strongest song this Evening next with a powerful version of YOU GAVE ME A MOUNTAIN. After great applause he said he would like to sing JAILHOUSE ROCK at which their was a massive surge of fans rushing forward during his performance of this song(despite plentiful and tight security).Elvis performed JAILHOUSE ROCK at a really blockbusting speed version (with the tone of his voice back in the 50's) before moving around at the slowed up ending.

HELP ME followed, then the medley's of ALL SHOOK UP/TEDDY BEAR/DON'T BE CRUEL , then AND I LOVE YOU SO then FEVER with a LOT of leg movements and Elvis changed the words to "Till your belt falls off!"- making quite a show of how much he enjoyed being 'trimmer'.Next Elvis announced that he would like to perform his version of AMERICA and this was another highlight which received tremendous applause from the atmosphere Elvis generated whilst singing it.Next Elvis went into a slightly slower version of POLK SALAD ANNIE than he usually performed at this time with not too much moving and when he got down on the low leg stretches he pleaded "Get me out of this-tell me what do I do?" their wasn't any Karate Kick at the end either - Elvis just went straight into the intros. Here it was becoming obvious that at this LAST night on this 2 week tour after a great show in Dayton on 26th Elvis was indeed 'tired'.

During the introductions Elvis threw water over J.D. and joined John Wilkinson on EARLY MORNING RAIN, then WHAT D'SAY, J.B.GOODE (with James being asked to play the guitar behind his head), THEN LATER AFTER Tony Browns intro, David Briggs came in for some teasing about how he was wearing one of the STAMPS left over suits!- a beautiful version of LOVE LETTERS followed Elvis remarking that he had first performed it at Davids first recording session. After the final intros and HAIL,HAIL ROCK N'ROLL Elvis announced that(as far as he knew) his latest record was HURT and for anyone who hadn't heard the power of his voice really got to hear it on this song!HOUND DOG was the usual 'throwaway' version before Elvis asked Sherril Neilson to come out and perform DANNY BOY and WALK WITH ME.. whilst this was happening Elvis sat and watched and he surely must have been tired.Next Elvis asks Kathy Westmoreland to come out and perform MY HEAVENLY FATHER- whilst again Elvis just watched.Finally Elvis took the guitar back from Charlie and performed spirited versions of BLUE CHRISTMAS and THAT'S ALLRIGHT before announcing that they had been a really good audience and the closing CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE. The concert ended around 11.15 pm and it had been an entertaining 70 minute show- certainly the large number of female fans present said they would DEFINITELY pay the $12.50 to see him again-finding him just as handsome as before, just older.

I personally feel Elvis DID put on a 'good' show, possibly not quite as good as the night before in Dayton but nevertheless ok. Elvis, by his more lackluster version of POLK SALAD ANNIE tonight, WAS feeling tired and indeed less than 48 hours later he was singing at his last proper recording session back at Graceland! However his VOICE in Carbondale and on the 29th October recordings prove that he was pretty damm good - and still entertaining his fans.Hopefully someday a soundboard of this Carbondale show will eventuate- more or less typical song choices for this tour and to a 'SOLD OUT' show in Carbondale Elvis kept it an 'interesting' throughout.


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