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Concerts Reviewed - 1977

LINCOLN, June 20, 1977
by Evan

Before I review this concert, I'd like to provide some basic information. Elvis wore the Sundial suit with the two cuff buttons which he wore the night before in Omaha. The crowd attendance was sold out at 7500. The auditorium was the Pershing Municipal Auditorium. The marquee for this auditorium was filmed for the inclusion of Elvis In Concert CBS Special, but eventually made it's debut during the 1981 film This Is Elvis. This concert, along with the Omaha June 19, 1977 & Rapid City, June 21, 1977 shows, was supposed to be filmed. There are several suggestions why filming did not take place. Some include the auditorium's manger's claims that there was no insurance taken out by CBS, another is that a fee was required by the auditorium's management for the filming but CBS would not pay..

As usual, the 2001 theme starts this audience recording. Luckily the listener has the advantage of a clear recording, as well as the conversation of the guy (referred to as The Guy from this point on) recording the concert and his female companion.(referred to as The Girl from this point on) As the opening riff to See See Rider begins, the crowd roars with excitement. The Guy yells "Oh Yeah"! Elvis enters the stage amidst screams, and The Guy says, "Look at his clothes"! The audience screams and whistles, "Alright!", exclaims The Guy.

See See Rider has a strong opening with Elvis saying proudly, "Oh see, See See Rider..." and with that the girls scream. The first "Well I'm goin', away baby" is very similar to the pronunciation heard on the June 21, 1977 Rapid City version. In fact the whole song is almost a blueprint for the following night's performance. Elvis tells James Burton to "Take it on" which leads into the guitar instrumental. It is uncanny how similar this version is compared to the spliced version of See See Rider from both June 19 & 21.

Wild applause greets Elvis at the end of the first song. "God, I mean I was totally unprepared to come out here backstage. You know, I was,... there were flash bulbs, and, and he says you're on! (audience laughs) On what? You're on! Anyway". Elvis sounds very clear and straight in this dialogue.

"We love you Elvis" a woman calls in the silence of the audience. The women around her agree with her with wolf calls and whistles.

"Have I, have we, we. I have I ever 'bin to this town before"?

"Yeeeeeaaaaahhhhhhhhhh" yells the crowd.

"Yes, you're right", Elvis acknowledges his fans. "When I was sick" it sounds like Elvis says. Elvis pauses while the audience applauds him. He responds, "But I'm back" which brings more applause.

"Wellllllllll, now". The fans are screaming, and The Guy has another friend with him who guesses the next song out loud. "I Got a Woman" the second guys says. "Well, well, well, wellllll" Elvis sings just like side A on record 2 on the In Concert album. James Burton makes his guitar talk back to Elvis ."That's all we do"!

I Got a Woman is again, very much like the Rapid City version, and brings a lot of screams from the girls. The atmosphere thus far created between artist and fans is quite intimate.

As Elvis sings, "She's there to love me..." a male member of the audience calls out his approval, "Oh yeah"!

As usual, I Got a Woman slips into a medley with Amen. The Girl says to her friend, "Here's your big chance".

Elvis starts his "strip tease" routine before concluding I Got a Woman. The girls are loving every moment. One calls out, "You're the King of Rock", and the audience applauds her statement.

"Thank you" Elvis says. "This is just a routine I go through. I've been doing it for years. It's nuthin' but moving". The Guy is laughing in admiration with Elvis and claims to his girlfriend in response to the fans screams at Elvis, "I could do that too".

"Yeah. But you'd need a drummer, though" she replies with a smart arse tone. Remember the part from Rapid City when Elvis says, "K, I'm gonna try to do it all at one time?" Well he brings the house down in this version! "Mennnnnn. Help me out JD"

"Here comes the bass" The Guy says, and JD Sumner performs just one dive bomb. The Guy and The Girl both going, "Whoaaaaaa" as Elvis conducts the ending of I Got a Woman by throwing his guitar over his right shoulder to Charle Hodge. "Thank you very much ladies & gentlemen. I'd like to say it's a pleasure to be here in Yosemite.You know. We're gonna do a lot of songs. Old ones, new ones, and in between. And we hope to do something that you like. And ur..."

"You're gorgeous!" a woman yells.

"Ah, thank you" Elvis replies." So arrr, we're here to entertain you. To make you happy. So just sit right between the saddle and leave the driving to us"

The Girl says to The Guy, "Look at all the men lettin' of flash bulbs".

'Hey ar, let me ask ya. Last night we played Omaha New York, or somewhere. Oh, Omaha Nebraska. So who came and saw us last night?' Some girls scream. "Well, you came here and we'll do the same show!. Just being honest wich 'chu, that's all". Love Me starts in the same fashion as the Omaha version, and the violins are very evident.

"He's classy" says The Guy.

"Germany, when I was in the army?" Elvis asks a member of the audience. "Oh, those were the good ol' days. Ok, this next song is a song, err, that was recorded by Olivia Newton-John called If You Love Me Let Me Know, and if you don't err, buzz off! Hahahahaha".

'I like this song" The Girl exclaims. A very well performed version, much better than the Moody Blue release. This version bounces along nicely. You Gave Me a Mountain is up next. The Guy tells The Girl the title. The audience applauds the introduction. Elvis' arm movements still bring screams from the girls. This version is a blue print of the following night's performance, and a good one at that. Even the extended ending brings screams from the crowd. "Thank you very much. You're a good audience ladies & gentlemen. My third movie was called Jailhouse Rock, and err, it's got err, an awful lot of words to it. But if I can get my mouth to work right, we'll get it".

This version really rocks. Elvis' pronunciation of the second verse is very clear which is unusual, but before you know it ends after just one minute and twenty five seconds.

"In 1960, we did a song called, urr, It's Now or Never."

"It's Now or Never" The guys mate sings under his breath Elvis style!

"It was taken from the Italian version O Sole Mio. I'd like to ask Sherill. I don't think he's cum, combed tonight!" The crowd let a roar suggesting they've asked each other, "Did he say that?".

"..to do the Italian version, then we'll do It's Now or Never. Listen to his voice, ladies & gentlemen", Elvis concludes. Elvis gives Sherrill a little grief, but not as much as the following night. Just as Elvis sings "..my soul surrendered" there is a huge bang, but Elvis and the audience ignore it. This is a very good performance, with Elvis hitting all of the extended high notes. The crowd love it!

The bang tuns out to be the result of Sherill Neilson dropping the microphone as he left Elvis in the spot light.

"Arrrh, Sherrill, you sing good and all, but don't drop the mic".

Elvis can be heard making those drinking sounds we hear on the On Stage album when he says, "It's water".

"Blue Suede Shoes" The Girl requests in desperation to herself, but it goes unheard.

"Wait until after the show" Elvis says playfully to some girls by the edge of the stage.

"Get a picture of that" The Guy says.

"It's Stephen" The Girl points out. Their friend is ringside with Elvis!

"I know exactly how you feel son" Elvis says to Stephen. The crowd let out a huge roar.

"Love Me Tender, you wanna hear that?" Elvis answers a request with a question. It doesn't matter because..."

"Anything" the woman screams back.

"You wanna hear Love Me Tender. Let's do it".

"See that ring?" The Girl asks The Guy, obvoiusly noticing one of Elvis' rings.

"Look at all the chicks down there" exclaims The Guy.

This version of Love Me Tender is quite similar to the March 30, 1977 Alexandria version, and is well received by the fans. Elvis immediately launches into a raunchy version of Little Sister. The house is rocking tonight! A very straight version with no stuff ups, mucking around, or lost lyrics.

Teddy Bear keeps the nostalgic mood on a high. Judging by the screams, Elvis has the Scarf Machine at full throttle. This leads into Don't Be Cruel, and Bobby Ogdin's keyboards are very evident throughout.

"Yeaaaaaahhhhh I don't want no other love" is well sung to conclude the medley.

"Arrrh, let me see. Arrrh, this next song is a song in an 'alblum' we did a couple of years ago. It's a gospel corred. Corred!" Elvis corrects himself." Called. It's a song called Help Me".

It takes three bars of the intro before Elvis starts to sing, but what a welcome he gets from the Lincoln fans.

"Never thought I NEEDED help before" is sung beautifully the second time 'round". "Unchained Melody? Ok. I have to play the piano and urr..." Elvis sys as he answers a request yelled from the audience.

"SUSPICIOUS MINDS" a team of girls yell out to Elvis.

"Suspicous Minds"? Elvis askes nervously. In the background James Burton can be heard playing the introduction to this very song which hadn't graced an Elvis concert since August 1975.

Elvis fools around a little before Unchained Melody almost out of nervousness just like he did the following night in Rapid City.

"Sonuvabitch" Elvis says as he hits the keys of the piano causing the crowd to giggle.

This version of Unchained Melody brings a huge applause. It is sung in such a similar manner to Rapid City's version. Jerry Scheff adds a little bass here and there.

"I nnnnnneeeeeeeeedddddddd your love - ooohoooooohhh"Elvis sings.

This version surpasses the May 27th Binghampton & June 21, 1977 versions by far. It is absolutely outstanding!

As Elvis sings "..and time can do sooooo much" Joe Guercio has worked an arrangement from the orchestra. It seems the orchestra are not too sure how many beats to follow, but Elvis picks up on this. His craftsmanship conducts the orchestra, he carry's the lyrics, "Are you, stiiiiilllllllllll miinnnnnnnnnnnneeeeeee" longer than usual.

All the way through, the guys in the audience are yelling, "All right"! Elvis hits' the high note at the end and sustains it a little longer than the following night's performance. The applause he receives lasts at least twenty seconds. "Arh, I'd like to introduce you to the members of my group".

Unfortunately, my tape ends just after the introduction of the Stamps, and resumes with Bobby Ogdin's solo. From what I gather, most of Elvis' dialogue and the solos are the same as heard in Omaha and Rapid City, even down to Bobby's "Love Letters" ending to his solo.

"The guy who gives me my water and scarves, and whose got a bad back. And I use him as a punching bag between tours, hahahaha. He's my friend, Charlie Hodge". I can't help but wonder if Elvis was feeling guilty over the incident outside Graceland on June 3, 1977 when he gave Kathy Westmoreland a new car and Charlie became jealous causing Elvis to clip his ear!

The Joe Guercio Orchestra play the funky Jazzing in Vegas which makes a nice change to the tired School Days. Elvis sings some bluesy "Yeahs" at the end of this number.

"One of my latest records is called Hurt".

Hurt is a ball ripper of a version. This man is singing his arse off. I've always preferred the June 1977 versions of this song to any of the previous ones. Elvis' voice soars, bouncing off the walls of the arena much to the audience's delight. "You aint, you aint. You- aint-nuthin'-butta-Hound-Dog" is sung a'la 1972! Then by the second verse it's Elvis at full blast. This is a good version despite it's recent treatment. Elvis' shaking & quaking at the end yet again works the crowd into a frenzy.

As he pants and puffs, Elvis closing words are, Ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to tell ya you've been a really fantastic audience, and urr. Anytime you want us back just call us and we'll come back here." the crowd roars their "call" for a 1978 concert. "Until we see you again. God bless you and take care of yourselves", and with that Can't Help Falling in Love starts. As Elvis sings, "Wise men say" this terrible scream from some girls like they are being murdered is clearly heard yelling, "Noooooooo, Eeeeellllllvvvvviiiiiisssssssss, nnnnnnoooooo!'

Yet another excellent performance of a 'done to death' song, the closing riff is drowned by the applause of the concert audience. If only I could be there! "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building" comes the announcement before the end of the closing riff.

If ever there was a missed opportunity in Elvis Presley's career, it was the decision, by whom ever, not to film this concert. What makes Rapid City a slightly better concert than this is the inclusion of Trying To Get To You, and the general length of that concert. In Lincoln, Elvis' vocals are brilliant. Unchained Melody was performed in a better position in the show, which resulted in a better version than the following night's performance when Elvis suffered a little bit from a lack of breathing control after an energetic Hound Dog. Lincoln also offered Love Me Tender & Help Me which would have complimented songs like Fairytale, If You Love Me, It's Now or Never, Trying to Get To You and And I Love You So from the Special. As I say with any Elvis concert, if you can get it, get it! But this is one of those concerts that is worth searching for, especially if you are familiar with the CBS concerts. Elvis was wrong, this show is not the same as the Omaha concert. It's better!


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