Elvis 30th Anniversary Concert - Close Up.
The Ultimate Review & Photos
- Photos by Paul Gansky
Elvis The Concert - Fed Ex Forum August 16th 2007
We arrived at the FedEx Forum at about 7.15pm...prepared for anything. We had had such a great trip, that nothing could dampen our spirits, but I don’t think anything prepared us for the treat we were about to experience.
Just walking into that massive stadium was electrifying…. the atmosphere was something I had never experienced, and the sense of anticipation was spine tingling. Thanks to EIN the whole group had some great seats, and a surprise was in store for us later in the evening.
There was also a lot of love between the fans on the night. The Forum was sold out to the roof, the rows of seats stretching as far as the eye could see - 17,000+ fans.
Then came the Intro and opening lines to C.C Rider as "Aloha" Elvis rocked the house. The audience exploded in delight with everyone clapping and cheering - and it stayed that way for the whole concert.
The production values were the best I have witnessed, with a very clever segue from later Elvis merging back to vintage Elvis singing 'Shake Rattle & Roll' his very first TV performance.
By now D.J. Fontana had arrived - he looked as though he was having the time of his life - with The Dempseys providing instrumental backing to 'Heartbreak Hotel' and other delights.
(Right: D.J. Fontana - Photo by Paul Gansky)
Again the vintage Elvis merged into the 68 come back special footage with Elvis singing 'Blue Suede Shoes' and a bit of 'All Shook Up' and, yes, the crowd were all-shook-up by this stage. By now the time was right for some movie magic which included a fabulous 'Baby, I Don’t Care', 'Jailhouse Rock', 'Rock a Hula Baby', 'Return to Sender', 'Viva Las Vegas' etc. A little shorter than the 2002 version, but still very nicely done.
The end of the first half was completed with some 'TTWII' action which showed Elvis at his very best.
He poured his heart out to 'You Lost That Loving Feeling', 'Bridge Over Trouble Water', and the tearjerker 'The Wonder Of You' just to name a few. A fabulous treat was seeing three camera angles of Elvis running at the same time, all synced and on multiple separate screens.
The TCB Band were as good as they ever have been.
(Right: Jerry Scheff & Ronnie Tutt)
||(Left: Glen D Hardin)
20 minute Intermission
After a short intermission Priscilla emerged in the middle of the audience, shaking people hands and saying hello as she made her way to the stage. This was jaw-dropping, giving a lovely intimate and friendly feel to her appearance. Priscilla seemed to be the most confident I have ever seen her.
She thanked the fans for the support and made the shocking announcement that this would be the very last 'Elvis In Concert' presentation. After 10 years of successful international touring this 30th Anniversary concert was the perfect highlight on which to end.
Priscilla then introduced her whole family, who were sitting just a few rows up from our own seats…. (what a nice surprise)…. everyone from the Beaulieus to Lisa’s kids to Priscilla’s boy Navarone.
Priscilla then told us how Elvis had always been concerned about the plight of the poor and that she and Lisa also has these concerns. This explained the Elvis duet with Lisa Marie of 'In the Ghetto' which highlights the fact of problems with hand-guns with young children and how more care needs to be taken. It was a powerful message which touched everyone in the room.
Of course everyone expected it to be just a video but the curtains suddenly parted to reveal Lisa on stage (photo right) to sing the finale of the song. Did anyone else notice she didn’t have any shoes on? She seemed to be very nervous…..I don’t blame her…. the crowd was huge, but she did a good job with the song.
This was another very special moment. She then thanked all of us for coming and explained the different charities that she was involved in. I hope the duet does well and ‘Presley Place’ in New Orleans gets some well-deserved funding.
THEN…. that face on the screen asking, ‘Are you looking for Trouble?’… and It was back to the Elvis concert which from this point onwards was given a standing ovation to almost every song he sang. How can anything beat the emotion of ‘Just Pretend’ when Elvis sings it in Memphis?
Another emotional highlight was the Gospel segment featuring all of Elvis backing groups and featuring songs from ‘Peace In The Valley’, through to the marvellous surprise of ‘Oh, Happy Day’ and the poignant ‘If I Can Dream’.
Above: Elvis and the heavenly choir, - 'If I Can Dream'
Above: The Jordanaires
Once again the concert cleverly segued back to Elvis in his white-jumpsuit with ‘I’ll Remember You’ before the heart-stopping finale. Everyone’s favourites were there from ‘Polk Salad Annie’ to ‘Big Hunk o’ Love’, 'My Way' to 'What Now My Love' etc.
Above: Millie Kirkham, The Sweet Inspirations and The Imperials
The excitement kept on building as we headed for the true highlight of 'American Trilogy". I have never seen any performer pour his heart out to a song like Elvis.
Above: Ed Hill and The Stamps.
Of course the concert ended with the moving finale of 'Can't Help Falling In Love' and with everyone in a state of emotional disbelief, it was all over.
It was an amazing concert and experience which I will never ever forget. The shared emotions of this adoring, loving, crowd wrapped up in the beauty of Elvis as he sang from his heart and soul could never be repeated. There is nothing that could beat this Concert for me, hopefully the complete show will be released on DVD in the near future, so we can all experience it again.
It really was a hot August Night and for 17,000 blessed Elvis fans nothing will ever be the same again.
EIN Note: The producers of the show even used ISO camera material from Aloha that EIN has never realised had been recorded before. This was from at least two Aloha cameras, a wide-shot of the stage plus the main Elvis camera. Definitely new footage to me which must have been a post-production safety back-up recording, seeing as the show was switched "live-to-air" as a TV show would be.
All Photos By Paul Gansky.
- Images can be reproduced elsewhere as long as Paul Gansky credit is noted.
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Go here for Paul Gansky's photos and EIN exclusive on "The '68 Special - 40th Anniversary Celebration"
THE FED EX FORUM 8 PM CONCERT set-list
You Gave Me A Mountain
Can't Stop Loving You
Johnny B Goode (all above with the TCB Band)
The Early Years - with DJ Fontana, & The Dempseys...
Shake, Rattle and Roll
Don't Be Cruel
All Shook Up
Blue Suede Shoes (1968 Elvis in the black leather)
Film Years -
Baby, I Don’t Care (Jailhouse Rock)
Teddy Bear (Loving You)
Jailhouse Rock (Jailhouse Rock)
Love Me Tender (Love Me Tender)
Rock a Hula Baby (Blue Hawaii)
Bosa Nova Baby (Fun in Acapulco)
Return to Sender (Girls, Girls, Girls)
I Got a Woman (Loving You)
Viva Las Vegas (Viva Las Vegas)
Las Vegas - with the TCB Band
That's All Right
You Lost That Loving Feeling
Are You Lonesome Tonight
Wonder of You
20 minute Intermission
"In the Ghetto" - Lisa Marie's duet with Elvis
Lisa Marie talked to the audience.
Trouble - with TCB Band
Polk Salad Annie
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
Walk a Mile in My Shoes
Bridge over Troubled Waters
Peace in the Valley - with the Jordanaires
O Happy Day - with the Sweet Inspirations
He Touched Me - with The Imperials, Stamps
Sweet Sweet Spirit - with the Stamps
How Great Thou Art - Elvis with the Jordanaires, Stamps, Imperials
If I Can Dream - with everyone including Millie Kirkham and the Sweet Inspirations
I'll Remember You - TCB Band and everyone
What Now My Love
Big Hunk of Love
Can't Help Falling in Love.
Review by Tony Canatta, Carolyn Mitchell, Mandy Squair & Piers Beagley.
Click here for Sanja Meegin's photos of the concert, Elvis Week and Priscilla
Photos & Review copyright EIN, August 2007-
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