Concert review: Lisa Marie Presley proves she's her own performer - by Peter Gilstrap (October 2006)
Let’s face it. It’s difficult — downright impossible — to watch Lisa Marie Presley onstage and not be reminded of the fact that that the woman before you is the issue of the loins of the King of Rock and Roll. In terms of judging her as an artist unto herself, that may not be fair (after all, no one expects Candice Bergen to wedge a ventriloquist dummy onto her lap and start doing comedy routines). Yet Lisa Marie is and forever will be part of the lore, part of the legend; the old man named his jet after her, for crying out loud. It doesn’t help that the Toddler of Graceland looks so much like Elvis, yet it’s all part of Presley’s only child, multi-million dollar cross to bear.
|During her appearance Wednesday night at City Hall, Presley was very much her own performer (though she did toss out a brief, genetically programmed lip-lifting sneer during her opening number, “I’ll Figure It Out,”). She paced the stage clad in long black sleeves under a white T-shirt, plaid mini skirt, black leggings and Chuck Taylor high tops, a look that was more early Katrina (as in “and the Waves") than ’06 power pop sex pot.
Which is not to say that the foxy mother of two didn’t cast a unique spell on the 300 or so devout followers who showed up to scream and mouth lyrics. Presley has the sultry, sassy demeanor of a truck stop waitress who serves up plenty of flirty lip and delicious attitude, which only makes you want to leave a bigger tip and ask her when she gets off because you’re just passing through and, well, never mind.
For the entirety of the 14-song set comprised of material from her two albums (the singer has only been a singer officially since 2003’s To Whom It May Concern; her sophomore album is Now What), Presley owned the crowd. To some ears, her music may be predictable, generic, guitar-driven pop, but let it be said that to the aural receptors at City Hall, it was cause for celebration. Between each number, there were constant screamed declarations of love from fans of both sexes, which Presley graciously and meticulously returned.
At times, the whole thing seemed more like a question-and-answer session than a momentum-driven juggernaut of rock, but who cared? When it comes to responding to the audience, happily, Miles Davis she’s not. On this, her third appearance in Nashville, the singer fielded questions, handed out guitar picks, even shot a photo of a fan on the woman’s cell phone camera, interesting, as fan photography of Presley herself was strictly verboten.
The anything-goes mood was set when, after the initial number, someone (allegedly show opener, wacky dorm room heart throb Ryan Cabrera) placed, as Presley put it, “something on the stage that does not belong here.” Which was, in fact, a large black rubber phallus, complete with a handy suction cup on one end, which her guitar player used to attach to his Gibson.
Far from rattling her, Presley seemed to enjoy the moment, and dug right into the set. Her voice was in fine shape (with help from something she sprayed down her throat repeatedly), her husky lower ranged pipes proving a worthy compliment to songs like “Turbulence,” “Idiot” and Don Henley’s “Dirty Laundry.”
Returning for strongly demanded encore, Presley seemed genuinely touched.
“You really want me to come back. I could really feel that,” she offered, and when she blew a kiss to the faithful, it seemed far more authentic than the one she planted on Michael Jackson so many years ago.
Marie Presley in concert (review): If her last
name wasn't Presley, Lisa Marie would be one of countless
talented singers and songwriters still trying to figure out
what it takes to be a good performer and a relevant artist.
At the Supper Club, Presley showed once again that she has
a great voice that she still isn't completely sure how to
use and her lack of experience on stage (she's only been performing
for less than three years) still drags her down. She's still
learning about pacing - the first half of the 75-minute set
featured a string of songs that all seemed to run together,
from "S.O.B." to "Turbulence" to "Indifferent." She still
seems uncomfortable in the spotlight. And she easily gets
distracted by the crowd, not having mastered the ability to
deal with demanding fans yet. All of that is made even more
maddening by the fact that when she gets in her zone, as she
is in the last half of her set, she can be fantastic. The
acoustic version of "Now What," the moving title track from
her latest album, is powerful, as is "Idiot," the punk-pop
confection on the other end of the emotional scale. Those
songs, along with her first hit, "Lights Out," show how much
potential she has. To her credit, Presley also brought along
opener Angela McCluskey, who basically offers a master class
in all the areas Presley needs to improve on. McCluskey was
delightful during her 45-minute set of songs from her underappreciated
"The Things We Do" album. She turns on the alt-country charm
in "Wrong Side" then rocks it up in "Perfect Girl," while
the pretty pop of "It's Been Done" plays to her strengths.
Even Cyndi Lauper's surprise appearance with Presley seemed
instructional. Before she even began singing, Lauper commanded
the stage, ensuring that the sound mix was right and explaining
to Presley's band how to watch for her cues. By the time she
began "She Bop," Lauper had whipped things into shape. Presley
should have been taking notes. (Concert
Review, Source: Sanja Meegin, May 2005)
What" review: The
Associated Press published this review of Lisa's second
album on 5 April. (CD Review,
Source: AP, 5 April 2005)
Laundry - Lisa Presley's new single reviewed:
With a less dark (but just
as potent) lyric than tracks on her first album (To
Whom It May Concern), the first single from Lisa's
second album, What Now, is a good choice for her strong,
deep vocal. (CD Review, Source:
EIN, 29 Jan 2005)
Presley rocks Sydney!:
The day The King's daughter
came to town. And guess what?.... Lisa Marie Presley can
sing, LMP can rock. (Source,
EIN, 19 March 2004)
My Dad: How
does a 14 year-old book about The King's daughter rate
today? Is it worth buying? EIN takes a look inside the
first biography of Lisa Marie Presley. (Book
review, Source: EIN)