A few week ago while at the theater waiting to see " the day after tomorrow", the pre-feature called "the twenty" that shows previews of TV shows and commercials before the movie, I all of a sudden see a preview for "Elvis '68 special" only one night and in select Regal cinema theaters. My heart stopped for just one brief moment as I realized I was not dreaming... Elvis '68 Special Regal Cinema Showing ... as we pull up to the theater, we see the line in front. Oh, Yeah , you can tell who they are, 50th anniversary of rock and roll T-shirts, belt buckles that sparkle with his name. You can tell for sure that they to, are as excited as I am, for tonight is one special night, a "68 special night”!
My cousin waited until the last minute and tried to get tickets Monday morning. The Regal web site said they were all sold out. I told him to call the theater and he did. The manager said they had received so many calls over the last three days and that they were thinking of running it on two screens. He told my cousin to call back in a few hours and he would know. The oldies radio station was there passing out free gifts from the "Elvis-O-Rama" museum. Little teddy bears with capes that said "The King" on them. My little girl got one. I can't tell you how many folks asked me where I got my shirt " the 2001-2002 world tour” from "Elvis the concert", but I saw some pretty nice ones myself.
The theater was packed, with young and old alike, waiting to see Elvis on the big screen. There were no previews before the show, just advertising for the new box set DVD that would be "in stores tomorrow".... So, the lights go down and we hear that great "stand-up" jam of "baby what you want me to do" as the titles roll. I can't remember it all, but they explain the history behind the '68 comeback and the fact that most of the footage from these shows was never used for the special and that most of it remained unseen, until now..(sound familiar?). Then it says to "brace yourself"... and we do ... The famous intro... "if your looking for trouble.." Elvis goes into "trouble/guitar man". Wow, I say, the footage looks great for being 35 years old. In fact. it looks fantastic. Elvis is at his pinnacle and never, ever looked better than he did during this show. The sound is ok, although I wish they had kinda spread it out thru all the speakers in the theater instead of just the front ones. Hey, the ad did say "cinema sound" ...whatever!
The majority of the show is from the 1st sit down show, and a few clips from the 2nd sit down. Elvis probably felt kind of restrained only being able to sit down, as the audience that night and in our theater noticed that all he wanted to do was stand up and start shaking. It really was something Elvis "had to do" when singing. So, anyway, the next part is from the first "stand up show" where we are treated to jailhouse rock, love me tender, don't be cruel...you know the rest. Someone in the audience held up a lighter when Elvis sand "love me tender", that brought a laugh. Then we get the video of that great Jam of "baby what you want me to do". My friend who was sitting beside me leaned over and said "..I didn't know Elvis could play the guitar like that", he was playing his a-- off too!
All too quickly, we get the "funniest moments" segment with the audience roaring when Elvis tells the man with the "clacker to watch his clacker as well". Then we get the credits, with just a close up of Elvis from the guitar man opening really messing up the lip sync. Switches to another close up of him playing the guitar and the credits roll. They give credit to the original '68 special team and the new compilation as well. They remind us once again that the DVD's will be available tomorrow and here is a sneak peak at the "Aloha" DVD. They show about 6 or 7 minutes from that, with a big chunk of "American trilogy" which got great applause! All I could think of was, man that ended too soon. I wasn't the only one, as one fan shouted..."one more time!"
The show was great, the video looked amazing and it gave Elvis fans in 41 cities across the country yet another chance to show how much they love Elvis and to get together and have fun. Strangely enough, no footage, except the funniest moments montage, was shown from the production numbers or the gospel segment. For those, we will have to wait for the DVD's, which reminds me, "why am i sitting hear typing, I've got to get down to the video store... my DVD's are waiting!
P.S. My cousin missed a great show!
Dan Siciliano Las Vegas