Some people wanted a report on the current concert tour so here is a detailed one from Zurich on Friday night... it may not be 100% accurate as I don’t remember the details exactly...
Well on to the concert... A hot summer night and an almost capacity crowd I would hazard a guess of around 8000 was in the stadium. The strains of “2001” were electric and the crowd started applauding almost from the first strains. Funny thing was I notice two boys around the 16-20 age groups (dressed like the rap music types), really enjoying the music and applauding right through the concert!
Elvis' voice this time was amplified stronger/louder and at times it echoed of the back of the stadium (a closed roof) which gave a very realistic feel....CC and Burning Love kicked off the show Welcome To My World and then a very good/different backing to Steamroller Blues. I Can’t Stop Loving You was next (the crowd loved this) and then came the introductions. A slightly different backing to Johnny B Good, of course featuring James Burton: he has slowed down but the arrangements hide it very well. Jerry Scheffs bass joins in ... if you listen to the 69/70 versions of his riffs you will know the difference. Can’t say that for Ronnie Tutt though the big man still packs a mean beat throughout!
Next was "You Gave Me A Mountain" and then That’s All Right and Hound Dog... slightly different arrangements too. Don’t Be Cruel was the version from the Lost Performances (... before I kick your ass..) a different arrangement to Heart break Hotel (Piano/organ) then Love Me Tender complete with Elvis kissing the girls on screen and loud kissing sounds! Pics of the local crowd was also put on the screens simultaneously .... a nice touch. All Shook Up was Ok then the crowd went wild to Blue Suede Shoes. In The Ghetto was loudly applauded with the On Tour montage of the famous "Elvis Country" photo on the side screens and showing the young Elvis. Up to his start to fame: very nicely done. This time they had several bits of footage from the 50's T.V shows and pictures on the side screens throughout the show.
Next was Funny How Time Slips Away. The atmosphere was really electric when "Sweet Sweet Spirit" was introduced by Elvis and The Stamps walked to center stage.... it was almost like Elvis was right there enjoying the harmony and the pictures from On Tour of this sequence were shown on screen, a truly great moment. Then it was How Great Thou Art (the Grammy wining version) with On Tour images and the crowd really went wild. The first half ended with a marvelous ”If I Can Dream"... the vocals were strong and sent a shiver down my spine; absolutely superb stuff.
The intermission was longer than the 20 minutes announced and A Little Less Conversation was played with a composite Nike ad/music video showing that had the crowd rocking. I think Lisa's CD was playing but I cannot vouch for that as nothing was mentioned and as I have not heard it.
The 2nd half opens with Sweet Inspirations singing "Sweet Inspiration" ....and it almost segues into Trouble/Guitar Man even though the crowd wanted more from the Sweets... the impact is so strong that the crowd really gets into this and the sweets are quickly forgotten the song was made really good with extended video of Elvis with the guitar from the 68 special and James Burton on the side screens.
A rousing Polk Salad Annie from the TTWII SE I think. Lovin Feelin’ and then came Mystery Train/ Tiger Man with video from the original TTWII opening sequence especially of the little girl screaming or crying and the audience going wild ...again nice touch. Are you lonesome tonight with the "...gaze at your bald head" version (but not the laughing version) the video of Elvis playing along with the guitar were from several shows and including the one shown at the end of the TTWII SE in Memphis. Just Pretend was really good followed by "Bridge" then the Wonder Of You. The crowd started running to the stage for Suspicious Minds... this time they had put the seats quite close to the stage so there was not much space for dancing like last time. The stadium really went wild to this number with many dancing/swaying in their seats. I'll remember you followed by What Now My Love with a different arrangement featuring an organ. "A big hunk o love" had even the normally staid Violin Players in the Orchestra clapping and swaying to the beat! Great stuff.
"My way" was very good and then came "Trilogy" the flute player was given a really big hand. Applause throughout spoilt the sound for part of the solo. All too soon it was "Cant Help" quickly followed and the closing riff for hardly a minute and with the "Elvis has left the building" announcement the band promptly stopped playing and the music system took over the closing riff ...The Sweets came to the stage end to shake hands a while the stamps (or Golden Covenenant) stayed away. That’s when I left the building!
The orchestra this time I thought was much smaller but the sound was better: tighter and cleaner though at times I feel it was a bit overpowering. The projection was very good though they did manage to go out of focus for a few moments ... here I am nit picking ... technically it was 97% ++ correct. The sound was 90% excellent. I would have left "Its Over" and a couple other in the vaults and added some rockers but then I guess it puts a strain on the band... and they need to balance out the band, horns and violins playing...
Well what more can I say ... it felt as if Elvis was really in the building: An excellent job chaps, take a bow.