Released by an unknown label is the CD “And I Love You So – The King Rocks Milwaukee”. Does he?
As with most budget audience recordings releases this CD has a very basic design, but all the necessary information on the songs and people on stage is there. Elvis Presley in 1977 isn’t always that pleasant to look at, but I have seen worse.
This CD contains a good audience recording of Elvis’ April 27, 1977 show at the Milwaukee Arena. Listening to the audience reactions, Elvis does rock Milwaukee. It never seizes to amaze me how the (especially female) fans react on our man. They really feel the show in their system, participating with the man on stage. It must have been magical seeing that man perform, no matter what shape he was in.
Contrary to the reaction from the audience the original reviewer of the concert from Milwaukee Journal is not that enthusiast. He asks the question how it can be that the greatest superstar of all time gets lost in the middle of a song, making the band start over, mumbling the words and having to sing songs holding a lyrics sheet reading the words.
Listening to the show we don’t get this impression, although the back cover shows an image of Elvis holding a sheet, backing the story. O.K. it is Elvis Presley in 1977, a few months before his untimely death, so you have an idea of the quality of his vocal capabilities. But the concert is pretty standard for those days with a very basic set list and basic performances with all the usual gimmicks by JD Sumner on “Amen”, a little bit of squealing by Sherill Nielsen and the standard reprise of “Hurt”.
As for the performances; the classic rockers are really throw-a-way versions, “You Gave Me A Mountain” lacks power, “Oh Sole Mio / It’s Now Or Never” has too much Mexican sounding trumpet on it to really sound like an Italian classic and “On Don’t Be Cruel we get a drum break because Elvis gets lost. But it actually doesn’t sound that bad. “And I Love You So” is o.k., but Elvis falls through on “My Way” having to read the lyrics. The original reviewer is right, if you are the world’s greatest superstar you either know your stuff or you don’t perform them, you have to uphold a name. Having said that, the version isn’t that bad, a bit slow, but he does make the (vocal) effort for the finale of the song. Unfortunately he can’t continue on the classic “Polk Salad Annie”, the band has the instrumental lead.
After almost 15 minutes of band introductions and “solo” performances by the band - with James Burton rocking Milwaukee by playing "Johnny B. Goode" behind his head - Elvis wraps the show up with “Hurt”, “Hound Dog” and the closing theme.
The audio quality of the tape is good, way above the average quality of the usual audience recording, unfortunately the tape has some flaws, but that can’t be helped.
Elvis rocked Milwaukee with his presence, not with his performance.
2001 Theme / CC Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / If You Love Me Let Me Know / You Gave Me A Mountain / Jailhouse Rock / O Sole Mio - It's Now or Never / Little Sister / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / And I Love You So / My Way / Polk Salad Annie / Band Introductions / Early Morning Rain (John Wilkinson Intro) / What 'd I Say (James Burton Intro) / Johnny B Goode / Drum Solo (Ronnie Tutt Intro) / Bass Solo (Jerry Scheff Intro) / Piano Solo (Tony Brown) / Electric Keyboard Solo (Bobby Ogden Intro) / Hail Hail Rock And Roll / Hurt (plus reprise) / Hound Dog / Can't Help Falling In Love