After a 3 and a half hour drive (which was supposed to be 90 minutes according to Google Maps and actually we stood still most of the time) we arrived at the venue. After a little search we found the stage door and hurried to the meet and greet with the band. I hardly recognized Glen Hardin, wow, did that man loose a lot of weight! Anyway, it was fun to meet with the guys and girls once again and (too) quickly it became time for the main event… the show.
Like at Elvis’ shows there was an opening program that started with a couple of instrumentals by the orchestra. It sounded good, but a bit “thin”. After a short intermezzo with two (!) stand up comedians (Sorry Peter and Michel, you made it too easy this time ;-)) Joe Guercio took over the conductor’s stick and suddenly the orchestra became very powerful and convincing. The Sweet Inspirations entered the stage to do their part and they sure sounded a lot better than the last time I saw them. With some soul and (amazing) grace they got the audience warmed for the Imperials.
Wow is about the only thing I can say about their performance. A wonderful performance of “A Thing Called Love”, without orchestra, only Joe Moscheo played piano was followed by a beautiful “He Touched Me”. Also the two songs together with the Sweets, “How Great Thou Art” and “Oh Happy Day”, were outstanding.
After the opening I was a bit afraid that the highlight had already passed by. Gladly it turned out I was too pessimistic. Immediately after the break the TCB entered the stage one by one and the orchestra started one of the best “Zarathustras” I’ve ever heard, goose bumps were all over.
A couple of years ago I heard Terry Mike Jeffrey together with the Memphis Symphonic and I wasn’t too impressed there. Fortunately the balance between singer, band and orchestra was much, much better in Eindhoven.
The temperature got higher and higher with each outstanding performance of the band and Terry Mike. Of course personal favorites of mine like “Steamroller” and “Never Been to Spain” were warmly welcomed by me, but it is very hard to name a single performance as highlight. Jerry Lee Hardin was hitting them well on “A Big Hunk”, James did his licks and of course “Johnny B. Goode” got the “solo treatment” we know of “Elvis The Concert”. Not that Ronnie Tutt needed that tune to highlight, since he beat the hell out of the drums all night, he was in tremendous form as if he doesn’t age at all. I was amazed by Terry Mike Jeffrey’s vocals on several occasions – I have to mention “You Gave Me a Mountain”, since that one isn’t among my top favorite Elvis songs, but I really enjoyed yesterday’s version of it.
Bastiaan Ragas, a Dutch musical singer, was special guest and did a nice version of “Heartbreak Hotel” before he dedicated “In The Ghetto” to his parents, which brought some special atmosphere (Ragas’ brother Roef, a famous Dutch actor, suddenly died a few weeks ago, at the age of 42). Even though there were some missed lines in the lyrics, probably because of the emotions, he got a well deserved standing ovation afterwards. A very funky version of “Polk Salad” was Ragas’ last contribution to the show and Terry Mike Jeffrey took over again. Together with Glen Hardin he started a beautiful rendition of “Bridge over Troubled Water” before the rest of the band and orchestra made this fantastic “building up” complete. Normally I’m not into superlatives, but I can’t use them enough here. Another situation that needed a lot of them is the flute solo during “An American Trilogy”, that was really one of the best, if not the best, solos I’ve heard during that song, even including Elvis’ own versions. I was not the only one in the audience who thought so, since the lady that played it got an ovation during the song and afterwards by the band and all singers too. Of course the roof got of the building during “Suspicious Minds” and all too soon a perfect show came to an end.
The only minor of the evening – the drunken morons behind us, arguing loudly whose turn it was to get more beer until they could hardly walk – couldn’t spoil it at all. All I can say to conclude this is that the club where Elvis really matters did it again… not only they made Elvis matter, but also the fans. Something we were not used to in the low lands until they came along. If you have the chance, go visit this tour, in our events section you’ll find the remaining dates!!