Another Czech release from the productive Memory label, this time with the last show Elvis gave in Portland. Is it as good as the shows on “Storm Over Portland?”.
The booklet contains some good images from Bob Heis. We would have used the picture inside the booklet on the front; it has some more action in it with Elvis striking a “pose”. The liner notes are by Rick Rennie, the person who recorded a lot of concerts, which found their way to cassette, vinyl and CD over the years. The info doesn’t state if he recorded this particular concert.
This Czech release contains an audience recording from the unreleased November 26, 1976 Portland (Oregon) show. The source tape seems to be damaged at the start, the “2001-theme” doesn’t start good, but fortunately that is only the start, and the producers probably wanted to release the compete show. On other songs there sometimes is a bit of distortion, the speed (that has been corrected) doesn’t sound 100% correctly. You’ll notice it especially during “Early Morning Rain” and “What’d I Say” and “Johnny B Goode” in the band introductions, but this can happen to this old private material.
The audio-quality isn’t that bad if you are used to audience-recordings, Elvis sounds a bit in the distance and a bit hollow. The volume is good; Elvis is very much up-front so you can hear him well.
The concert itself is pretty good for a 1976 show; Elvis seems in a good mood, laughing, doing some talking with the audience and making an effort of a lot of the songs. He could still deliver the power in 1976 when he wanted to. Especially on his personal favorites like “You Gave Me A Mountain”, “Hurt” (no reprise this time, he doesn’t seem to be able to hit the last note), “Blue Christmas” and ‘That’s All Right Mama” at the end of the show . He also sounds okay on several “classics” that have to be part of the show. The reactions from the public sound very enthusiastically, so he must have been doing something well on stage in 1976. Or was just being there enough?
Regarding Elvis' shape this show isn't as good as the 1970 and 1973 shows released by Live Archives on the "Storm Over Portland" CD-set. Regarding sound quality it is much better than the 1970 show, and about equal to the sound quality of the 1973 Portland show. The good thing is we get another unreleased concert.
But as with most audience recordings, this CD is another release for the “I-want-to-have-them-all-collectors”. Hopefully a soundboard will surface one day for a more enjoyable listening.
2001 theme / C.C. Rider / I Got A Woman (with false start) – Amen / Love Me / If You Love Me (Let Me Know) / You Gave Me A mountain / Jailhouse Rock / It’s Now or Never / All Shook Up / (Let me Be Your Teddy Bear – Don’t be Cruel / And I Love You So / Fever / America (The Beautiful) / Band Introductions / Johnny B. Goode / Drum Solo / Bass Solo / Piano Solo / Electric Piano Solo / Love Letters / School Day (Hail Hail Rock ‘n’ Roll Theme) / Hurt / Hound Dog (Sherill Nielsen) / Walk With Me (Sherrill Nielsen) / Funny How Time Slips Away / Hawaiian Wedding Song / Blue Christmas / That’s All Right mama / Can’t help Falling is love / Closing Vamp.