A Night At The Sahara

Released: 2004/09
Live, Lake Tahoe1976/05/08
From Elvis' last engagement in Lake Tahoe at the Sahara Hotel this CD contains the Dinner Show of May 8th, 1976.

Design

Presented as a release from the Sahara Hotel in Nevada we get a typical home made design with pictures we know. Inside the booklet we get nothing, just white paper. On the back some memorabilia from the hotel, but too small to actually see it correctly. Why not print it a bit bigger inside the booklet, actually using the paper available.

Content

As far as we know this concert hadn’t been released on CD, so a new show to our ears (which is always interesting to listen to).


Although Elvis doesn’t look all that good, he looks bloated; he does make an effort during this show. At some moments he succeeds at that, but overall it is clear Elvis is in serious trouble. Friends and Priscilla present him with a plan to get well after the engagement, but Elvis refuses. “He could take care of himself without the interference of others” he said.

After “See See Rider” Elvis does a few lines of “Young Love” (the “Happy Days” television series theme), which he only did a few times live or during rehearsals. But Elvis isn’t “the Fonz” anymore, and the pictures on the cover and performance on the stage show it unfortunately. There is some dialogue on this show, as during more shows in this engagement. But from there on Elvis runs through his routine.

This show features one other rarity; James Burton messing up the intro of “Sweet Caroline”, usually it is Elvis or a too fast (for Elvis) Glenn D. Hardin on piano. During the song Elvis spoils the performance by asking others to sing a verse (everyone declines).

Elvis makes the effort but doesn’t succeed. You know it is in there some where, every now and then hear a snippet, but it doesn’t come out as we want to. The audience reacts enthusiastically, so he must be doing something good on stage.

The audio quality isn’t very good, it is an audience recording. To hear it good, you have to turn up the volume, but overall o.k. to listen too (for a fan).

Conclusion

Elvis in a bad shape making an effort does not guarantee a good show unfortunately. This audience recording is for completists only again. When you’re a casual fan, stick to the good recordings of good shows, there are plenty releases out there you can enjoy from the first to the last notes.


Sound: 4 out of 10.