Recently FTD release a 'regular' (5", 3 panel fold-out) 2CD set with two shows from August 20, 1974 (DS and MS) and some bonus material.
The design is familiar, simple but tasteful this time. Most pictures are from this engagement in Las Vegas, but some were taken on stage a bit earlier in 1974.
The sound of the first show is pretty good, even for a soundboard. The evening show's highlight is It's Midnight, furthermore it is like what we know from the other August shows, gladly without the Singing Saw Nielsen starring other than in Softly As I'm Leavin' and senseless monologues. A more than okay performance in general that makes an entertaining show.
The sound of the second show is about the same, but JD Sumner is more upfront, which is annoying at times (e.g. during If You Love Me). It sounds like Elvis is a bit more focussed than during the evening show. The setlist is a bit more varied (and longer). Again a good version of It's Midnight and Proud Mary is a nice 'rarity', but again JD is present too much. There seems a bit is missing between Trying To Get and Big Boss Man, both of which got an inspired rendition. Another welcome addition compared to the ES is Promised Land. The announce missing of the last part of Teddy Bear and the beginning of Hawaiian Weddings song is a pity. I prefer the midnight above the evening show, even thou the sound balance of the evening show is better.
The bonus songs are okay, especially the addition of My Boy is nice, but I still think it's weird to have bonus songs after a concert, but that's just personal.
All together an enjoyable outing by FTD.
Both shows are pretty solid and entertaining..not so much talking with the audience than later in the season and more focus on the music with nice song line-up..thumbs up for the FTD release and a good idea bringing a double pack with DS and MS from the same day.
Two good shows. Elvis is focused on singing and not as later in the season on talking. ftd please more like this maybe from 1972 ?
Got my copy last week. My highlights from the Dinner show were; It's Midnight, Big Boss Man (meaty and energetic) Heartbreak Hotel (not word perfect but still a fun listen), 'Bridge' which is much better than the version from 'Nevada Nights' because this has more momentum behind it and Felton's use of the slide controls for added room echo suits the song perfectly and lastly a very tender rendition of the Hawaiian Wedding Song. There are more of course but these are my favourites. But I normally like the shows from It's Midnight onwards. I can't stand Charlie's fill-ins on If You Love Me.
As for the Midnight show, my favourites are I'm Leavin' and a more measured performance of Promised Land and slightly better than from the night before. Pity, Elvis didn't use it in his repertoire from the March tour or we could have had a more engaged version. You Gave Me a Mountain was delivered with better poise and we also get a meaty Polk Salad Annie. Trying to Get to You was a disappointment with Elvis cracking up to often as well as taking forever to actually start the song after introducing it. But thankfully the track starts (on both discs) when the song does. Overall however these are two good and very professionally delivered concerts by Elvis, much like the March '75 stint, and this was not my favourite engagement by any means.
Just an add on, I really enjoyed the professionalism of how Elvis' band intro's especially when introducing celeb's like Freddie Canon and Jackie Wilson which really highlights his friendship with the latter in promoting Jackie's upcoming gigs. But in reality it's sad when you consider the rut that Elvis got into later that season.