The Czech Memory label goes on with releases of audience recordings. This time with a wink to the recently released book "Caught In A Trap". The CD contains the August 26, 1973 Midnight show and is titled "Caught In The Act".
The cover of the CD contains an image from the engagement while inside we find a picture from the Aloha Special. It is fitting that the liner notes of a CD from this 1974 engagement are written by the author of a book about the same gig. The author wrote some clear and enthusiastic liner notes on the concert, placing it in the complete engagement. In between the text we get several pictures of Elvis with various fans. The quality of the cover is not too good, part of it looks like a bad bitmap.
The CD is a picture disc with a good shot of Elvis "caught in the act".
This concert has been released on CD before in 1990 on ‘Las Vegas Fever, Volume 3’ on the Golden Stars label. The audio quality is way better than the first release, probably because another recording was used since the intro of the concert is longer. At some powerful moments the sound is a bit too loud and there are e few light drops in sound, but that is part of audience recordings.
The author of the liner notes is right about the quality of Elvis voice in this engagement. At this stage of the engagement Elvis is at ease with the songs and knows both the power and limitations of his voice.
After a fast intro with the standard line up we go into a strong version of ‘Steamroller Blues’ and a good ‘You Gave Me A Mountain’. On the rock and roll songs Elvis is in a hurry, from ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ we slip directly into a rock and roll medley which includes ‘Mama Don’t Dance’. Too bad he didn’t do these medleys more often, they are more fun to listen to than the standard two-song-medley’s he usually did.
Elvis is getting his breath back on the slower ‘Love Me Tender’ and ‘Fever’. On these versions he can still put some fever into a song, playing with the drum, text and audience.
In ‘What Now My Love’ we get a good version with a powerful finale. On ‘Suspicious Minds’ Elvis starts laughing with the audience ruining the sad storyline of the song. After the introductions we get a flat version of ‘Release Me’ before we get ‘An American Trilogy’ on which Elvis sings look away Lisa land before introducing Lisa Marie to the audience.
A quick ‘Teddy bear/ Don’t Be Cruel’ before Elvis shows he can do a lot with his voice on ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’. With some slick guitar playing by James Burton we’re back to the fifties with ‘Johnny B Goode’ for a moment. A bit too fast to our taste, but the song rocks.
The Stamps Quartet introduces ‘How great Thou Art’ one of Elvis' showstoppers. Also this time he delivers a strong vocal performance, with of course the usual reprise. ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ introduces the closing theme which ends the show the usual way.
Elvis is very at ease and is clearly ‘having fun on stage’. In the ballads and gospels he proves his vocal abilities, in the rock and roll songs his energy. Perhaps a bit too much, since the last songs are a bit too fast, or Elvis is in a hurry, the whole concert lasts only fifty minutes. This release is a better version of the original 1990 release of this show.