Happy New Year From Pontiac 1975
I Got A Woman/ Amen
Elvis mentions he has split his pants
Trying To Get To You
And I Love You So
All Shook Up
Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
You Gave Me A Mountain
Polk Salad Annie
Sweet, Sweet Spirit (J. D & The Stamps)
Introductions / What’d I Say / Solos/ Hail, Hail Rock’n’Roll
Love Me Tender
Elvis wishes everyone a happy new year
Auld Lang Syne
How Great Thou Art & reprise
It's Now Or Never
Elvis introduces Lisa & Verno
Can't Help Falling In Love
Elvis departed from Graceland on Tuesday 30th December, Elvis as ever had more than his fair share of female company, on this trip Linda Thomson & Sheila Ryan accompanying him, as was his father & daughter Lisa Marie. The band started to arrive on the Monday to set up for the show. Elvis’ life was once again being threatened so security was stepped up, and after the show a man was reported to have been arrested for carrying a handgun.
The tickets for this show were imprinted with a picture of Elvis on stage in the middle of the Silverdome, as usual Elvis broke the ticket sales and fan attendance for a single performer, although the building was not sold out, an estimated 62,500 fans attended this show. This was still nearly 30,000 short of a sell out as the Silverdome could seat 90,000. The upper third level wasn’t used as they felt fans would not be able to see the stage at least that’s what reporters were told. The show due to start at 8:30pm was a little late it was around 8:45pm before Jackie Kahane started he was dressed in a bright red suit. Jackie tells a few jokes about the local football team, he also reads out a couple of letters from fans. This is followed by The first of two quartets to begin their piece, the first a Bluegrass & the other a pop rock group. Both groups were supposed to be signed to the RCA label, which would explain why they were there in the first place, but this was not the normal set-up for an opening to one of Elvis’ shows, as Elvis normally kept it all in house.
As you hear on the CD the fan taping the show states the first group as being weird and a few minutes later saying that they shouldn’t be here. Some fans later stated these groups were useless & offensive, in-between the groups Jackie Kahane give his predictions to 1976, unfortunately the groups go down a little better than he does although some of his predictions are fairly funny.
The down side to these groups is the sound captured on tape it doesn’t help, as there is a lot of echo & distortion etc. Which makes it a little more unbearable than if you were there, unless you were stuck at the back then it could have sounded just like it does here on CD. After these groups depresses the crowd, there was a thirty minute intermission before J.D & the stamps came on followed by the Sweet Inspirations, a group called Freedom joined J.D & the Inspirations to help out for the night to give a little more power to the voices. But unfortunately they have not been included here as Jackie Kahane states just before the 2001 theme on the CD "during the second half of the show you’ll get gospel, sole and Elvis" Either it wasn’t recorded or just left off we skip to track two the 2001 theme, this started at 11:00pm on the dot. The house lights went down, Elvis entered the stadium through a specially prepared 70-meter tunnel in a chauffeur driven golf car.
The stage was set up on the 50 yard line in the middle of the dome, the stage was two tear, the first was around 10 feet high, and the section where Elvis stood was another 20 feet, which made the interaction with the band a little difficult. During the early part of the show Elvis split the seat to his Jumpsuit, and then jokes about it, he continued for around 20 minutes before he asked J.D & The Stamps to sing "Sweet, Sweet Spirit" so he can go change. It must be said at this point the sound is vastly improved to that of the opening acts. As every thing Elvis said can clearly be heard. Which is more than can be said for the old LP "Changing Pants" that was released many years ago.
Here is the track listing and a little of what Elvis has to say through the show: 2001 Theme; C, C Rider; I Got A Woman/Amen; Elvis mentions he has split his pants, also this is the largest audience he’s ever played to; Love Me; Trying To Get To You; And I Love You So; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel; Heartbreak Hotel; One Night; You Gave Me A Mountain; Polk Salad Annie; Elvis mentions this is the best new year he’s ever had, he also leaves to change his suit; Sweet, Sweet Spirit (J. D & The Stamps) Introductions/What’d I Say/ Solos/ Hail, Hail Rock’n’Roll; My Way; Love Me Tender; Elvis wishes everyone a happy new year and asks everyone to sing along at midnight; Auld Lang Syne; How Great Thou Art + reprise; It's Now Or Never; America; Elvis thanks everyone for coming to the show, again mentioning this is the largest live audience he’s ever played to, he also thanks the band and Charlie Hodge gets a special mention as he was forgotten about during the introductions, Elvis introduces Lisa & Vernon, Elvis then asks what the audience wants to hear; Hound Dog; Wooden Heart(Part); Can't Help Falling In Love.
The show its self runs for 83 minutes, this is not including the opening acts which run for an additional 53 minutes, a lot has been said about this show. That Elvis didn’t like it because of the poor sound, the cold, and it couldn’t have been too much fun for the fans sitting in the cold for around four and half-hours. But that doesn’t stop Elvis putting on a great show. Which comes across strongly on this CD set, just a crying shame this is not being released hear on Soundboard, but then you may have lost a bit of the audience interaction, as this is most prominent throughout this set. Cold it may have been but I for one would have sat through the show and enjoyed it.
Reviewed by David Wilson