- Taken on:
- Elvis The Concert Years (Stein Erik Skar)
- Elvis thank you very much (Paul Lighter)
- Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon
- White Fringe Suit
Gyrating Elvis Magnetizes 11.800
The magnetism of Elvis Presley hit Portland's Memorial Coliseum like a bolt of lightning Wednesday night. But chances are many of those who "experienced" the event will be feeling the vibrations for some time to come.
Indeed, it was an experience. For 51 electrifying minutes, a capacity crowd of 11.800 admirers cheerfully laughed, clapped and even screamed at the gyrating antics which have made the 34-year-old Tupelo, Miss, crooner a legend in his time. So what if he accidentally tripped over the lyrics of "The Wonder of You" and nearly blurted out the world "constipation" instead of "constellation". Anyone can make a mistake, right? Most of those who turned out at the Coliseum Wednesday night came to see Elvis, to watch their idol perform, to hear those memorable tunes - both old and new - which have made Presley their idol.
They didn't go away disappointed. Reaching back in his own "oldies but goodies" bag, Elvis came up with such million sellers as "Hound Dog", "Heartbreak Hotel", and "I Got A Woman". Judging from the screams which echoed through the cavernous Coliseum arena, a few of the 14.000 refugees from Presley's Multnomah stadium concert of 1957 must still be around. Although occasionally drowned out by an unnecessarily loud orchestra, Presley managed to hold his audience's attention by turning up his own volume.
But no one can really question the Presley stamina. You won't find many performers today who can twitch and gyrate their way through 15 fast beat tunes such as "Polk Salad Annie" and "Blues Suede Shoes" in the short span of 51 minutes and still be able to walk off the stage. Most would have to be carried off on a stretcher. Not Elvis.
The Coliseum show Wednesday also featured the Sweet Inspirations, a better - than - average female vocal group, which unfortunately suffered the same orchestration problems which later plagued Presley. Then again, the crowd seemed too busy buzzing about Elvis to pay much attention to any accompanying acts. The same held true for comedian Sammy Shore. The audience gasped when they heard the master of ceremonies say, "We're proud to present.....," thinking Presley's name would surely follow. But the gasps changed to groans when Shore's name was announced instead.
Unfortunately for Shore, many were still groaning 20 minutes later when he finished his act. In this case, Elvis was a tough act to precede.