|All your Elvis music needs here on the original E.E.R since 2000 - The Masters - Outtakes - Live Performances - Home Recordings - Remixes
|At The Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, England
ELVIS died in 1977 but 37 years later he's still near enough selling out the Royal Concert Hall. And I'm still not entirely sure how they pulled it off.
It all sounds very simple: we watch a film of the King on stage while a live band supplies the backing. But just think about it. Someone's had to put together
the setlist for a start (although the spine of the show was a 1970 Las Vegas performance, there were detours to other concerts, his 1968 TV special,
including the legendary "unplugged" section, and even a beyond-the-grave duet with his daughter Lisa Marie).
Then there's the small detail of isolating Elvis's voice and rehearsing 15 musicians and singers to accompany it with such precision that nobody sees the
join. Just thinking about it makes me dizzy.
It's a bit of a thankless task for the band, to be honest. All showed staggering discipline and skill despite being stuck behind a semi-transparent screen on
which the giant figure of Elvis frequently dwarfed them, figuratively (even on film, his humour and charisma burned bright) and literally (at times he must
have been 15 feet tall).
It took a while to get used to the clever visual techniques. Perhaps I was just too close - the experiment seemed better suited to an arena.
By the second half, however, I stopped wondering about how they'd done it and just enjoyed the (terrific) music. I'd never heard him sing Neil Diamond's
Sweet Caroline before but this was a belting version, alongside such standbys as American Trilogy, In The Ghetto and a blinding Guitar Man.
As he blasted through his immortal rock'n'roll classics, I caught myself thinking that, even now, Elvis is better live than many acts still drawing breath who I've
seen on the same stage.