Some parts of the Southern hemisphere are almost a day ahead and so the New Years spirit has already fallen on that portion of the globe. Their sparkler has fizzled out but many of us are currently staying the course and cruising along right behind them, just now lighting our fuses to welcome 2023. May it be a good year for us all. We need it.
December 31, 1976 provided one of the most enthusiastic and energetic Elvis Presley concerts ever. You can feel the thrill and anticipation in the air. Short of being there front and center and living something honestly other-worldly in real life, this recording captures the best of the year, and the portion of the next as well. Seventies Elvis was alive and channeling some of the fifties thrills that captured the world.
Looking exceptionally fit and resplendent in his black phoenix jumpsuit, glimpses of the legendary Elvis we love shine through, like the celebration sparklers that light up the celebratory air. E had just began a new romance the month prior so perhaps that was what lit his fuse to become so animated and engaged. Love will do that to you I’ve heard.
Pittsburgh PA was the setting, not someplace usually desirable in the dead of winter. But no matter the frigid temps outside, he burned it up and owned every inch of the the stage with gusto.
As the monumental concert finished up, with the temperature near zero and the wind gusting to 30 mph, a few hours later in the middle of the night, Elvis rousted his entourage and ordered everyone to the airport for the flight home,
“We get on the planes, but the pilots couldn’t get them started right away,” he said. “So we’re all huddled together in blankets waiting for the planes to start and heat up. And then we get word of a bomb threat, so we had to sign papers authorizing them to take off anyway. As the planes rolled down the runway, we all just sat there in silence looking at each other and wondering if this was going to be it.” quoted from Larry Geller, Elvis’s hair stylist at the time.
Had that been “it,” Elvis would have gone out on a high note. Seventy-seven was lackluster in comparison, as his health declined.
For me personally, listening to and watching this amazing concert lifts my spirits as only the sound of Presley can do. His is a voice that touches and soothes as very few voices do.
If you are so inclined, I am including the you-tube link below. This concert, as well as the bootleg 2 album set, is audience recorded, God bless those that snuck in cameras and tape recorders so we have this timeless beauty to experience forever.
Quite honestly, there is no one like this man ever – never before and never since.
I’m told there is a dvd out there but I don’t own it, but I do have the beautiful first pressing of this record set.
I think the best way to sum up this concert offering, is Elvis is HAPPY and it shows!
WISHING EVERYONE A VERY HAPPY, HEALTHY, AND PROSPEROUS 2023