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Thread: Closing Night

  1. #1
    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    Last edited by Jungleroom76; 02-08-2011 at 11:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    Track-by-Track
    by Ken Jensen

    I'm listening to Closing Night as I'm writing this. Running time: 1.17.06. I normally listen to a CD at least twice before I pass judgment, but let's throw caution to the wind and tackle this mother dead on. Here goes:

    1. 2001 Theme
    2. Rider

    What an opening! The band rocks! Elvis isn't as energetic as usual, perhaps because this is D. S. He seems tired, almost sleepy, and attempts to stop the song near the end, but the band keep on playing. After the song, he complains about his mike, which reminds me of Dinner at Eight, then interacts brilliantly with J. D. (drug related).

    3. Woman/Amen
    Nothing special. Same ol', same ol'. The sound is good, although it's hard to hear the audience.

    4. Love Me
    Standard. He says "Chinese" twice or thrice during the song.

    [IMGr]http://www.tcb-world.com/images/reviews/caught01.jpg[/IMGr]5. Steamroller Blues
    Way cool. Nice piano playing from Hardin.

    6. Mountain
    "Born in the heat of the desert" is fitting for Vegas. Elvis sings this opening line with an intensity I've rarely heard him do. "The sound system in this hotel has ... [gone to hell?]." Interesting version. Finishing the song, he says he was only kidding about the sound, then follows a short dialog with the sound engineer.

    7. Trouble
    Rare live song, performed nicely. Emory Gordy takes it away on bass. Elvis changes the lyrics, which is cool.

    8. Rock 'n' Roll Medley
    First song from the M. S. Elvis changes lyrics again, great fun. The sound appears to be better now, but that may be an illusion. The man is in a very special mood all right.

    9. Love Me Tender
    Starts off with speeded-up crazy-singing. Fantastic stuff. Then: "Adios, you mother, bye-bye, poppa too, to hell with the Hilton and the showroom too." He says something I can't catch right around "Hilton", something about "hotel".

    10. Fever
    "Myrna Smith and J. D. Sumner had a very mad affair ..." Elvis sings like this basically throughout the entire song, to great merriment from everyone on stage. Charlie Hodge laughs so hard Elvis has got to ask him to cool it. Elvis claims to be allergic to cats.

    11. What Now, My Love?
    Much laughter as the King slips into bed, doing things with his mike that is best left unsaid. Too bad we can't hear the audience. I'd like a good audience recording of this too, just to check out the reaction from the crowd. Elvis delivers a powerful version.

    12. Minds/Bridge
    Hilarious. Gotta hear this. Runs for 50 sec. Says "SOB" and says jokingly he'll leave the stage.

    13. Bridge
    Forgets the words and asks for them. A lot of folks on stage start singing, to which El replies, "Listen to them, amateur night." Elvis takes over, powerful ending, beautifully done.

    14. Suspicious Minds
    Starts out as a straight version but Elvis sings powerfully all of a sudden, then softly. He did this on another song too, probably to drown out Hodge. Another "SOB" comment falls, and he exclaims that he hates the song.

    [IMGl]http://www.tcb-world.com/images/reviews/caught02.jpg[/IMGl]15. Introductions
    Having fun, talking nonsene. "J. D. Sumner and the Stumps Quartet." Most of the intro is straight, actually. Introducing celebs, Col. Parker, his father, Linda T.

    16. My Boy
    Very fitting song with his divorce and all. Done here some months prior to recording it in the studio. A great version but not as good as on Dixieland Rocks. The sound is also better on the 1975 show.

    17. I Can't Stop Loving You
    Sings "made up my bed" instead of "mind". Referring to "What Now", or his divorce, or both? Is that why he got in the bed during "What Now, My Love" (now that it's over)?

    18. An American Trilogy
    Having some fun with the lyrics, talking to someone, perhaps himself, slapping the mike. Powerful ending, as usual.

    19. Big Hunk
    He did it better in 1972 and in Aloha. I think this is the fourth to last version of this song.

    20. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
    The first time ever this song is released live officially. Missing verse is included (as opposed to the studio version). A very good performance by Elvis.

    21. Mystery Train / Tiger Man
    Elvis talks about Mario, who will be fired by the Hilton as soon as Elvis leaves. This monolog has been erroneously placed at the end of "Saw Your Face". This medley rocks. Elvis stops the band before ripping into "Tiger", dedicating the song to the hierarchy of the staff of the Hilton Hotel. The lyrics can easily be taken as death threats.

    22. How Great Thou Art
    Killer version. Elvis repeats the ending twice, saying he can sing it all night.

    23. Help Me Make It through the Night
    Mediocre to standard. Nothing special either way.

    24. Softly as I Leave You
    Incorrectly listed (twice) as "Softly as I LeaveYou". Elvis whispers this version. For the first time "performed" on stage. He seems to be on the verge of tears as he utters the last words. Directed against Priscilla, no doubt.

    25. Can't Help Falling in Love
    Standard. Nothing you haven't heard before.

    That's it, folks. Please keep in mind that these are my initial comments. There may be mistakes here, or views I can't defend later on. This is first impression, simple as that. Enjoy it for what it's worth.

    To sum it up: I really, really recommend this CD. It's a must, people

  3. #3
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    Closing Night
    by Piers ( Elvis Information Network)


    Elvis says, "Adios Las Vegas, and bye-bye Colonel too!"

    Closing Night has surely been the most controversial FTD release so far, receiving comments varying from awesome to dreadful!

    It seems that, despite all the pre-release information, some fans may have missed the point of this historic CD. It is important to remember that the FTD label was specifically designed to service Elvis Collectors. Its mandate includes "To make artistically and historically important material available for the dedicated collector" and "To steer fans away from buying illegal (bootleg) product".

    There is no doubt that this specific Las Vegas date & this concert are incredibly important in Elvis history. At the end of his ninth Vegas season Elvis? emotions were a mess of contradictions. By 1971 Elvis was already bored with the Las Vegas routine so here, in 1973, Elvis was extremely happy to be at the end of his 58 date season. Demonstrating his very playful mood Elvis had even lined up a bed to be pushed on stage for ?What Now My Love?.

    He had also planned to walk on with a toy Monkey (The Colonel?) strapped to his back. However Elvis was also in a foul mood with the Hilton because they were threatening to sack an employee, Mario, who Elvis had befriended.

    Not only that but Elvis? original Hilton contract had now expired and other Vegas Hotels were desperate to sign him up. In reality Elvis was annoyed with Colonel Parker?s style of management, really wanted out of Las Vegas completely, and felt a desire for something new. Before the concert Elvis is quoted as saying, "I don?t want to play here anymore. I?ll see that the son-of-a-***** doesn?t book me in Vegas again"

    So with all these mixed emotions inside, and with Colonel Parker in the audience, Elvis puts on a twisted show demonstrably wearing his mood on his sleeve. This is absolutely NOT the staid routine of ?Aloha? just 8 months before; this is more like a token taste of ?Desert Storm? that would follow exactly one year later.

    After the show (where The Colonel had just witnessed him say "To Hell with the Hilton Hotel" on stage!) Elvis would confront the old man - and in the presence of the Memphis Mafia - shout at Colonel Parker eventually telling him that he was fired! Parker responded with, "You can't fire me, I quit".

    This is the moment that Elvis really should have followed through by saying, ?Adios Las Vegas, and bye-bye Colonel too.?
    Sadly this never happened.

    Unfortunately Elvis? main failing was to have his Father, a man who never finished High School, as his accountant. Any other adviser would have seen through Colonel Parker?s dirty tricks and then history would have been very different. So this IS what the FTD label is all about and, best of all, they have recently found a reel-to-reel tape of the show. The audio quality is not quite as good as the ?Dinner At Eight? FTD but is a fabulous improvement on the cassette soundboards like ?It?s Midnight.?

    So to the CD itself..

    There is no doubt that on the first listen Elvis? lyric changes, joking and general craziness may come as a shock however there is a real fascination to this concert. The performance certainly isn?t routine, nor boring and listening to Elvis going from teasing, to angry, to impassioned and back again is captivating. Neither is this the slurring train-wreck of the awful College Park concerts in 1974.

    I will certainly be playing this more that the more routine concerts like 1975?s ?Dinner At Eight? or for that matter the new bootleg ?Movin? Mobile?!

    The CD starts with 7 tracks from the Sept 3rd Dinner show but here, as with most Dinner Shows, Elvis takes a while to get up to speed. However there is a nice touch of playfulness even in ?See See Rider? when, towards the end, Elvis jokes ?Is this the right song?? It even seems that Elvis (under some influence?) is kidding Charlie Hodge (under alcohol influence?) about slurring his words!

    The real interest starts with a strong ?Steamroller Blues?. Here with the reel-2-reel audio quality you can truly appreciate Emery Gordy?s cool bass playing. (Sadly missing from Takin? Tahoe Tonight as that was from cassette). Glen Hardin?s piano work is a treat too. Crank it up & move your speakers!

    ?You Gave Me a Mountain? is also fine although Elvis does have a swipe at the Hilton. He sings, "The sound system of this hotel ain?t worth a ****" - just a hint of things to come.

    Afterwards Elvis makes sure you know that it isn?t a personal complaint since he then praises his sound engineer Bill Porter. In a cute aside Bill shouts back, "Thank You" to Elvis!

    Rare treat number one is the first issued official live performance of ?Trouble? from Elvis in the seventies. What a shame Elvis didn?t use this in ?Aloha? or even in ?In Concert? as the song epitomizes everything Elvis. This is a very different laid-back ?n? lazy version but Elvis is obviously enjoying it & adds a cute falsetto mid-verse. James Burton adds an amazing fuzz guitar solo making it quite unique.

    Beforehand Elvis teases the crowd with, "I?d like to do a medley of Spanish folks song for you" adding the start of ?Guadalajara? which gets a paltry applause. The audience, understandably, just don?t know what to make of it!

    The last eighteen tracks are all from the ?Closing show?.
    The ?Rock Medley? is the first track and here Elvis gives the final part ?Hound Dog? a really hard workout. As Anne E Nixon noted in her concert review, "At the close of Hound Dog Elvis began a ?Ch-Ch-Ch? kind of sound. It went on and on, as he continued to improvise. The band behind him picked it up, and jammed along. Elvis was bent over double, knees bent, and moving from side to side, real gone! The audience was half hypnotised, half screaming."
    This is a great insight into what it was like to experience this strange show.

    At ?Love Me Tender? the weirdness truly starts with Elvis changing the words and making his real feeling felt. .
    "Adios you Muttha,
    Bye Bye Poppa too,
    To hell with the Hilton Hotel
    And screw the showroom too"

    - Can you imagine what The Colonel was thinking? !

    Elvis however was still in his playful final-night mood and had some surprises planned. Elvis jazzes up ?Fever? very playfully teasing The Sweets who purr in reply like cats. Elvis says, "I?m allergic to cats" and also tells his own shaking legs, "Cool it you fools!" Cute and a complete rarity, crazy indeed.

    At this point the lights went down and a bed was rolled onto the stage letting Elvis sing an impassioned ?What Now My Love? lying on the bed! Elvis was also making some suggestive movements with his microphone but again the final half of the song becomes serious and gets the regular power ending.

    The weirdest moment of the show is next when the band starts playing ?Suspicious Minds? while Elvis deliberately sings the lyrics of ?Bridge Over Troubled Water?. It is totally surreal and obviously pre-planned. Elvis is clearly enjoying the joke and the audience must be wondering what the hell was going on. The Colonel must have been fuming! Elvis keeps it going for nearly a minute before joking to the band, "Wait a minute! You don?t know what you?re doing. Hold the show. Cut!"

    Elvis then continues with the real ?Bridge Over Troubled Water? but someone shouts from the audience and Elvis losses where he is in the lyrics. Then the most bizarre event occurs when Elvis says, "What?s the words, give me the words?" and the whole band & showroom stand up and sing the lyrics back to Elvis! It is extraordinary with Elvis laughing, "Oh that's nice. Listen, the Ted Mack Amateur Hour!" Then honestly adds, "Very nice, thank you very much" and finishes the song with true passion, almost as proof of who exactly is in control. An amazing performance.

    After a throw-away ?Suspicious Minds? the band introductions show Elvis? mood turning again as he asks for someone backstage to help Charlie Hodge. He heatedly says, "Someone else backstage come out and pick up the sheet music. Joe, Sonny, Red, Lamar? There?s 25 other employees around backstage!" However he then seems genuinely thankful to Joe Guercio and nicely introduces, "A good friend of mine, George Hamilton" ? and even Colonel Tom Parker gets a mention! Elvis touchingly introduces his father who gets a huge around of applause.

    An impassioned ?My Boy? follows. Elvis understood the autobiographical nature of this song and even dedicated it to Lisa Marie at one of this season?s shows. Again this is a treat since it is the earliest release we have of this song - Elvis wouldn?t record it until 3 months later at Stax Studios. Elvis continues by giving Charlie Hodge more credit than ever, "He does these fantastic harmonies? He does it so well that it?s almost like one voice."

    ?I Can?t Stop Loving You? again shows Elvis really singing his heart out, adding a full power ending but he then gets annoyed by the audience?s lack of applause. Because if this the following ?An American Trilogy? gets a knowing, "I wish I was in land of cotton. Hell, I wish you were too!" He also kids everyone that he wishes he was in ?Disneyland?.

    The show's emotional roller-coaster ride is then demonstrated by the powerful & sincere second half of the song. Elvis unusually takes time out to thank everybody, "The guy that plays the flute solo, Jimmy Mulidore, he's played it 144 times and never missed it once. Fantastic Jimmy. The trumpet players, they have actually split their lips from blowing so hard, really. We kid a lot, and have a lot of fun, but we really love to sing and play music and entertain people. That's the name of the game. As long as I can do that, I'll be a happy old sonofa*****!"

    A delicate, ?The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face? follows with an interesting brass arrangement & with Elvis enjoying singing it in a very operatic style. "I like that song" he adds. Again this is a first as, amazingly, this song has never been officially released as a live version before.

    At this point Elvis begins by announcing that the gold chain around his neck was given to him in thanks by The Hilton but then starts telling off their management for trying to fire his waiter friend Mario! It is quite surreal as he says that, "Mario needs a job, and I think the Hilton's bigger than that. No disrespect, but I just wanna? wake up Conrad (Hilton) and tell him about Mario's job, that's all."

    His angry mood continues into a fascinating & powerful ?Mystery Train/Tiger Man?. Elvis really lays down the gauntlet ? stimulating the band to a driving performance ? and halfway through states, "This next song is dedicated to the hierarchy and the staff of the Hilton Hotel." Elvis then defiantly & ferociously asserts, "I?m the King of The Jungle?" There is no doubt that he?s warning everyone not to mess with Elvis.

    But what a difference when Elvis follows with an astonishing ?How Great thou Art?. One of Elvis? most sincere performances, getting the ovation it deserves & prompting Elvis to do two reprises. This is the gospel music that he loves and, as he says, "Yeah baby I like that. Wanna do it again? Whatever, I don't care, I'll sing it all night!" His low opinion of the Hilton audience is still apparent though as he also adds, "You?re very nice. I?m glad you finally showed some appreciation for something." - Extraordinary stuff.

    An interesting, ?Help Me Make It Through The Night? follows with Elvis nicely playing with the melody before the exceptional & weird ?Softly As I Leave You?.
    Elvis had never performed ?Softly As I Leave You? before and would not return to it for another year. Here it is totally spontaneous. Although the orchestra picked up the melody halfway though, here you get only get Elvis? whispered recitation. It is nothing like the version recorded in the following year and only adds to the peculiar nature of the show.

    As in most Closing Night?s Elvis had kept this penultimate number as his spontaneous treat. With ?Can?t Help Falling In Love? the band takes it home & he was gone, hopefully saying Goodbye to Vegas & firing the Colonel.
    But it was never to be.

    There is no doubt that if this concert was available on Bootleg everyone would be falling over themselves to get a copy. After all, the newest bootleg is yet another June 75 routine show that we have had so many times before.

    If you get the chance you should combine listening to this CD with the excellent ?Caught In Trap? photo book of the same period and you can also read the concert review by Anne E Nixon.

    Elvis fans who prefer the more professional shows should keep playing Aloha, Live in Memphis 74 etc, and beware of the investigating this other side of Elvis. Surely the cover photo of Elvis with a monkey on his back should give a hint of the content!

    However this is Elvis, it was an important night, a fascinating show, and we should be grateful that FTD are brave enough to release another alternate side of Elvis history.

    After the show Elvis would thankfully take 5 months holiday before touring again. Unfortunately it would once again be with The Colonel as his manager and once again back at the Hilton Hotel. The only change would be that Elvis? seasons would be restricted to two weeks from then on.

    Notes:
    Ed Bonja made some interesting comments about this in his recent interview with EIN.
    Read the Anne E Nixon review of the actual concert here.


    ? 2004 - Piers ( Elvis Information Network)

  4. #4
    Cadillac King
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    I listened to this show once and that was enough. Never again. This show sucks.

  5. #5
    I'm with Jerry on this one.... I didn't enjoy this show at all and I don't plan any repeat listenings, either. I understand the historical significance of the performance and all that, but to me it was not enjoyable.

  6. #6
    Coming On Strong charlie rodgers's Avatar
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    i really enjoy this cd very much i thinks its a really entertaining concert

  7. #7
    Coming On Strong
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    I listened to it when I first bought it and it has not been in my stereo since. I don't plan on playing it in the near future. I've always been told that if you can't say something positive, don't say anything. No further comments from me about this particular show.
    Last edited by Mr. Songman; 01-18-2005 at 03:34 AM.
    Won't you sing me away to a summer night, let me hold her in my arms again.

  8. #8
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    I think the show is really cool. I don't know hat made you think it's sucks, but it's your opinion and I respect this.
    Mose say that Elvis very year was giving all the same shows, same songs, same jonkes ect. Now we have a show that is very different than any other show why to complain. The one realy rare show. If you wan't hear just songs not dialogues and jokes buy ALOHA FROM HAWAII again and again.
    I realy enjoy this CD, I had this on boot (audeince recording) and now I have it on soundboard, my dream come true. FTD keep up good work. Can't wait for April releases. And after them send us show from February 72, everybody knows you've got some of them

  9. #9
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    Great show!

    This concert is much better than the boring Aloha from Hawaii show....
    It's also better than the steril Takin' Tahoe Tonight cd or the
    terrible Portland concert.
    I really enjoy it and this is my favorite Elvis show at the moment.
    Great track-list,funny mood and quite good sound.

  10. #10
    I Dreamed a Dream Tommy's Avatar
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    Albert,

    Thank you for all your wonderful editiorials. Without your reviews I would be lost as to what to buy. I don't have this one yet but would consider it.

    Again Thank You,

    Tommy
    Last edited by Tommy; 09-29-2005 at 04:02 PM. Reason: sp

    I dream a world where man no other man
    will scorn. Where LOVE will bless the earth
    and peace its paths adorn...

  11. #11
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    This is not a show I would play to non-fans, particularly if I was wanting to defend Elvis from his `drugged-out' reputation.
    Some great singing, some not so great, and while it's an interesting show some of his behaviour is embarrassing
    rick
    rick

  12. #12
    Cadillac King rockin's Avatar
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    How Great Thou Art performance

    I personally think this is the best performance of How Great Thou Art that has been released thus far.

  13. #13
    International Level my boy's Avatar
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    closing night fantastic

    closing night is one of my favourite ftd releases, probably because elvis is fooling around a lot but if you really listen closely the performances are top draw particulary how great thou art, my boy,mystery train/tigerman botw,steamroller blues.its a shame we didnt have it in better sound quality jb guitar playing is also great as always, a bit differant but still a fantastic concert.

  14. #14
    Roustabouts
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    Quote Originally Posted by GERI_AMENT
    This concert is much better than the boring Aloha from Hawaii show....
    It's also better than the steril Takin' Tahoe Tonight cd or the
    terrible Portland concert.
    I really enjoy it and this is my favorite Elvis show at the moment.
    Great track-list,funny mood and quite good sound.
    I don't know if we're talking 'bout the same 73 concert, but Portland's one of the best shows Elvis ever did. Has the best version of Trilogy.

  15. #15
    Cadillac King elvis fan 1976's Avatar
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    I have just got it to day and i think it's great! i laughed when elvis fooled around with the words on Fever and on Love Me Tender this is a MUST have!
    I did it my way.

  16. #16
    International Level elvispresleytheking's Avatar
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    An Unusual Show

    I just got this CD in the mail today and listened to it.
    First of all, this is not the best concert he ever did, but it is still great, yet for unusual reasons.
    Highlights: Steamroller Blues, Trouble, What Now My Love? (2nd half), Fever (very funny), Bridge Over Suspicious Minds (different), Bridge Over Troubled Water (2nd half), My Boy, An American Trilogy (2nd half), Tiger Man, How Great Thou Art, Help Me Make It Through The Night
    Skip: See See Rider, I Got A Woman/Amen, You Gave Me A Mountain, Love Me Tender, Bridge Over Troubled Water (1st half), Suspicious Minds,

    This concert has a very humorous nature with a hint of hostility toward the Hilton Hotel. If you want a powerful, emotional, rocking concert, skip it. For the opening two songs, Elvis is lacking in energy and seems to be holding back. He makes J.D. repeat the bass solo for Amen. Love Me is ok, but performed too fast. Steamroller Blues is one of the best versions I've heard. You Gave Me A Mountain, ususally a great song, is almost a pain to listen to as Elvis is so distracted. Trouble is a rare treat, followed by an adequate rock medley, with a little joking during Long Tall Sally. You get completely lost during Love Me Tender, as Elvis mainly lashes out at the Colonel and the Hilton Hotel. Fever starts out with the greatest lyrics improvisation I've ever heard from Elvis. (Myrna Smith and JD Sumner had a very mad affair. When their wives and husbands found them, all you saw was flying teeth and hair.) As the bed is rolled out, Elvis begins doing who knows what with the mic., yet the song finishes off strongly. Then the music of Suspicious Minds starts, yet Elvis sings Bridge Over Troubled Water, which is absolutly hysterical. He keeps this going for more than a minute. The first half of Bridge Over Troubled Water is awful, as Elvis is not serious, then forgets the lyrics. However, he still manages a powerful ending. After that comes, without a doubt, the worst version of Suspicious Minds, where all he does is sing about how bad the song is. After the intros, My Boy is sung, which is probably the highlight and strongest song of the night. I Can't Stop Loving You is a typical version, along with A Big Hunk O' Love. An American Trilogy, sung between the two has an okay first half, yet the end, as always, is amazing. The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face is a rare treat, but doesn't stand out. Mystery Train is all right, but then, during the first instrumental, Elvis announces that the next song is dedicalted to the heirarchy and staff of the Hilton Hotel, and launches into a powerful Tiger Man. How Great Thou Art, despite the two reprises, is one of his best versions. Help Me Make It Through The Night is good, but doesnt compare to the studio version. Softly As I Leave You is very emotional, yet better in the later version when Sherril Neilsen does lead. Can't Help Falling In Love is the typical closer, then the show is over.

    Overall Verdict: For collectors and those with a good sense of humor. 4 stars.

  17. #17
    TCB Mafia easyrider's Avatar
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    Great sound,highly recommended.

  18. #18
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    Re: FTD 39 - Closing Night

    This is an interesting show. Not really one of his best shows but entertaining. Still some great vocals included.

    Nathan Belt
    www.nathanbelt.com

  19. #19
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    Re: FTD 39 - Closing Night

    This show is alright, includes a funny version of Fever that is the best part of the show.
    Sincerely,
    Mr.TCB

  20. #20
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    Re: Closing Night

    My Boy is practically a studio master take and Elvis was fully engaged!
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/999022_359272057534723_1223625887_n.jpg

    all the goons I left behind, memories still linger..

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