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Thread: Hawaii or Pittsburgh?

  1. #1
    International Level NEA's Avatar
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    Hawaii or Pittsburgh?

    Hawaii: January 12th/14th 1973 or Pittsburgh: December 31st, 1976?

    Which do you choose as the greatest concert performance?

    Having recently viewed a DVD-r of the Pittsburgh show, I am very impressed with the quality of Elvis' performance and appearance. It makes you think if the cameras should have been present during this short late December tour as opposed to June, 1977. Elvis looks somewhat slimmer and appears to be a lot happier and confident in his performances.

    I feel the Pittsburgh show is very much a great answer or sequel to Elvis' 1973 Satellite show and even gives a greater glimpse into the man's love for the type of music that is more close to his roots - all you have to do is compare both set lists for the shows.

    The Pittsburgh show also offered us a chance to see Elvis playing acoustic guitar and also treating us to two great performances at the piano (not seen in the DVD footage). It is a shame that 'Aloha' didn't offer us these wonderful scenes in that telecast - maybe at that point Elvis was too nervous to even contemplate strapping the guitar around his neck during the show or even taking Glenn's seat at the keyboards.

    What do you reckon guys? Is it to be Hawaii '73 or Pittsburgh '76?

    Cheers,

    NEA.
    "I oughta break you in half!"...

    "If you do, you'll have two very short friends!"

  2. #2
    Mad Tigers
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    Definately Pittsburgh!!!

    You cannot compare this december tour with the two performances in 1973.....just take a look at the circumstances in 1973; a show before the eye of the world! I really like the two shows in 1973, but when it comes to enthousiasm and most of all a relaxed and loose Elvis, the Pittsburgh show is much much much better than the Aloha shows.

    During both Aloha shows his voice was a bit weak and you can see the tension (or is it him focussing...).

    In december 1976, Elvis was in very good mood, with some great surprises (Rags to Riches man!!!!). Too bad it was just a last glimpse of him really enjoying what he was doing, and doing this at 200% (together with some highlights in 1977 ofcourse...).

  3. #3
    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, I always liked the shows Elvis gave during the last week of 1976, but I think that moment is way overrated. The fact that 1976 was in almost all ways a bad year, these few shows he gave during that famous week looked so extremely good.

    But in fact those shows weren't at the same level as a good 1974-1975 show. Neither vocally or phyiscally.

    The Aloha concert as a show isn't that spectacular. It's because of the worldwide broadcasting, the atmosphere, his appearance and status at that time, that makes this an unique concert. But if this same show wasn't broadcasted worldwide, but just one of the 1973 shows, many people would know better shows that Elvis gave during that year.

    The Aloha was a milestone, Pittsburg wasn't. It was just a very good show in a very bad year and showed Elvis in a brief happy period.
    ‎"A year from now, you'll wish you had started today"

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  4. #4
    Cadillac King orwell1976's Avatar
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    It's true, even at his best the 1976 Elvis could not match himself during 1973. But he sings very well an appears to be happy and loose as a goose. If CBS would have done the taping of ELVIS IN CONCERT during the december tour, the result would have been lightyears better than in june 1977. Maybe his new year's eve show is overrated, but to me it's still a very good performance and maybe the last time, you were able to see the true Elvis Presley.


  5. #5
    International Level NEA's Avatar
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    Rockin'

    I think that his Pittsburgh show was a more 'rockin'' affair than Aloha '73 for a number of musical and personal reasons owing to the event itself. And, as well as treating fans to guitar and piano accompaniment on New Years Eve '76, Elvis also physically pulled out the stops with that amazing 'roll' during the climax of "Hurt" - this is really quite something else to see...and hear!

    I think for 'entertainment value' the Pittsburgh show wins hands down and would have definitely given a more true perspective on 'Elvis the entertainer' to the non-fans and critics who slated the CBS '77 TV Special. Naturally, we would have still got the usual 'paunchy' and 'fat' comments but I think the overall concert would have won them over come the finale of "Can't Help Falling In Love".

    NEA.
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    "If you do, you'll have two very short friends!"

  6. #6
    TCB Mafia EnigmaticSun's Avatar
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    I do think I'd prefer the Pittsburgh show, because Elvis was feeling 'loose' and there are some rare performances; I like to hear him play the guitar and the piano..

    Although he wasn't the best guitar,- or piano-player, he was good enough and the feeling of the songs really 'transmitted' to the audience, so to speak..

    He was doing rather well during the Aloha special.. You can tell that he was really trying to appeal to an audience more intellectual; this puts the emphasis on the 'big ballads' and this is something that I like - I think that his voice was technically better during the Aloha special than it was during TTWII, although the latter contained more rock and physical energy..

    At some point we just need to stop putting the blame on Elvis for dying - it has happened and blaming the dead won't help to bring them back.

    I like the Pittsburgh-show very much because Elvis was feeling confident and relaxed; the voice had grown since the Aloha special and his artistic ability was intact.

    I also do like the CBS special from June of 1977, but that is probably just because I'm a fool!!

    I don't care about the so-called critics of the CBS special - it's just too easy to attack a dead person because he is not able to defend himself; it is also down to the fact that people are too interested in appearance rather than musical ability.

  7. #7
    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    I think both were good shows, but hardly either is his best concert performance.
    In 69 and 70 he was doing 7 minute versions of Suspicious Minds and 5 minute versions of Polk Salad Annie. THe quality of his singing and performing was 100% better in 69 and 71 than in 73 or 76. He was still hungry(69-71) to prove he could still be the greatest live act in the world.

  8. #8
    TCB Mafia EnigmaticSun's Avatar
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    Remember..

    Remember that back in '69, '70.. Elvis was physically stronger than he was later on.

    Because his physical condition started to deteriorate, he was starting to focus more on his vocal style, also wanting to appeal to an audience more intellectual..

    He really didn't feel the need anymore to prove that he was 'the king of rock 'n roll' because Elvis was also very much musically interested in material different from the typical three,- or four-chorded songs....

    Songs as Polk Salad, Johnny B. Goode, Suspicious Minds started to become less important, Elvis instead was having more interest for songs like What Now My Love, It's Over, My Way, My Boy, It's Now Or Never, How Great Thou Art, Hurt, Unchained Melody...

    Let's not underestimate Elvis' vocal abilities in the later years. There is this incredible pathos - the big opera voice of the later years, that's the one that really hurts me...

  9. #9
    International Level Menwithbrokenhearts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaticSun
    Let's not underestimate Elvis' vocal abilities in the later years. There is this incredible pathos - the big opera voice of the later years, that's the one that really hurts me...
    I agree. His voice, when he was primed up for a song he "wanted" to sing, was amazing in that big operatic way. It is difficult to watch, and even hear, knowing what was going on inside him.
    Got my family, my kids, my books and my music, I'm good, yeah, I'm good.....

  10. #10
    TCB Mafia EnigmaticSun's Avatar
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    indeed

    Quote Originally Posted by Menwithbrokenhearts
    I agree. His voice, when he was primed up for a song he "wanted" to sing, was amazing in that big operatic way. It is difficult to watch, and even hear, knowing what was going on inside him.
    Yes, even now it sends shivers down my spine..

    I do think that Elvis' creative ability was intact till the very end.. Playing the guitar and the piano, singing his tired heart out...

  11. #11
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    I prefer Pittsburgh - this is much more `elvis'
    rick
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  12. #12
    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaticSun
    Remember that back in '69, '70.. Elvis was physically stronger than he was later on.

    Because his physical condition started to deteriorate, he was starting to focus more on his vocal style, also wanting to appeal to an audience more intellectual..

    He really didn't feel the need anymore to prove that he was 'the king of rock 'n roll' because Elvis was also very much musically interested in material different from the typical three,- or four-chorded songs....

    Songs as Polk Salad, Johnny B. Goode, Suspicious Minds started to become less important, Elvis instead was having more interest for songs like What Now My Love, It's Over, My Way, My Boy, It's Now Or Never, How Great Thou Art, Hurt, Unchained Melody...

    Let's not underestimate Elvis' vocal abilities in the later years. There is this incredible pathos - the big opera voice of the later years, that's the one that really hurts me...

    I was going by the question "greatest concert performance" his performances IMO of the 69-71 period were the best. His vocal on Lovin Feelin or Just Pretend were superb. Vocally, naturally 75-77 he had pushed his range and was, on Songs like you mentioned, way past 69-71. But by the same token his Hound Dogs, medleys etc were sometimes just done to say he had done them. On balance I still prefer 69-71 era. Just MO.

  13. #13
    TCB Mafia EnigmaticSun's Avatar
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    pretty papers, pretty ribbons of blue

    Quote Originally Posted by KPM
    I was going by the question "greatest concert performance" his performances IMO of the 69-71 period were the best. His vocal on Lovin Feelin or Just Pretend were superb. Vocally, naturally 75-77 he had pushed his range and was, on Songs like you mentioned, way past 69-71. But by the same token his Hound Dogs, medleys etc were sometimes just done to say he had done them. On balance I still prefer 69-71 era. Just MO.
    I think that you've got a point there. Elvis clearly did pay a little bit more attention to rock in the era you prefer. He was so physically active and strong; though from EOT and Aloha on it seemed pretty clear that rock was still a part of the show, but that the main part consisted out of gospels and big ballads.

    In these interesting times it is perhaps usual that tribal and/or spiritual leaders are given só much ritual tasks as if to weaken them.. I feel that this happened to Elvis, making him even more vulnerable than he already was; remember that Elvis was quite often hungry as a child (influences the internal organs).. All the touring and performing was really getting to him, though it was his true passion and choice to perform.

    Elvis appeared to be rather healthy in the era you prefer, but after that things started to go out of control physically. The marriage with Cilla was difficult and he didn't have the protection from his childhood anymore, which was his mother - the love between Elvis and his mother was so.. 'oceanic' (to put it that way) that after she passed away, he was a different Elvis... He didn't really get the chance to mourn her death after she died because he had an army duty in Germany coming up..

    After the era you prefer, he did sang his heart out reaching for spiritual safety. That was the most emotional period; the voice at its ripest (though the physical condition had an influence on him).

    Elvis really didn't care that much for being the rock 'n roll king.. He was só much more than that..! He loved só many other styles; from Aretha Franklin to Caruso..

    He remained so musically versatile and there was this great love in his eyes; He was the total androgynous beauty.

  14. #14

    re

    I like both shows,but if i have to choose,i will choose for Aloha...he was looking more healthy and i think that he was just more excited about this concert.Though,I think the Pittsburg concert is also very good.Elvis was looking healthy for 1976 and looking very slim...very hard question....but i think Aloha
    I'd like to go to Graceland
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  15. #15
    Coming On Strong
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    Pittsburgh all the way. Aloha was a spectacle but that's about it.
    TCBEP

    I want to entertain people. That's my whole life. To my last breath.
    Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977)


  16. #16
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    I prefer the 'Aloha' Concert. Elvis looked and sang great. Elvis was also great in Pittsburgh but the audience was not very enthusiastic. Neither show was of his very best.


    Brian

  17. #17
    Mad Tigers
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    Are you all nuts. Yes Elvis' range had expanded in '76 but there were a million other singers in the world with a better range. It was Elvis passion for his performances and the songs that was the best thing in my opinion. I feel like this is a presidential election and I have to pick the lesser of two evils. The Aloha concert was grat vocally, but Elvis lacked passion. He looked like he was going through the motions. By '76 you can forget it. He didn't care anymore at this point. Don't get me wrong Elvis did great on ballads on occasion when he felt like it, but there wasn't any taking songs off until about '72. I know that singing everyday in a Las Vegas climate kills a voice, and not to mention the touring. There was no rest in Elvis' show until about '72 though. I agree that '69-71 Elvis was at his best. Elvis was still great until the day he died, but it was more sparatic

  18. #18
    Cadillac King orwell1976's Avatar
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    I prefer the Pitsburgh show. Elvis isn't nearly in the shape he was in when he performed in Hawaii, but still he gave a better show in 1976 than he did in 1973. His voice sounded also much better. The hawaii show was much smoother and more televisable (production wise) but still the Pitsburgh show seems more enjoyable to me.


  19. #19

    re

    There you have a good point.
    The Hawaii special is made for a big audience,with songs people all over the world would like to hear...the pittsburgh concert is more a regular show,and Elvis in a good mood...
    I'd like to go to Graceland
    Memphis,Tennessee

  20. #20
    International Level Erhan's Avatar
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    generally people (not fans) get bored to watch Hawaii concert they are expecting king of rock and roll with his famous body movements they were not familiar ballads
    I think Pittsburgh show was nice but you can't compare with Aloha or EOT.
    Elvis was fat and his movement not as good as EOT or 1974-75 period
    there is some highlights in Pittsburgh as you mention about playing blues with guitar.
    Think Elvis should have sing the "Polk Salad" in Hawaii instead of it's over or I'm so lonesome I could cry...(IMHO)

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