"Interesting but not essential"
reviewed by ColinB
Guess this comes under the 'interesting but not essential' category !
A mono soundboard, there is a bit of mic overload present on a couple of tracks. Being a soundboard, the audience reaction is mostly missing. This seems strange at times, like on the introductions, when it sounds like there is a solitary person applauding !
Good selection of songs from this post-Aloha period, but nothing really outstanding.
'Amen' gets the obligatory 'airplane' reprise. 'My Way' has the solo violin featured even more than in 'Aloha', Elvis slurs his words on one line when he forgets the lyric. 'Hound Dog' has the slow start but is all over in a minute. A bit of unusual vocalising on 'Suspicious Minds'.
The beautiful song: 'Ill Remember You' is kinda spoiled by Elvis making comments, changing the words & finally starting to laugh.
After 'Its Over' and without a pause, Elvis launches into 'Release Me' in too high a key, and abandons things after 30 seconds, quickly going into 'Faded Love', which starts at a galloping pace, with Elvis commenting: "It's too fast !". There is a surprise after 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', when Elvis does a 1:14 reprise from the 'Sail on silver, girl' bit onward.
Perhaps the best bit of the whole CD is one of the 'bonus songs': a beautiful and rare rendition of 'Im Leavin' from the midnight show.
Overall an interesting listen, but an essential buy for completists only.
"Elvis wasn?t working to a rigid set list"
reviewed by Rockinrebel
Years ago I used to buy audience recordings of live shows, and it was normally shows such as this one which included the odd rare performance and a bit of humour from Elvis that made this aspect of collecting worthwhile. Back then I would never have believed that one day I would be listening to shows like this recorded directly from the soundboard, but thanks to FTD all things are possible.
As most of you will already know this show was recorded during an extra 3 am show at the High Sierra Theatre in Lake Tahoe, Nevada on May 13, 1973, and the mono soundboard recording presented on this release is very good in terms of sound quality.
Following the Aloha show, Elvis quickly settled back in to the routine of playing Las Vegas and touring, and by the time he arrived in Tahoe, another Las Vegas season and a seven date April tour had already been completed. He really needed a new challenge, and his performance level generally was not comparable to the first two years of his return to live performances. However, he was still quite capable of performing good shows, and for majority of his shows from this period he also seemed to be enjoying entertaining the public.
This performance showcases Elvis in good spirits, but the now familiar opening numbers ?See See Rider? and the ?I Got a Woman/Amen? medley are performed without any real energy. Elvis then offers the first real surprise of the evening, a cover of Kris Kristofferson?s ?Help Me Make It through the Night?, and whilst he does fool around with the song in places, we do start to hear a little more vocal power during this performance.
A strong version of James Taylor?s ?Steamroller Blues? follows, along with another solid performance on the Marty Robbins? hit ?You Gave Me a Mountain?. Both songs had been high points of the recent ?Aloha? special, and Elvis does them justice again here.
Crowd pleasing oldies follow with Elvis joking his way through his 1956 hit ?Love Me? and offering a rather uninspired run through ?Blue Suede Shoes?. This is followed by the rock medley that was used with differing song combinations during 1973 and 1974. Here ?Long Tall Sally? and ?Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin? On? are coupled with brief snippets of ?Mama Don?t Dance? and ?Shake Rattle and Roll?.
Another song from the ?Aloha? special ?My Way? is next. The same arrangement that was used during the Hawaiian concert, which personally I prefer to the later tour arrangements, is used here, but the vocals are not quite as polished.
Elvis follows this with the slow blues version of ?Hound Dog? that he had introduced into his stage act the previous year. The vocals are a little too laid back here, but James Burton?s guitar playing makes the performance worthwhile.
It?s back to the ?Aloha? set list for ?What Now My Love? with Elvis getting more into the song as it progresses and finishing it well. An average ?Suspicious Minds? follows, before Elvis mentions the TV Special and chooses another song associated with the show, Kui Lee?s Hawaiian ballad, ?I?ll Remember You?. There?s a one liner of ?Alfie? at the start, and later Elvis jokes ?the sun?s coming up?, and laughs his way through the latter part of the song.
A powerful ?I Can?t Stop Loving You? follows, and Elvis stays focused during the next song, ?Bridge Over Troubled Water?, which whilst not as well rehearsed as some of the earlier versions, features strong vocals, with the reprise at the end indicating that Elvis was enjoying the performance.
Elvis then tells the band to start ?The Impossible Dream?, but nobody seems to know it, so he suggests ?For the Good Times? instead. Again there is no response, so the concert mainstay ?Funny How Time Slips Away? is performed as an alternative.
Elvis suggests ?The Impossible Dream? again, and gives the band a cue this time, but the song still doesn?t materialise, so another song from the ?Aloha? special, ?It?s over?, is given a good performance. Elvis then tries ?Release Me?, but this simply doesn?t work, so he quickly offers the concert rarity ?Faded Love? as an alternative, and after a quick tempo change at the beginning he gives a good impromptu performance which also features some good guitar work from James Burton.
The show the closes with the customary ?Can?t Help Falling In Love?, and as bonus material we are given a good performance of ?I?m Leavin??, and an attempt at ?A Big Hunk O? Love? which apart from a vocal mix up in the middle is also a fairly good performance. Both of the bonus songs were taken from the midnight show on the same day.
In summing up, I found this show quite enjoyable. There are a few mistakes, and the show may sound under rehearsed in places, but Elvis seems to be enjoying himself and this comes across in the performance. The humour is good natured, and it isn?t really surprising that Elvis was a little laid back, considering the show time.
It was also refreshing to hear that Elvis wasn?t working to a rigid set list, and it was nice to hear him suggest songs as the mood took him rather than wait for a cue as to what to sing next. This might have resulted in some songs not being quite as polished as they could have been, but it does make for a more interesting performance.