'Elvis ROCKS Copenhagen 2012'

An insider's review of the new 'Elvis Presley In Concert' tour 2012

Spotlight - By Arjan Deelen

Tour producer Arjan Deelen was at the Copenhagen March 24 'Elvis Presley In Concert' event. This year bassist Norbert Putnam has also joined the TCB Band regulars, bringing some new energy to the performances.

James Burton stated that "You know, this is such a wonderful show. Elvis would have loved it. And now with Norbert in the band, the show is better than ever. We are having a great time up there. It’s a wonderful tribute to Elvis. We all want to continue doing this show for the fans for as long as we can".

In this marvellous review Arjan Deelen talks with the TCB Band and explains just how well the 'Elvis In Concert' tour still ROCKS - as well as wondering how long EPE will keep the TCB Band as part of the tour.


SEE BELOW for some great EIN Readers' Feedback PLUS newly added videos

ELVIS ROCKS COPENHAGEN! The Forum – March 24, 2012

About a day or two before the Copenhagen concert, bass-player Norbert Putnam invited me to come over to their hotel, the Crowne Plaza near the airport. Even though I was suffering from a nasty laryngitis, it was hard to resist so I went over to the hotel to say hello to the TCB guys. Pretty soon they were all down in the lobby, chatty and amiable as always.

It was very nice to reconnect with Glen D. Hardin again. Glen had written the introduction to my book "Elvis: Caught In A Trap" 10 years ago, but I hadn’t seen him since then, so it was great to see him looking so well. We joked that we’d probably lost 150 pounds between us since the last time we talked! Glen is such a genuinely nice guy, and he inquired about my family.

Since Duke Bardwell has been a part of my ‘Original Elvis Tribute’ show since the beginning, his name came up and Glen talked about him with great affection. He mentioned that some of the Elvis publications described Duke as a poor bass-player and that he didn’t agree with that at all – he felt that Duke was a good rock & roll bass-player, perhaps not as flashy and virtuous as Scheff, but nevertheless a very solid player.

(Right: Old friends Arjan Deelen and Glen D Hardin)

Glen added that what happened to Duke while with Elvis had a lot to do with the bodyguards. "They probably didn’t like him because he got all the girls and they didn’t like that too much, so they turned against him, just like they turned against Elvis later on", Glen said, referring to Red and Sonny and the ‘Elvis What Happened’ book. "I never heard Elvis say a bad word about Duke", he concluded. Ronnie Tutt agreed and said: "It was all politics… I was the one that got Duke the job. He was a fine bassplayer". So there you have it, another myth laid to rest by the people who were there.

Joe Guercio came over and heard the last part of the conversation. He said: "Duke Bardwell! You have to tell him to sing that ‘Kiss My Ass Goodbye’ song!", and then proceeded to tell the story of how Duke got to sing it on stage one night in Lake Tahoe. You can see Duke tell that very story himself on this clip Go Here

Not surprisingly, Ronnie Tutt seemed affected by the recent death of his son Nathan and was quiet for the most part. We did talk about it briefly, and it was hard to see the pain in his eyes. "Right now it’s the music that keeps me going", he said. It was difficult to find the right words to say to a man who had suffered such a terrible blow.

A WONDERFUL TRIBUTE TO ELVIS

James Burton and Norbert Putnam really seemed to hit it off well together, and were chatting together for much of the night. Norbert inquired about my show, and he asked who was playing on it. When I mentioned Bobby Wood, he said: "Oh man, he’s such a great keyboard player", and about Ginger and Mary Holladay he said: "I have known those girls forever, ever since they started out in the sixties. I did a lot of sessions with them, Muscle Shoals, Nashville, and so on… Great voices".

James Burton listened closely and his eyes lit up when the conversation shifted to the screen show. "You know, this is such a wonderful show. Elvis would have loved it. And now with Norbert in the band, the show is better than ever. We are having a great time up there", he said. He got a serious look on his face when I mentioned that this was being advertised as being the last tour with the original musicians. "You know, I really don’t understand why… We all want to continue. We all love doing this. It’s a wonderful tribute to Elvis. They (EPE) want to continue the show with anonymous players, so they can make twice as much money. You need to mobilize the fans and you have to tell EPE that this is wrong. We all want to continue doing this show for the fans for as long as we possibly can".

Very similar sentiments came from all the other players I talked to on this night and the night of the concert. They all expressed great surprise and disappointment with EPE’s plans, since they all feel that the show is now better than ever.

THE PLACE TO BE

Since they all talked about the show with a great deal of warmth, I was greatly anticipating the concert at the Forum in Copenhagen. I had my wife and children with me. I just really wanted them to experience the full power of Elvis’ voice at least this once. As we arrived at the venue, the place seemed to be bubbling with activity and excitement. There were a lot of familiar faces from the Elvis scene in the crowd: Ernst Jørgensen, Pål Granlund, Henrik Knudsen, Erik Lorentzen, Dennis Jale… The Danish entertainment industry was also well represented, and I spotted popular entertainer / guitarist Billy Cross, ‘schlager’ singer Johnny Reimar, as well as Michael Poulsen of the popular Danish heavy rock band Volbeat. Tonight, The Forum was clearly the place to be.

A little after eight, the first tones of the Opening Theme filled the room. There were 4,500 fans in the room… and you could just feel the whole place buzzing with excitement. It was easy to get lost in the illusion that we were anticipating the arrival of Elvis himself. The crowd reaction reached a fever point as ‘2001’ segued into ‘C.C. Rider’ and WHAM! there he was. Elvis filled the room with his unique stage presence. The band sounded great too; they played with a lot of energy and ‘oomph’ and the song just kicked.

‘Burning Love’ followed and confirmed that first impression. It was a delight to see Burton and Putnam feeding off of each other’s playing – some great musicianship going on.

The mix of the music was tremendous, much better than the last time I saw this show. J.B.’s guitar was loud and upfront, and he was in great form. But really, it’s hard to single just one guy out, because the whole band sounded terrific… Ronnie Tutt on drums was unbelievable and with the excellent mix you could really feel the "thud" of his drums, Glen’s playing was as dexterous and vibrant as ever while Norbert Putnam on bass (right) was one of the great surprises of the evening.

I really enjoyed listening out for Putnam's refined, intricate playing and the whole band seemed very taken with him. When James told me the night before that the TCB band was playing better than ever I figured that this statement was partly hype, but having heard the band for myself I agree with him wholeheartedly.

STIRRING CLIMAX

The very good impressions continued throughout the first part, where they used the topnotch quality ‘Aloha’ footage from 1973. The quality went down a notch or two with the ‘That’s The Way It Is’ footage from 1970, which in my view really should look and sound better than it did here. Elvis’ voice sounded a tad shrill on ‘That’s All Right Mama’, while the visuals in part were a bit blurred too. I also felt that the segment with the early rock & roll hits overstayed its welcome a bit. These 1970 versions are not all that good to begin with, and I felt that using eight of them in a row was pushing things a bit. The show seemed to lose some of its momentum here. Things picked up again with ‘Love Me Tender’, where the crowd seemed to enjoy the kissing scenes.

‘Don’t Cry Daddy’ and ‘In The Ghetto’ were good, with some excellent use of stills and footage focusing on the family theme, but the show took a nosedive again with ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’… Poor quality ‘On Tour’ footage and a very different looking Elvis, which spoiled the illusion a bit. A few days before the Copenhagen concert, the producers had decided to remove ‘Never Been To Spain’ from the show. They should have removed this one as well.

The first half of the show was brought to a stirring climax with the triple punch of ‘Sweet Sweet Spirit’, ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘If I Can Dream’. The producers did a sensational job on this segment, and the band and the singers were truly outstanding. I felt a big lump in my throat while these songs were performed, and clearly I was not the only one. Everybody was standing, clapping and singing along… It was incredibly powerful. I had goosebumps all over. After ‘Dream’ the lights came on and it was almost like I’d  just had great sex! I felt like I needed a cigarette badly, and I don’t even smoke! Seriously though, great showmanship, great musicianship and topnotch production work… Just sensational.

GOOD VIBES

No foreplay at the start of Act II, Elvis and the band meant business and went straight into a fantastic ‘Trouble’... moody, menacing – and magnificent. It really made me wish that they could incorporate more footage from the ’68 comeback into the show, but due to the crappy way that special was recorded, that’s probably almost impossible. It was fun to see the band rocking out on ‘Guitar Man’ -some very tasty J.B. licks on this. ‘Polk Salad Annie’ was sensational as always, and it was nice knowing that Norbert Putnam played bass on the original Tony Joe White version. Elvis and the band really rocked out on the climaxes, and the excellent lightning added to the overall excitement. The atmosphere in the room was tremendous and the crowd was quite vocal in showing their appreciation.

The good vibes continued with ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’, ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ and ‘I Got A Woman’. Great, great performances all; he was such a dazzling performer back then… ‘Woman’ sounded a bit different, like they had merged two different versions? Check out the video below and judge for yourself.

’Bridge’ has already been described various times as one of the highlights of the show, and I fully agree. The gentleness of Glen D. Hardin’s playing and the raw strength and beauty of Elvis’ voice made for an emotionally very powerful performance. At the same time it was so sad to think that this uniquely talented individual left us 35 years ago. The illusion of seeing Elvis right in front of me performing at his peak and the sad reality of him being dead was almost too much to fully take in, and I choked up several times during this song. I guess moments like this are tough for all of us who love Elvis.

From this point onwards, the show was just a wonderful blur of electrifying performances… ‘The Wonder Of You’, ‘Suspicious Minds’ (always a real crowd-pleaser), ‘I’ll Remember You’, ‘What Now My Love’, ‘Big Hunk O’ Love’ (with a well-deserved starring role for Glen D. Hardin), ‘My Way’ (with a gorgeous violin part which got a standing ovation) and especially ‘American Trilogy’, which was another emotionally stirring performance. The song’s finale was just sensational, with the full force of the band, the orchestra (from Sweden) and all the singers hitting you like a freight train. By now the audience had been standing and cheering for several songs, but this song got the best reaction of the night.

I felt so privileged just being there, experiencing Elvis in such a brilliant setting, together with 4,500 likeminded people… It’s an experience that I will never forget.

NO CIRCUS ACT

After all these very strong performances, ’Can’t Help Falling In Love’ came almost as an afterthought, but still it was the appropriate way to say goodbye to this remarkable entertainer and his wonderful musicians. There they all stood at the end, waving at the crowd, looking like war heroes, a bit older and perhaps a little frail looking but still GREAT. In the wrong hands, this show could have been a circus act, but instead it’s just so beautiful… There is something truly noble about it all.

Elvis was really with us tonight in Copenhagen, and we owe it all to these amazing musicians and the topnotch production crew for pulling it off. You could still feel the excitement and happiness all over as we left the Forum. Elvis had truly rocked the Danish capital.

It’s probably a bit unusual, inappropriate even, for the producer of one Elvis show to write a review of another Elvis production, but I have a feeling that in this case I will get away with it. I have written this review basically to urge EPE to keep this show going WITH the original musicians. They all told me how much they enjoy doing this, and that they want to continue with this show as long as they possibly can. James Burton called it a wonderful tribute to Elvis, and I agree with him.

This show is the best way possible to remind people of his greatness, and also the best way for Elvis’ music to stay alive and attract new audiences. The musicians feel that the show is now tighter than ever, and having seen the show I fully agree… Elvis looks amazing on the big screen (notwithstanding a few songs where the footage is a bit blurry), his voice sounds magnificent, and the mix is better than before with the band sounding tight and crisp.

Sure, there is always room for improvements, but overall the show is such an overwhelming and incredibly satisfying experience that I don’t even feel like pointing out the small flaws. The show is a fantastic tribute to Elvis, and no doubt he would have been honored if he would have been able to see the Copenhagen concert. I feel very strongly that this show won’t be the same without the original singers and musicians on stage.  It would be interesting to hear from other fans.                                                      

What do you think?
Do you feel that EPE should keep this show as is with the original musicians, or should they give the new concept with anonymous players a try?
We’d love to hear your feedback on this matter.

Click HERE and send us YOUR FEEDBACK which we will add to this article and send to EPE.

(Note - If you don't use outlook express simply email piers@elvisinfonet.com )

Here’s a few clips from the Copenhagen concert.
I filmed only a few songs, and while these may not be the show’s highlight, they do give a nice flavor of the Copenhagen concert

- Check out the YouTube Clips below-

Theme 2001 / C.C. Rider

I Got A Woman

Steamroller Blues

& click to six NEWLY Added Concert Videos below

Blue Suede Shoes

Are You Lonesome Tonight & All Shook Up

A Big Hunk O’ Love

What Now My Love

Hound Dog, Don’t Be Cruel & Heartbreak Hotel

You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me


Setlist Copenhagen 24.04.12
1. Theme 2001 / C.C. Rider 2. Burning Love 3. Welcome To My World 4. Steamroller Blues 5. Johnny B. Goode 6. You Gave Me a Mountain 7. That’s All Right 8. Hound Dog 9. Don’t Be Cruel 10. Heartbreak Hotel 11. Are You Lonesome Tonight? 12. All Shook Up 13. Blue Suede Shoes 14. Love Me Tender 15. Don’t Cry Daddy 16. In the Ghetto 17. Funny How Time Slips Away 18. Sweet, Sweet Spirit 19. How Great Thou Art 20. If I Can Dream

Intermission

21. Trouble/Guitar Man 22. Polk Salad Annie 23. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling 24. You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me 25. I Got a Woman 26. Bridge Over Troubled Water 27. The Wonder of You 28. Suspicious Minds 29. I’ll Remember You 30. What Now My Love 31. A Big Hunk O’ Love 32. My Way 33. An American Trilogy 34. Can’t Help Falling In Love

 

Spotlight by EIN Contributor Arjan Deelen.
-Copyright EIN March 2012.
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.

Click here to comment on this article

For more information on Arjan Deelen's Original Tribute Tour go here > www.elvisnews.dk


Go here for other relevant articles:

'The Original Elvis Tribute 2012' Tour & Information

Christmas 2011 Elvis-Style in Bavaria:

'The Original Elvis Tribute STRIKES AGAIN! in 2011 

'The Original Elvis Tribute 2010'- An Elvis band on Tour: 

Arjan Deelen's 2009 interview with Duke Bardwell

2009 Michael Jarrett Interview

(Some young fans with Sweet Inspirations' Estelle Brown)

READER'S FEEDBACK - Are the TCB Band still important to 'Elvis in Concert'?

- April 10, 2012 - well worth reading..

From: Michael Jarrett (composer/musician)

Growing up as a kid listening to Elvis was a very special time in my life, especially having his great music corresponding with 'first love' and these type of experiences as a youth. Never in my wildest dreams (back then) would I have ever thought that my life would connect with Elvis more than just listening to him singing on the radio and playing his Albums and 45's ..

Like many others, I'm very disappointed to hear EPE wants to replace the TCB band. As you know, it will change the total uniqueness of the show .. that special connection with the audience to be able to witness the "kickass band" that backed the King those many years on stage right before their eyes; both in person and on screen at the same time and; have both the past and present together ... what a great concept.
When I play music with other musicians that also have had that "special connection" with Elvis, it brings me such joy, as it takes me full circle back to my youth when I first heard his music and was mesmerized by it.

Sometimes when I'm sitting there at the keyboard playing during an Elvis Tribute concert and looking out at the audience and watching them react with such joy; I realize that they too are feeling what I'm feeling and we're collectively sharing a very unique "moment in time"; recapturing something very meaning full and special to all of us.. It's an awesome experience ..
In turn these great TCB musicians still want to honor the man that changed their lives in so many ways and to continue to play those great classic songs that the King made legendary ..
For me, that's the total experience of this show.

Let's hope EPE gets an "earful from the fans" and they change their mind.
Long Live The King

 

- April 2, 2012 - more interesting reader opinions well worth reading..

From: Jeanne Pellicani
Just read your wonderful review, and I couldn't agree more!
This show ABSOLUTELY must continue with the ORIGINAL TCB BAND members, while they are all here with us.
The show will not be the same without them. There will be no bond with the band and Elvis. This would be a HUGE MISTAKE to continue the show with new people- HUGE MISTAKE!!
For the many fans who never had the opportunity to see Elvis perform live in concert, this is the next best thing. They can even meet and speak with the people who performed with Elvis originally. I was one of the lucky ones who saw Elvis perform many, many times in Las Vegas and in concerts in the NY area. I've also seen the Elvis in Concert show. It was a great thrill for me to see all the band members again, after all these years, and to speak with James Burton and shake his hand. How can you deny the Elvis fans that thrill? How can EPE even consider changing this?
Thanks for listening - I just hope EPE listens!

- An alternate viewpoint...

From: Steve Braun
I saw the “scaled down” show last August in Memphis.
It was FANTASTIC!
The new players and singers were outstanding.
I think they want to be able to play smaller venues, 2,000 (etc.) and that is the reason for going with new players and singers.


From: Can Balkan
I am a 29 years old elvis fan and I saw this concert 3 times; in 2000, 2010 and this final tour at O2. I travvelled with other 7 people with me ( who are not that elvis fans) and they all LOVED it. This concert should move with the original musicians. EPE and Stig’s biggest fault about this concert’ not selling well this time is not having any advertisement in any country. Lots of my english friends knew nothing about the concert in London.This tour shows that it sounds better and better but it needs to improve like more light effects ( not only at stage but inside the audience)and more sound to classics like Hound Dog (because they were boring and very poor). It should go to other countries like Turkey, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria. And I believe if EPE makes REAL ADVERTISEMENT, all huge arenas will be filled for sure. THIS IS JEWEL  OF EPE and if they think the old band is old, support them don’t kick them out. If they ignore this huge event you have my word, they will loose really big money. İmagine we came from Istanbul just for the concert for 3 days.
 

From: Patrick Janssen, Holland
I saw the show now for the second time and I have a huge respect for the tcb guys! They are all playing with fun and you can see that. In Rotterdam, maybe it was my seating place, but the mix of James and the background singers was not good. And it looked like the music was played in a
slower tempo than the footage, especially on suspicious minds. So if this is the case and the musicians can't keep up with the tempo, it wouldn't be a good concert to remember. Again I have great respect that they all agreed on doing another tour and all the other fanclub concerts they play.
Elvis in concert without the original artist would not be the same. But we have to keep in mind that they are no youngsters anymore. So if epe decides to go on with some kind of video show with a young(er) rockband, we fans should give them a chance. Because otherwise we have no Elvis concerts at all. I'm looking forward to the Elvis anniversary concert in Memphis and the upcoming european tours in january 2013 (some dates are all ready known), with the original band! But we have to look a little bit further in the future for a long lasting Elvis in concert experience, but for how long it lasts with the tcb band.

From: Sylvain Alarie
For me they’re still important because it’s one of the only links to Elvis. If you start using people that never played with him it will not be the same (for us fans). But again the decision will be guided by money and we know what EPE will do for money. Do they ever care about what he real fans want? We all know the answer.
I saw them a couple years ago in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and it was unbelievable to see.
I hope they will comeback again in Canada (the REAL TCB BAND)
Please EPE listen to us this time.
 
From: Kev Claxton
I am 50 years old, & been a fan of the great man for 41 years.
I had the privilege, to go to Memphis, & visit Graceland, last year as a surprise 50th birthday present from my wife.
I have been lucky enough to see Elvis the Concert in 2000, in Bournemouth, in the UK, & oh Boy it was awesome, with not only the great man himself, but The original TCB band, apart from John Wilkinson. It sounded brilliant, & the audience really appreciated the TCB band, & backup singers, i.e The sweet Inspirations, & The Imperials.
Needless to say they applauded the audience, & the audience, gave them a standing ovation, the show was unbelievable.
I heard these rumours about EPE replacing the TCB band, with younger musicians a few years ago. This cannot happen in my opinion, as the TCB band were with The great Man from the beginning, and deservedly, should still be backing him. They are true professional musicians, who should still be part of this Great concert, until EPE, decides to call it a day. No to any other band, backing the great Man.
 
From: Paul Sebo
Please keep the original band members - it is these guys that make it very authentic. It makes you feel like you are at a real Elvis concert. This feeling would be absent without the original band members. If it comes back to the UK (Manchester) next year I have many friends and family that want to see the show. If the original band members were not there we would not bother. Keep the torch burning!!!!
 
 
From: Rick Bayne
Without the TCB band there is no reason for this show to exist.
I can watch Elvis videos at home. However, including people connected to Elvis, such as Norbert Putnam, is fine.
 
From: Paul Bucacci
The TCB band along with all of us will not be around forever. I suggest that the TCB band stay on performing, until they want to leave and replace them accordingly. I also believe new songs should be added if at all possible. There are some songs such as Proud Mary and so on that can be added, this way here keeping the show consistently fresh. The tour also needs to come back to America and perform.

 
From: Tony Baker. Swansea, South Wales
Absolutely!!... The Tcb band have to stay or the show will have no credibility!!...We love the show as it is…I saw the March 18th Birmingham concert.. and was my 10th show since Memphis 97 when I attended the Mid-south coliseum..It has to be the TCB guys or nothing!
 
From: George Millar
They should KEEP the original TCB band! Elvis may not be here, but he is and always will be in spirit, and the band brings that across even more as you watch them onstage, they were with him thru the years, and everyone enjoys seeing a part of Elvis' history thru them. They are Elvis, and if they want to perform until they are unable to, I say God Bless them and let them continue their journey with Elvis and his fans, let them continue to share his music, and outstanding voice with the world.
I've seen the show 3 times in the states, and it has always been breathtaking, Elvis would have wanted it this way! Thank You for letting me send my comments!
Long live the King, and long may the TCB band perform! TCB!!

 

From: Mikael Ahlgren- The Aaland Islands Finland
The inclusion of the original Elvis musicians is what makes this show stand out. We cannot get Elvis back on stage but with him on the screen and his musicians live on stage you can almost imagine a real Elvis show. Without the musicians it's almost just like any another tribute show and I think many people will lose interest. As long as the musicians enjoy being part of this show they should continue being part of it. We fans appreciate it very much.
Including a few unreleased performances in the show would please the hard core fans who have seen the same footage a thousand times already. Being already familiar with the footage ruins part of the live experience. Well just using some other angles of footage would improve the experience.

Another thing is the quality of the footage from That's The Way It Is and Elvis On Tour. Why use a second or perhaps third generation copy in the show?? The Aloha footage with the limitation of being video footage looks way better than the footage captured on film! Why is that? This should have been corrected a long time ago. Right now this is the weakest part of the show. The remastered new versions of the films look so much better than Aloha on DVD/Blu-ray and still the footage used in the Elvis In Concert show looks like crap. This also goes for the Elvis lives DVD which could have been excellent if not for the lousy footage used.
So there's room for improvement but without the original musicians what's the use? And without the wonderful musicians and with lousy footage who would want to watch the show?
That's my opinion. I hope the show continues and also gets better because the concept is really outstanding. More people should see it. Many people still don't know how real this show is but think there is an impersonator appearing with a cover band. Don't make it become something like that. Go for quality and a great experience like it was meant to be!


From: Dan Siciliano
Can Elvis The Concert continue without the TCB band? The answer is right in front of us...YES! The 12 or so years we had with the original musicians and singer who toured with Elvis was an unprecedented success. Never before had and entertainer toured so long, with so many musicians and sold out crowds with so much critical praise and.. Oh, did I mention that the entertainer has been dead for 35 years! Only Elvis could pull of something like this.. I can hear the words of Colonel Tom Parker echoing in the distance... "It's like he went back into the army..business as usual". But. now, after a dozen or so years touring the USA, Europe,.etc. It may be time for the original band to step aside so Elvis in Concert can really take off. But how..do you ask?

The big appeal was that we had HIS people on stage, Playing with HIM... AGAIN! Let's take a look at the Cirque Du Soleil show.. Viva Elvis for just a minute. Yes, I know what some of you are thinking...the Viva Elvis show is a flop and that's why it's closing down at the end of the year..right? Wrong! The reason the show never did well was that it was just that a Cirque show, not an Elvis show. The fans who came to see this latest incantation of oddly dressed performers and contortionists, swinging from the ceiling, gracefully moving from one end of the stage to the next. They got just that...wait, no they didn't! I know, the Beatles pulled it off right.. well sort of. The "Beatles : Love" show is a fantastic journey into the deep realms of Cirque Du Soleil that just so happens to be set to the music of the Beatles.

The Viva Elvis show, is an attempts to take the patron on a journey into Elvis life and career, that just so happens to have some Cirque Du Soleil thrown in. Now are you seeing the difference! Now let's take a deeper look into the music of Viva Elvis. The words that describe Viva's music are: Superb, carefully crafted, painstakingly articulated and simply a rare treat to the ears. Yes, the music is so very different from the original recordings, but strangely similar, fresh and "up to date"... it's ELVIS, all over again!!!

Everyone reading this article has, no doubt, heard some or all of the songs on the Viva Elvis album. Go ahead, you can hum them! Bossa Nova Baby, Burning Love, the superbly crafted and blended "Can't Help falling in Love", just to name a few, in my opinion are Grammy worthy material. 2 years went into the crafting and making of just the music, to ensure it maintained the healthiest dose of Elvis, never straying too far from the original..or did it? Most agreed on the music, few agreed on the show itself. During the segment "Bossa Nova", we have the finale with an acrobat doing a handstand on a pile of chairs??!! Really?? Is that what Cirque is all about? This is why the show itself failed, but NOT the music. Poorly marketed, seldom advertised, sans a segment on the 2010 Miss universe and a spot on the latest Ashton Kutcher movie, these gorgeous, well crafted songs remain hidden from the public. A sleeping giant, waiting to open its eyes to the world. Hey, this article was supposed to be about the future of Elvis the Concert, not the demise of a Vegas night club act, right?

My point is simple, the music of Viva Elvis must and should continue. It's too good to fold up at the end of the year and become a dusty CD on the shelves of the die-hard fans. The musicians who played on the Viva Elvis album are absolutely top notch, the vocalists who accompany Elvis on the "Duets" are fabulous. Take this opportunity to morph "Elvis the Concert" into "Elvis: The New Live Experience".

Sparking the curiosity of the seasoned fan with the passion of today's youth, and you have a sure thing. A way to bring Elvis with us on this journey we call...The Future! Some will simply disagree with me, shouting to leave Elvis' music alone! No one is touching his music, it will always be there...forever. But just like entertainers who have spanned the decades, they too change with the times. Never dropping the original fans, just making new ones along the way.

I only ask that after you read this article, you put on your Viva Elvis CD, or go and get one or download it. Turn up your stereo... loud! Crank up the headphones! Listen to the opening "2001 theme". Did you ever think that theme could get more exciting than when you first heard it on the "aloha" Album. Listen to the drums taking this theme to heights never before dreamed of. Listen to the powerful rendition of Burning Love setting your soul on fire! Take a trip to New Orleans with "King Creole". Listen to original sound clips blended into the new arrangements...How cool is that? Bossa Nova Baby is amazing! Listen to Blue Suede Shoes...wow! Viva's Suspicious minds , musically, is an absolute show stopper! The sparse album only contains a small sampling of the gems re-mixed and re-invented for the show. More than enough to create a 90 minute spectacle.

Take this show to the big venue with Clips of Elvis on and off the stage, created a sight and sound extravaganza, tour it around the world. New visuals, new musicians, new sounds. Elvis will still be in the building, every step of the way.. i promise! I remember hearing the King himself say that after a show with screaming fans, back stage he excitingly said " What'd I do? What'd I do?... Well , whatever it was... DO IT AGAIN!!!"
The answer to whether or not Elvis the Concert can continue without the TCB band is right in front of us. Somebody... PLEASE go and get it! The show MUST go on!

 

From: Paul Turner UK
If you take away the key ingredients of this show then it will not work the same, Elvis and the tcb band compliment each other , James Burtons style of guitar is part of the Elvis' 1970's sound just like Scotty Moore style was in the 1950's recordings.
I attended the concert that was show cased in Memphis in 2011 , the atmosphere was not there ..a lot of fans came away disappointed from that show.
For the present show to continue Its success then it needs to remain as original to the way the music sounded,this can only happen if EPE remain true to the show origins.


From: Rauhuff, William
If the show cannot continue with who is left of the original players then it needs to call it a day. I have seen it many times since 1998 in mostly Memphis. To bring in players that were not there and did not play with Elvis in the concerts or some of his recordings is just wrong and EPE should be ashamed of their self for even considering something that foolish. They have tried their best to harm the integrity of Elvis and the fans should not let them get away with this just for the almighty dollar. By the way I hope the band is getting paid well as they deserve to make a good living for this.

From: Sylvain Alarie
For me they’re still important because it’s one of the only links to Elvis
If you start taking people that never played with him
It will not be the same (for us fans). But again the decision will be guide
By money and we know what EPE will do for money
Do they ever care about what he real fans want?
We all know the answer,
I saw them a coupled years ago in Toronto,Ontario ,Canada
And it was unbelievable to see.
I hope they will comeback again in Canada (the REAL TCB BAND)
Please EPE listen to us this time.

From: Martin & Liz Betts (Cambridge U.K.)
I am so pleased you have written this article and i couldn't agree with you more !!!
We have seen this show 8 times now and every time it just gets better & better, the feeling and emotion you get at these concerts are second to none !! you only have to listen to ELVIS singing Bridge Over Troubled Water or My Way with the power of the Orchestra , TCB Band, Imperials and the Sweets to be transported back in time to what i can only imagine it was like to see the KING Live ! the complete sound can only be described as Magnificent and it makes me emotional every single time.
It just would not be the same without the original members for as long as they can continue to do this fantastic show, all of us fans relate to them and have the utmost respect for their time with ELVIS and hold them very dear to our hearts.
If this is becoming purely about the money !! then shame on EPE !!!!!
This show is what the fans want to see so lets all join together and keep this show coming back for as long as it is possible.
I for one will support it for as long as i can !!
Long Live The KING !
Keep Rockin (TCB)

From: NSandynrs
yes i do think you should keep this with all my heart

From: Brian Quinn.
Excellent review of the Copenhagen concert. Regarding TheTCB Band / Sweet Inspirations /Imperials/ Stamps etc., stepping down is a difficult one. If you had asked me this prior to the current tour I would have said yes they should. However, the current tour proves that they can still 'cut the mustard' and the production and sound have now been perfected. What we do not want is for the same to happen to the cast as what happened to Elvis at the end. He also wanted to keep going believing he was in good health. Local promoters will be very wary of booking this concert due to the age of the musicians. It could be a financial disaster for them should someone like James Burton, Ronnie Tutt or Glen Hardin suddenly not be availabe for the tour, especially after tickets had gone on sale.
The other issue to bear in mind is the cost of such a tour and the amount of people likely to turn out in future. This concert has been to the UK some seven times now since 1999 and it may be that the days of playing large stadiums is coming to an end. The footage remains mainly the same and one cannot expect people to keep coming back year after year (I would of course!). It would make sense for it to play smaller venues of around 4-5,000 people and maybe have limited runs similar to those at Radio City in New York and at The Las Vegas Hilton. In this way the original band/singers would find it easier than travelling from country to country on a regular basis. I also feel that the concert should go to other countries e.g. Russia, India, Spain, Italy, Hong Kong etc., so that loyal fans can get their chance to witness it. Of course that also raises difficulties due to political unrest and stability.
Difficult decisions for EPE and Stig Edgren but for the moment my vote goes to keeping the originals whilst they are still capable of putting on the show I recently saw in London.
Personally, I feel that 'Elvis In Concert' is THE jewell in the crown of EPE and nothing can top it. It would be a tragedy for it to end in whatever form it takes.



From: christine.murdock
I still firmly believe that the TCB band are a very important factor to the Elvis in concert show! When they are finished touring it will certainly be the last show i will attend. The magic will have gone completely. When it happens, I will resort to watching Elvis again on dvd in the comfort of my living room, with forty pounds saved in my pocket. I would not pay for anonymous musicians, no matter how good they were, that didnt share the magic with the KING on stage when he was still with us. SORRY E.P.E. Time for another genius idea to plan for us fans until that day comes!!
From: Thomas Melin, Sweden
Concerning the future of the "live on screen" show I think it would be best if they continued the way they do now. I can see the use of young musicians in 10-20 years time, but right now the band is cooking so please continue the way it is!

From:MobileTxt
I've been an Elvis fan since the 68 special . Never saw Elvis live shame! But got tickets to see Elvis in concert at the 02 London with a friend not an Elvis fan but wanted to come and see it with me . I went because of the live group being some of Elvis originals. Totally blew me away and my friend it was fantastic. Getting to the point I wouldn't buy tickets to see it done with a younger band or impersonator the real thing is for me . Keep rocking T.C.B. Band and rest of Elvis stage groups . Love you Elvis


From: Mariusz Ogiegło (Poland)
Elvis Presley In Concert" without original singers and musicians is not this same show. When I first time saw this great show I was twenty six year (it was in 2010 in Frankfurt, Germany). For me it was beautiful emotion. I can saw and heard peoples about I only read in books and FC magazines. I never saw Elvis’ original concert – I’m too Young. By show „Elvis Presley In Concert" my dream came true.
I know many Young Elvis’ fans who think and feel this same. Now show „Elvis Presley In Concert" is with unique opportunity for surviving of the substitute feelings fans from 70’s.
Phenomenon of „Elvis Presley In Concert" or „Elvis Original Elvis Tribute Show" is that fans can met, heard and talk with people who knew and worked with Elvis. Concert with original band is part of history of music. It’s amazing.
In my opinion, show with Young musicians will be not attractive or not so much attractive.


From: Gerard, Scotland
This show must continue in its current form for as long as possible. Again epe you disgusted me. 1st holding an IMP fest every august then selling crap like elvis potato heads... but THIS SHOW is something to behold. And I tell you now, it wont fill any of the arenas without members of the tcb band. Sure am there to see elvis, but the tcb band make the magic come alive.
Im not going to waste my time nor money for people who never worked with elvis, when you have they original guys there willing to play.


From: Patrik Ahlgren
Well-written with a serious message: Elvis lives on, let the band keep playing!


From: briget martin
Right ok wonderful review Arjan and 100% spot on.
We attended 4 of the UK shows unlike 2010 when we made 8 of them. The only thing that stopped us travelling further and attending all was time and work.
I could sit and watch this wonderful, unbelievable, unique, amazing, powerful and emotional concert forever and Stig 'you da man' for bringing it back to us ;-). This years concert was sensational, powerful, hit the spot and the cast and wonderful orchestra were hot!! They filled the majority of venues and every venue the atmosphere was exciting and electrifying. However I have to say that 2010 proved to be more of a 'full house' at all venues and although not quite matching this time in some of the venues in 2012 I put that down to bad publicity not lack of interest. I noticed this time even though the tickets started online in 2010 very little was done to put it out in public advertising. In 2010 I noticed it more in the local papers under the entertainment sections, the odd time on T.V plus on the radio. Result = not an empty seat in any of the UK venues we went to back then.

I feel this time round it was poorly promoted. Only the week before the MEN Arena in Manchester did I hear it frequently mentioned on Smooth FM. That didn't do the concert attendance any good. It meant most of the plugging was done via the internet and although most people are using the internet now it has to be remembered that others don't and rely on papers, radio, tv for 'whose coming to town'.The promoters should have worked better and harder. With all of the rumours that this could be the last I can't help but feel that it was on purpose as a way and means to pull the curtain and support any plan to do so!!! Yes there is a recession and let's not blame that. You can see a full attendance at a big football match still, we have a big race coming soon and it's estimated that it will have the biggest attendance so if things are done properly then there's folk out there who want to know. I spoke to Elvis fans about going to the show and they didn't even know about it and had to jump on line last minute. Look at it this way for any empty seat could that seat have been filled by someone who doesn't use the internet but did see it advertised? So some 'butts' needs a hefty size 12 here I think.

I have spoken to band members re it being the last time saying to myself 'please say no' and these wonderful musicians can't even say yes or no to the question. They don't know it's like as if they are not communicated with properly. Yes the cast are older aren't we all! but they play like they did 30yrs ago. Yes sadly we have lost some too. Myrna Smith from The Sweet Inspirations what gives promoters the right not to bring Portia and Estelle to the stage because Myrna is no longer there. Myrna would want the show to go on and Estelle and Portia miss the fans and the Elvis world. The Sweet Inspirations were sensational this year standing along side of these incredible musicians. Joe Guercio, Elvis Imperials, Ron Fuer all perfect and enjoying every minute of it all. These people are the backbone of EP's shows and perform with him as if they are still on his payroll, with a loyalty for their boss, with respect for his legacy and keeping his music alive, keeping the show to the way EP would have wanted it and any changes introduced not done by them if they knew he wouldn't have wanted it. A few changes were added this time round and they met with great approval from the audience.

To me I feel the musicians and cast need to be treated with a bit more respect. Are they getting a say in all of this, are they being asked, do the powers that be even give a monkeys?. These people are world class musicians and performers they were so before Elvis, with Elvis and since Elvis they are not two bit 'has beens' and are still more than capable of running rings round many. Any ideas carrying the tag 'trying to teach your granny how to suck eggs' isn't on. They should be the ones who decide when its over and it should only be over when they want it to be not be told 'it's over'. You can't replace these people when they still want to be on the stage with the screen show. The only change I would make and I appreciate that there may be reasons for it not happening, is to do it on less of a tight schedule instead of bang bang bang one show after another giving our heroes a day or so off. Gives us fans travelling with them a rest as that's hard work too :-)

You know what runs through my mind now is I for one would never sit and watch this with other musicians on that stage as I'm sure many wouldn't. I'd sit and watch a dvd of it all at home. Watching how it should be. Again when they say themselves they have had enough then that is their decision but any thought of being replaced is sacrilege.
We need to support these wonderful musicians and the concert tour and ensure that they remain on that stage for as long as they wish to do so. After this years concert they should be
.


From: don cooper
If E.P.E. decides to retire the TCB Band and replace them with a new one they could still have them come on the shows playing and talking to the fans until they were ready to retire. That way EP.E. could make the transition for both the TCB Band and the fans easier. I like many fans would like to see the TCB Band go on forever but we know that isn't going to happen. We owe the TCB Band our love and respect because they've sacrificed to make us happy for many decades. ELVIS played with the best in the business and the TCB Band are the best.
Thanks TCB Band


From: Frans Visser
I saw the show in Antwerp and would like this show WITH the TCB Band to continue !


From: dasm
Yes.....they were the origins...they know how Elvis wanted it...it is suppose to be a tribute, how is it a tribute with people who didn't know or understand the great man that Elvis was and still is in spirit. They not only played the music well but they were his good friends...the stories they could add and the fans would want to hear....It surely would be a shame if EPE replaced them...they need to remember that for Elvis it wasn't the money as much as it was for his fans and the relationship he had/has with us. Don't put Elvis with a bunch of strangers...he wanted to be surrounded by people he loved and trusted. Thanks for listening!


From: Sarper
Yes I think it must continue with TCB. But with some changes. Such as they must have a rhytm guitar in the orchestra to have more powerful sound. Especially Hound dog, All Shook Up, etc are really sound poor with only lead guitar. Also JB must change the tune of his guitar. He sounds like a country music guitarist. Even in 1977 Elvis did not use this kind of guitar sound.


From: Lon Roberts
I saw the original 1997 Elvis The Concert via Video Technology at the Mid South Coliseum in Memphis. I also saw the August 2001 concert in Memphis. Like most fans I own the 25th anniversary show on DVD and have watched it several times, and I have several "bootleg" audio CDS of various shows over the years. I really enjoyed both live shows I attended and felt like I was actually living in Elvis on Tour instead of just watching it. It was great and truly is the closest thing to seeing Elvis live in concert. I don't think the new show would be better than the current show with the original players and singers. Part of the appeal of the current show is the same players that were with Elvis. However, it is possible that the new show may be able to tour and play smaller U.S. venues which would be good. Perhaps it could play the same smaller venues that Elvis Lives recently played. I saw that show in Atlanta and truly enjoyed it. It was a class-act show.
So in short, I think the new show can be complimentary show and would be a lot of fun but I don't see it playing the bigger venues or being on the level of the current show with the original players.


From: Patrick Hughes. Montreal
Yes the TCB band is still important to the "Elvis in Concert" show. I find it insulting that EPE wants to replace them with unknown musicians in order to save money. If the TCB want to continue as long as they can, why not let them??? It is obvious from this current tour, that James Burton, Ronnie Tutt, and the rest of the band can still perform at a high level, and this makes the show magic, what kind of magic will the show have with unknowns to save a lousy buck???Of course one day, the TCB band will have to be replaced, and that is normal, they aren’t getting any younger! But while they still can, why not leave them continue??? Over money??? EPE has become over the years a really sad state of affairs, and if they push through with this new idea, they will add insult to injury, to the Elvis fans, and to the long time devotees of this show. Please leave the TCB in place!!!


What do you think?
Do you feel that EPE should keep this show as is with the original musicians, or should they give the new concept with anonymous players a try?
We’d love to hear your feedback on this matter.

Click HERE and send us YOUR FEEDBACK which we will add to this article and send to EPE.

 


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