Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Elvis The Comeback Special

Yeah man, that's the good stuff.

Regardless of if you're an Elvis fan or not, this is a pretty damn good live performance. Said to be the special that brought Elvis' career out of the gutter, this is a mighty performance that covers all the bases of his music. You get rock and roll, folk with some fine honky tonk sound, those love ballads that make every woman clay in his hands, and we even get the most energetic and awesome gospel music I've heard since The Blues Brothers. It starts off fairly elaborate, but most of it is shot very akin to if you've ever seen The Beatles music video of Hey Jude, small stage, band close by, surrounded by people. Obviously because it was just a TV special you're not gonna get this giant stage, 4 million lumens, and more than 100,000 folks in attendance, which I think works incredibly well in it's favor. Elvis feels incredibly comfy despite the sweltering heat of being in an all black leather outfit that Rob Halford would find familiar (wristbands included), taking the mickey out of himself and joking often, never afraid to not take himself too seriously and provide entertainment to lots of people. It was a trip seeing the girls in the fashion of that time still fawn over Elvis, and I liked the fact we saw some older people there too just proving that not everyone over the age of 40 deemed him a menace. The performances are strong, playing both songs I knew and didn't know with unparalleled amounts of energy and passion that most modern musicians could only dream of having. Yeah you can say oh he's just gyrating and getting everybody all riled up, but the power of his voice and need to just move to the groove of the beat says otherwise. Hell the only other singer I've seen get that into the music is Joe Cocker, may he rest in peace, it's very difficult to sit still watching this and I do speak from personal experience good buddy. It's a lot of fun and has good variety throughout in musical performance, solo on stage, band on stage, filmed set footage with backup dancers and vocalists, essentially a musical journey through montage, it keeps your interest to see what happens in the next song. Originally only 50 minutes when broadcasted in 1968, I got my hands on a copy clocking in at 75 minutes with one particular sequence that got cut due to censors of a song sequence in a brothel. It was the 60s, we had to wait almost 15 years for The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas to be burned onto celluloid. Though it does make me wonder how much footage got cut of just women grabbing this man, cause when I say the stage is small I mean the front row could reach him in arm's length. I doubt you'd see that nowadays. There's plenty of visuals and ideas that you can trace back to this special, a live performance of a band on a small stage playing to a small group of people, well that's MTV Unplugged. Leather wristbands and a leather outfit, setting the stage for metal, I even saw some brief headbanging. Utilizing sets and backup dancers like any musical movie. Taking some time to talk and joke between songs with no pressure to keep progressing the set, something you'd see just one year later with Woodstock. The influence is felt, and they did a good job production wise bringing everything together. It might be cheating reviewing this, cause how could I not give it a 10/10 but I do strongly urge people to give it a watch and enjoy the music presented. I've had worse wastes of barely over an hour in my lifetime, and I'm happy I saw this. 4 stars, 10/10, and it's new movie time yet again coming up next.

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