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Elvis Presley - Elvis Lives DVD

2007-02-13 12:00
As far as Elvis himself goes, his performance is an interesting window into a bygone era of Vegas-style stagecraft. There are no choreographed dance-numbers, but a there’s a confident, bemused stage presence that reveals a level of showmanship few modern divas share.

Problem is, the performance isn’t really happening. Or rather, it happened about thirty years ago, to different people, in a different time. More importantly, Elvis wasn’t dead. Being dead can put an eerie edge on a “live performance” with your “original band”.

Technically, the project is an achievement. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of his death, some hotshots decided to gather some old concert footage of the jumpsuit-era Elvis, “lift” vocal tracks off the footage, get his original touring band together, and stick them on the stage with giant projections of the King singing his classics, while the band plays live.

It’s like watching a silent movie with a live piano player. The images on the screen remain far more interesting than that journeyman-like band and singers live on stage. Sound as their performances are, there’s an odd disconnect when they’re playing music behind a deceased guy on a giant video screen. It’s a strangely empty stage in front of the band, and there’s something even odder about reliving a 30 year-old experience minus the reason you’re there.

Listening to some of the key personnel chat on the bonus material, there’s obviously a lot of reverence for the man, the project and the legacy. And if there’s a performance highlight, it has to be “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling” which includes a classic Elvis chirp on the line ”Baby, I’ll get down on my knees for you” . Elvis slowly drops to his haunches, upon which he yells: “If this suit weren’t too tight!”

It’s Elvis as far as the rest is concerned. Except it isn’t really. It’s Elvis being retrofitted to sell concert tickets. You’d be much better off just viewing the 68 Comeback Special (now also available on DVD) with a real-live Elvis in attendance.

Thangyou. Thangyouverymush

- Anton Marshall
A live concert featuring the original touring band and… Elvis Presley’s ghost?


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