Elvis may have left the building, but he's still number one
UMB Pavillon, St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 11, 2002
ST. LOUIS, MO - It's not uncommon for an artist to tour in support of a new album release, but only the King can top the Billboard charts and fill large venues 25 years after his death.
It was a chilly evening in St. Louis but those who packed the UMB Pavillion (formerly Riverport Ampitheatre) enjoyed the next best thing to a live Elvis Presley concert. The core of Presley's touring band of the 70's - James Burton (lead guitar), Glen D. Hardin (piano), Jerry Scheff (bass) and Ronnie Tutt (drums) played live behind Elvis' video image and recorded vocals. The footage used came primarily from the "Aloha From Hawaii" concert and the filmed documentaries "That's the Way it Is" and "Elvis On Tour."
In an era when audiences are accustomed to large video screens at concerts the effect worked well to simulate the feel of a live Elvis performance from the opening notes of the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey" to the signature closing tune "Can't Help Falling In Love."
Though Elvis remained the focal point of the show, it is Burton who stood center stage and whose presence dominated the live performance. Some of the more electric moments of the concert were when the King cued Burton to "Play it James" in solos on such tunes as "Steamroller Blues," "Johnny B. Goode" and "The Wonder of You."
Other musical highlights included such Presley classics as "In the Ghetto," "Suspicious Minds" and "An American Trilogy."
Also on hand were Joe Guercio and his orchestra, the Sweet Inspirations and the Imperials (who replaced the Stamps after the death of legendary bass vocalist J.D. Sumner).
Though Elvis may have left the building long ago, on this evening, his fans in St. Louis were given the chance to relive a bit of the past.