|This is not a prison...
(Review by Oven Egeland)
What seems like ages ago FTD released Tucson '76 as their first soundboard release. Later many have followed. Some thinks too many; others are eagerly waiting for the next one to arrive.
The Tucson release had to borrow two tracks from Odessa, Texas May 30 1976, to make it a full show. 'Love Letters' was taken from the evening show. It is this show that we find here on Elvis In West Texas. Another concert from 1976, another bomb dive and another extensive band introduction?
Well, this show has something significant, a rare - totally - awareness from Elvis, and it comes right after 'See See Rider'. Although Elvis was not sure whether he had been in the specific building or not, Odessa brought back memories. A small thing, but nevertheless something that sets the tune. This comment makes me like the remaining of the show.
Elvis points out that everybody should relax during the show, and not be too worried about moving around a bit. It should be fun! "This is not a prison", he says. Spot on, for paying customers at least. Elvis himself had greater problems getting out of the regime. The setlist is mostly predictable, though Elvis sings adequate most of the time. He is in good mood, and respectful towards his audience when he talks.
Personally I have reached the point where I have to skip 'You Gave Me A Mountain'. I think the last bearable version is from Houston, June 5 1975. Too much highs and lows, and too little float on these later versions.
As you understand it is a classic Elvis concert for the time. 'Help Me Make It Through The Night' is a good inclusion, although the version is short (like in Tucson). 'It's Now Or Never' is really beautiful sung, Elvis almost always sang this good. IT was his favorite!
There are lots of what sounds like digital clicks on this otherwise very good sounding soundboard. It reminds a little bit about Reidel, but that is a long time ago. Or, could it be transferred during the early 2000 era?
Given the fact the FTD has already decided to release two Huntsville shows from September 1976 in a short while, this Odessa release seems a little strange. Somehow it makes little sense in the total release scheme that we have come to learn from FTD over the years.
A pre-Christmas present, simply put..:-)
, Norway, December 2015