Sunday, February 21, 2010

Postcard from the arena

Elvis, the ultimate showman, is still wowing the crowds.  Many of the musicians playing in Birmingham this weekend were members of Elvis's original band, but obviously centre stage was bare.  The star of the show made his appearance via archive footage from the early seventies and even in 2D his charisma filled the arena.  The fact that the projection of him is about 4 times the size of the figures on stage helps I suppose.

No one in the band even tries to outperform him; they just stick to what they do best: playing great music.  Several audience members had a go though.  Sales of quiff wigs must have shot up last week.  Eager to join in with the experience of the many girls the footage showed Elvis bending from the stage to kiss, one woman yelled out in a brief quiet spot 'I luv yow, El-vees!'  The man himself may never have toured the West Midlands in his lifetime, but he was made welcome here last night.

I normally hate gigs in huge venues because the distance from the band destroys the atmosphere.  So a show which makes a virtue of the fact you have to watch events on the video screens is an interesting alternative.  Of course, it takes a performer of Elvis's star quality to pull it off.  No need for a phone vote to tell Elvis he's got the X factor; the fact he's still packing arenas more than 30 years after his death says it all.

8 comments:

Lexi said...

So do they play Elvis's voice? If not, who sings?

I remember reading somewhere that, of contemporary stars, only Elvis and Marlon Brando had classical Greek features. And it's true, if you look beyond the 50s trappings.

postcardsfromk said...

Hi Lexi
sorry, I wasn't clear was I? Yes, it is Elvis's voice taken from the concert recordings in the film with the music stripped out and played live.

And Elvis in his prime was very good looking,as well as a great singer. What does 'classical Greek' mean though? Did they define a perfect face, or were they all handsome back then?

K

Lexi said...

I mean the faces you see on Greek statues of the classical period - my favourite sculpture - which all conform to the ideal of the time.

They probably did define it mathematically according to the golden mean (she bluffs).

postcardsfromk said...

I can imagine groups of Greek intellectuals debating the exact balances of proportion, symmety, hair colour, etc which made up beauty - it's exactly the kind of thing they'd have talked about at the pub (until they got round to inventing sports).

Perfect faces and bodies are all very well, but what sets the likes of Elvis and Brando apart is the fact they had character and talent too. And those are probably more important, don't you think? It's the only thing that lets us gloss over Elvis's later career...

Lexi said...

For a statue, looks are all :o)

Timberati said...

I think I prefer the younger jeans-wearing pre-sequined Elvis while leaving the discussion Greek looks to you.

altguy3 said...

Actually, I find all this quite reassuring. It means I can continue to publish long after my demise. Who knows, maybe that’s when I’ll do my best work.

Maybe you’ll get the occasional posthumous letter too!

G.

postcardsfromk said...

Hi Norm - I have a soft spot for GI Elvis. The jumpsuits were a strange fashion choice...

Hi Guy - the problem with your theory is that Elvis did his best work well before he died. So if you could keep that model in mind we'll all be happy. Nothing to stop your books continuing to sell when you're gone, but please continue to write them now!
K