On Fire!

On Fire! (front)Recorded Live at The Notre Dame ACC South Bend, IN.
October 20, 1976

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On Fire! (back)So you are getting a Complete Package here with this purchase. This high quality download allows you to play on your Android, iPhone, iPod, MP3 Player, Sonos, home stereo, computer, or any electronic device. Plus you also get all the Album Artwork and never-before-seen photos taken of Elvis at this concert in high definition quality.

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01        Also Sprach Zarathustra
02        See See Rider
03        I Got A Woman/Amen
04        Love Me
05        If You Love Me
06        You Gave Me A Mountain
07        Jailhouse Rock
08        Help Me
09        All Shook Up
10        Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
11        And I Love You So
12        Fever
13        Steamroller Blues
14        Band Introductions
15        Early Morning Rain
16        What'd I Say
17        Johnny B. Goode
18        Drum solo
19        Bass solo
20        Piano solo
21        Love Letters
22        School Days
23        Hurt (w/reprise)
24        Hound Dog
25        Funny How Time Slips Away
26        Little Darlin'
27        Can't Help Falling In Love
28        Closing Vamp



The shows Elvis gave during this period are all quite stabile and good, though not very entertaining. I think I prefer a show from Summer 1976 to these autumn 1976 gigs. Even though one could say that Elvis was more focused and professional during October 1976, some of the humor from Summer 1976 is gone. Elvis had reduced his weight with several pounds, and perhaps his slimming affected the general mood?

To the content. 'See See Rider' is quite lackluster. The versions during summer 1976 and even 1977 are better in my point of view. On 'If You Love Me' I get the feeling that the tape runs a bit to slow. I have never heard such a slow rendition of this song before. Otherwise, it is a nice performance. The same could be said about 'Help Me'.

'And I Love You So' is as solid as usual. It is a fine concert tune. This definitely applies for 'Fever' and also 'Steamroller Blues. Both good versions.

The introduction of the band offers little. 'Love Letters' is a so-so delivery. Of all the live versions I have heard of this song, only a few are performed at the correct tempo. I believe that David Briggs could be responsible for this. Even in 1966, when Elvis first recorded this song in the studio, they had problems finding the correct tempo.

'Hurt' gets a reprised ending. This is a powerful version - as common - but not outstanding. 'Funny How Time Slips Away' was by now less and less performed. Today Elvis finds it appropriate to include it, however.

'Little Darling' is a nice addition to the set. Elvis performed this one quite often during Summer 1975. Less regular in 1976, but here in Notre Dame University Elvis gets a request for it. It doesn't require more!

Elvis gave a total of 3 shows in South Bend . 2 in 1974 and this one. A different Elvis Presley appeared in South Bend on September 30, 1974. The South Bend Tribune reported that Elvis liked the area. And, that is very evident from the genesis of his performance on that Monday night, as he states after See See Rider, "I would like to thank Notre Dame. It is a pleasure. Thank you." That concert depicts a motivated, caring Elvis Presley, who perhaps is in the best rich, deep and smooth voice of his entire career. For 75 minutes, Elvis whales and moans, shouts and sighs some of his greatest tunes, eventually bringing many to near tears during his mind-boggling version of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' Without hesitation, I would go out on a limb by saying that this is Elvis' best concert of that tour, if not of 1974 altogether.

The October 1976 tour depicted a much slimmer Elvis Presley - perhaps even thinner than his 1974 appearances - giving one the impression that he did care again, even with the personal trials and tribulations he was battling. And, for the first time in months, he even wore a new suit, the "White Flame Suit". But, Elvis' mood was much different or should I say "indifferent" this time around. Yes, on October 20, 1976, a completely different Elvis than the one that gave a brilliant performance two years earlier took the stage.

From the opening number, one can conclude that Elvis is in extremely weak voice, prompting one to inquire why he was even on stage. Only once does he deviate from the norm by going out of his way to give "the little girl" a scarf after a mediocre version of 'Help Me' - to everyone's approval, by the way. Only once does he push himself during this concert - yes, just once. It only lasts for about 20 seconds during the performance of his latest record, 'Hurt.' His version of 'Hound Dog' would have to rank in the top 5 worst versions ever and 'Little Darlin'' is a throw away from the opening bars. 'Steamroller Blues' is extremely disappointing, sung without any sort of passion at all. Perhaps most appalling is the fact that Elvis never gave any closing remarks before his signature finish 'Can't Help Falling In Love.' He went straight from 'Little Darlin'' to 'Can't Help Falling In Love' without saying one word to the 12,000 packing the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center . Nothing, not "Thank you for coming ladies and gentlemen. Until we meet you again, I bid you an affectionate adios" , nothing! Except for a faint "Take it easy". That's it!

Perhaps. However, it provides a good illustration of Elvis' mood that night - very quiet, subdued and unmotivated. Well, after saying that, you will still love this CD. Especially, if you were at the concert!


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