This is 12/13/75 from the Las Vegas Hilton. It was the Midnight Show, and if there’s a more salubrious and enchantingly decadent phrase in the English language than “Midnight Show in Las Vegas,” then I don’t know it. It is, though, very odd to describe any show other than the Dead’s using the date.
The King’s still got his shit surprisingly together this late in the game and is in fine voice. As always, his band is one of the greatest ever assembled and puts up with him stopping and restarting songs, and making them do the endings two and three times, and just doing random pilled-up nonsense.
It doesn’t open, like all Elvis performances, with the greatest intro in musical history: the enormous band (that was actually so large it was made up of three or four smaller bands) BLASTING away at Also Sprach Zarathustra while the King assumed karate poses. No, this release opens a couple bars into C.C. Rider because–and this is not based on any reading or research, simply from a night of listening to Elvis live records–not one person in the entire TCB organization either knew or gave a shit how to put a live performance on tape. History shows that the culprit is probably the Colonel spending $35 to do it.
So, the opener was not recorded.
There was also no editing and all of Elvis’ banter with the rowdy audience is kept, even though none of it makes any sense.
True Elvisphiles will note with glee the introduction of Charlie Hodge. Enthusiasts will note that Benjy is Billy’s Charlie Hodge.