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On December 29, 1976, after offering his surprising recital in Dallas, Elvis appeared at the Birmingham Coliseum in Birmingham, Alabama. And once again he gives the public a performance remarkable for its energy, without reaching the dangerous voltage of the night of the 28th.

If the Dallas concert was dominated by a strong intensity maintained over time, the Birmingham concert surprises with several specific moments in the that Elvis shines, bypassing the self-imposed protocol and the mechanical tone of some of his performances at that time that was marked by illness and sadness.

In the final stretch of the concert, the king surprised his audience and even his own musicians with unexpected and intimate readings of “For The Good Times” and “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” (rare in the repertoire of that season). ). In the first we hear how the musicians interpret the piece timidly, Elvis’s request catches them off guard and the king has to encourage them to play properly. In “The First Time…” something similar happens. The king varies the tempo of the piece and the cadence of his phrases, he sings in a solemn and calm tone; At one point, Presley asks the band to leave him and David Briggs alone to create a moment of great beauty, with an almost recited vocal performance, backed by minimalist, dreamlike piano phrases.

It gives the impression that at that moment he was performing for himself and his musicians, by magic the venue is transformed into one of the Graceland rooms in which Elvis loses himself in music for pleasure and for health, and the crowd is reduced to the group of friends who accompany him in those glorious private jam sessions. Another triumph of art over death.

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