Review: Elvis: The Wonder of You – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne (Performances to 10th June)

  • Kara Bertoncini
  • June 8, 2017
  • Comments Off on Review: Elvis: The Wonder of You – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne (Performances to 10th June)

Elvis Presley is the OG hunk of burning love, and last night’s Melbourne performance of Elvis – The Wonder of You was the closest thing anyone would ever get to seeing the man himself live. Last week I interviewed Elvis’s best friend Jerry Schilling who emcees the show, and something he said really stood out to me. He said that this show would be a very musical and personal experience with the King of Rock ‘n Roll. I was a little bit sceptical about that but no joke, I could not stop smiling. My heart was so full as the orchestra, led by the renowned Chong Lim, played hit after hit with vision of the King above them on the big screens.

It was such a surreal experience at the same time because while you know Elvis isn’t there, you can just imagine what he would have been like. Having the vision of him from various concerts he performed at showed me just how engaging he is as a showman. Elvis was a man of his fans and it was evident how much love he had for them, so much so that he would actually kiss some of them on the lips. Imagine that? Being kissed by Elvis. What a smooth operator!

One thing that this concert showed me was how invested Elvis was whenever he was on stage. He embodied the music like no other, and his subtle physicalities which became his signature movements were such a tease. I was experiencing the man himself on a big screen with my best friend sitting next to me and all I could think was, if only he were here in the flesh. His energy is palpable and it would fill an arena, but last night the energy was flat. The large orchestra was stunning but amazingly, Lim in a way followed Elvis’s cues. That is why he is the King; he commands not only the attention of the fans but also the band he is playing with.

Photo by Chris Pavlich

The tour is a celebration of his early albums The Wonder of You and If I Can Dream. Act 1 is filled with his more tender love ballads, while Act 2 has his pulsating rock ‘n roll hits. Sadly, there were a few cringe-worthy moments during the show, which I would much rather do without, including the countless times they let Elvis’s audio stay on for his famous “Thank you very much!” Let’s hear it maybe once or twice, not after every song. And while Schilling only came on a few times to share some stories, it was almost a little bit self indulgent. Oh, and the karaoke at the start! Please no. No one was singing so let’s just leave it to the professionals shall we. These facts didn’t deter my feelings towards the show, they were just standouts for the wrong reason.

I noticed something about Elvis I never had before during this concert. When he smiles, he smiles with his eyes and you feel the warmth coming from it. I can only imagine what it would have been like to be a screaming fan back in the 50s and 60s. A tour like this is so important for music lovers to see how an icon can still make waves in the 21st century. Elvis Presley and his music will live on forever.

There are two more performances left in Melbourne; tonight and tomorrow night. For tickets and more info, head HERE.

The reviewer attended the show on June 8th at Margaret Court Arena.

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