Last weekend, he performed his Love Me Tender shows at the Royal Canadian Legion. And I’m told the ladies – and men – have just about recovered from his engaging, energetic, electrifying show.
Using his own vocals and a soundtrack (usually Elliott’s wife “takes care of business” in this department but she couldn’t make this trip), the award-winning Chilliwack artist broke out in a sweat delivering dozens of Elvis Presley hits.
I have seen Elliott perform before and I’ve come to know he is dedicated to fans and respectful of the king of rock ‘n’ roll.
On Saturday, he came on stage in jacket and “earlier Elvis” loafers and, after the intermission he appeared during a dramatic drum-roll entrance in his “Live in Las Vegas” jumpsuit.
Elliott has a natural ease with the audience, honed over a decade as a tribute artist. He takes and fulfills requests and knows hundreds of songs by heart. He acknowledges people’s birthdays and anniversaries – on Saturday he led us in Happy Birthday song for a senior. He complimented two couples on their dance moves.
Because it was a Valentine’s Day concert, he sang lots of love songs recorded by Elvis – for me the best of the night was Can’t Help Falling in Love – as well as a few Roy Orbison and Neil Diamond numbers.
And he had the crowd in a frenzy with a lovely and long-g-g Sweet Caroline.
Then to my utter surprise and delight, he also gave us an absolutely heart pounding rendition of Sea of Love (a hit by The Honeydrippers and Del Shannon) and one of my all-time favourites, a song I haven’t heard for many years.
At one point, a woman appeared in front of the stage and asked Elliott for the yellow chiffon scarf he had tucked in the neck of his heavily sequined white jumpsuit (a signature Elvis move was giving out scarves during his Las Vegas performances).
Elliott gracefully declined, saying:
“It’s my last one… and I’ll get cold (he laughs) – but I will give it to you at the end of the show, I promise.”
He kept his promise.
After the final number, he quietly sought out the elderly woman in the crowd and gifted her the scarf. That is the kind of charm that Elliott exudes and that’s one reason why his fan base in Prince George continues to grow. The other, of course, is his talent.
He’s performed at the Legion before (he also does shows at Treasure Cove Casino lounge and PG Playhouse) so he knows the dance crowd and what kind of music they like.
He may be a tribute artist, but his own multi-range vocals are truly outstanding and, as proof of that, he brought along for fans his latest CD which has 20 tracks on it.
During the show, Elliott joked about knowing he would not be able to “leave the building alive” if he did not comply with all the song requests. He said he wanted to make sure people got their $25 worth. Near the end of the nearly three-hour show, he said he figured he was at $27.50 with only a couple of requests to go. I got worried. He still hadn’t sung one of my ‘Elvis bests’ – In the Ghetto. As if reading my mind (or my request slip), Elliott leaned into the microphone:
“Now I want to do a few gospel songs from Elvis who just loved gospel music – and I’m going to lead into that with In The Ghetto.”
He aced it.
Perfect pitch and he held all the high notes.
After the show, I tell Elliott I’m writing a review for the Free Press. He gives me his crooked “Elvis” smile and quips, “Well, please Don’t Be Cruel, OK?”
Well, it was a night. It really was, Such a Night.