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Elvis Presley died in 1977 but his music lives on, and so do his concerts. Elvis Presley in Concert features a 16-piece orchestra, members of the original band, and The King himself. The show will play one night only at Radio City Music Hall on February 15. TheCelebrityCafe.com's April Chieffo spoke with Elvis's original orchestra director Joe Guercio and the concert's producer Stig Edgren about the show.
Q: How is this show different from any other concert?
A: It features Elvis Presley [and] his best concert performances on a screen, where he is singing vocals. The only sound on the screen is his vocals and the rest of the show is performances played live by some of his original band mates, an orchestra leader and a full orchestra and singers.
Q: How does this concert capture the essence of Elvis Presley?
A: It’s the closest thing you’ll ever get to seeing him live. It captures his essence by hearing the music live, you’re hearing these songs and watching him perform these great songs that he’s known for and only he can perform them. It has a tremendous amount of energy and emotional value.
Q: What is the demographic of the concert?
A: We get everything from 25 to 65 year old fans.
Q: What inspired you to bring Elvis back to the stage and perform again as a group?
A: I think his audience wanted him. It's perfect entertainment.
Q:Is this the first show?
A: No, we’ve been [doing shows] since 1997.
Q: What Elvis songs do you perform?
A: We do the most popular songs that were in his personal appearances, his audience’s favorite songs.
Q: Do you perform any previously unreleased Elvis tracks?
A: No, I think all of them have been released.
Q: After the Radio City Music Hall Show, do you plan to do more of these shows?
A: Yes, we are doing all of Europe in 2012. We played Europe last year and it was really, very successful. It’s exactly like the in-person shows Elvis used to do, with the original cast of people. The spirit is the same which is what makes it happen.
Q: How is it different playing without Elvis physically being there in person?
A: It’s like playing with Elvis because his voice is isolated. It is exactly how it used to be. Once you take a look at the screens, he’s there, he really is.
Q: Do you hope to bring new or younger fans to his music?
A: The first time we played London in 1998, people under the age of 35 made up 8-10 percent of the audience. We did London last year, and people under 35 was at 60 percent.
Q: Why do you think the younger crowd is interested in Elvis?
A: They relate to his charisma the way everybody does. There is a charisma within him that is unbelievable. He’s definitely there. This is Elvis Presley, it’s the real thing, there is nobody playing Elvis. It’s Elvis.
Q: How else do you plan to keep Elvis’ legacy alive?
A: His legacy is alive from these kinds of shows and what he has done. That is what is keeping his legacy alive. If you have never seen Elvis Presley in person, this is exactly what it was.