Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Bridge Over Troubled Water - 9 June 1972

If it wasn't for the satellite broadcast which accompanied the two show engagement at the Honoloulu International Center in Hawaii in January 1973 and the subsequent historical significance of that event it could be argued that the four show engagement in New York was the biggest of Elvis' career.

Those four shows at Madison Square Garden over three days with every show sold out to it's 20,000 capacity and was the only time that Elvis would perform in 'The Big Apple'. That New York engagement was only the first four shows of a twelve day, fourteen show tour which would conclude on 20 June in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the Civic Assembly Center.

With Elvis in fine form throughout, the four shows had a pretty rigid setlist with just the odd song being interchanged from show to show. Only three songs were performed just once over the three shows, 'Reconsider Baby', which would be performed again in the first show after MSG in Fort Wayne, 'The Impossible Dream' at the 10 June Evening show which would the final time that Elvis would sing it live and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'.

'Bridge Over Troubled Water' was sung for the only time at MSG during the 9 June opening show and since RCA only recorded the two middle shows on 10 June we only have an audience recording of the first show. That being said it is an astonishing performance and that more than makes up for the lack of a soundboard recording.

Not only did Elvis perform the song just once at MSG he would only sing it a further three times during this fourteen show tour at Fort Wayne, Indiana on 12 June, Milwaukee, Wisconsin on 14 June and on 19 June at the Henry Levitt Arena in Wichita, Kansas. It would almost a year taking in two Las Vegas engagements and three tours including Aloha before he would perform the song again in Lake Tahoe at the Midnight Show on 6 May.

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