The Untold Truth Of Elvis' Last Show

It wasn't supposed to be Elvis' final concert. The singer was only 42 years old, and was scheduled to go on tour again shortly after his untimely passing. But a lifetime of fried peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwiches, accompanied by a decades-long cocktail of narcotics, brought the King's career to an unexpected end with his tragic death.

The last live show that Presley ever performed occurred in 1977. The day was June 26th, a date that kept popping up in Elvis history. It was Colonel Tom Parker's birthday, as far as anyone can tell — the guy was sketchy like an A-ha music video. According to Rolling Stone, Elvis was first called to the Sun Records office on June 26th, 1954. Three years to the day after that, he spent his first night at Graceland. On June 26th, 1979, Elvis' father died of heart failure. Coincidence? Yeah, probably, but don't let that stop your inner conspiracy theorist from itching like a man in a fuzzy tree.

Elvis was on the tail end of an arduous nine day tour. His last concert would be performed for a packed crowd at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. Nearly 18,000 people attended, per the Indiana Historical Bureau.

The King's final decree

Critical reception for Elvis' final show was decidedly mixed. On the negative side, there was Zack Duncan's review, which called the concert "tacky and outdated," the lighting "adequate," and the extensive use of warm up acts "fluff." He claimed that announcements were made over the PA three times throughout the concert, reminding folks to check out the merch stand and even reading off price tags on available souvenirs. There were also more positive reviews, like the one in the Indianapolis Star, which spent a significant amount of time pointing out that Elvis wasn't as fat as he could have been.

Over the course of a three hour concert, Elvis himself spent just an hour and twenty minutes on stage, performing old standards as well as new numbers, including a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters." At the end of the show, Presley brought his father on stage to wave to the crowd, sang "I Can't Help Falling In Love With You," said "We'll meet you again, God bless, adios," and left the building.