Engelbert Humperdinck with Elvis PresleyEXPAND
Engelbert Humperdinck with Elvis Presley
Courtesy of Engelbert Humperdinck

The Best Gig I Ever Saw: Engelbert Humperdinck

"The Best Gig I Ever Saw" is a weekly column that will see us ask a musician to chat about their favorite concert thus far. This week, it's Engelbert Humperdinck, currently on tour.

It’s been nearly 50 years since I saw the best gig of my lifetime... and that’s a lot of years! Elvis at the Hilton in Las Vegas was the show I will never forget and that influenced my soul as a performer. As soon as the signature intro began, it was like being transported to another world. The anticipation of him walking onstage was electric. Last-minute big shots and their girlfriends handed maître d's thick tips to get close.

His show was so polished and took you on a journey that made you laugh and cry. He was filled with humility and charisma and tongue-in-cheek humor. It was a total roller coaster.  The audience was just as exhausted as he was by the end of the show.

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Backstage, Roy Orbison and I — both quiet and shy — waited with our guests for Elvis’ second entrance ... this time to greet us. He bumped his head and said, “I never could figure out how to get out of that door." That was a pretty good icebreaker. Elvis was concerned as he sat down to chat. “Did I introduce you OK?" Ha! I was in awe and he was worried about my intro. I wish I’d had an iPhone!

My second best gig was when Elvis came to see my show — a great story for another time ... another place!

Engelbert Humperdinck plays at 8 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 17, at the Saban Theater.


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