“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.
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.