Captivated by ‘The King’ in Beaver Creek |

Captivated by ‘The King’ in Beaver Creek

Kris Sabel
Director's Chair
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily

Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.

The show I am featuring this week is our Monday performance, “Blues Suede Shoes: The Ultimate Elvis Tribute.” It has been interesting to watch the proliferation of tribute shows over the last few years. You can hire tribute bands for almost any famous band. And not just one, but multiple groups have formed tribute bands for artists like Johnny Cash, Journey, The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffet and countless others.

I am always cautious when considering bringing a tribute band to the Vilar. In part because we pride ourselves on being able to bring artists that you are unlikely to see at many other 500-seat venues and, partly because we are always concerned about quality. But the reality is there are some bands that will never play the Vilar, either because they are deceased, no longer together as a band or in some cases, they are just too big for the financial realities of a 500-seat venue.

With this in mind we are really pleased to be able to present “Blues Suede Shoes: The Ultimate Elvis Tribute” featuring Scot Bruce as the early Elvis of the late ’50s and early ’60s and Mike Albert as the later Elvis from his Vegas days. They are widely considered the premier Elvis impersonators of our time. Bruce’s Elvis act is revered all over the world. Albert has been featured on Oprah Winfrey and Inside Edition and often appears with Elvis’ original group, the Jordanaires. These gentlemen are as close to the real deal as you can get and we are confident in their ability to deliver an evening of wonderful entertainment.

Elvis Presley was undoubtedly one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. He is a cultural Icon whose legacy has continued to grow in the 30 plus years since his death. Known by a single name, Elvis is often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” or simply “The King.” There are a staggering number of Elvis impersonators and tribute acts out there, and having done some research I can say a lot of them are quite good, and some are downright awful.

Presley was one of the originators of the rockabilly sound, his passionate singing and uninhibited moves while performing made him an instant star with the teenage audience and he had girls swooning and screaming throughout his shows. Scot Bruce brings us this early Elvis in the first half of the show.

In the late ’60s after spending most of the decade in Hollywood making films and after a seven year absence from the stage, Presley returned to perform live with a celebrated comeback television special that led to an extended run in Las Vegas. Albert gives us this Elvis in the second half of the show at the Vilar Center. Albert has been honing his skills for some time and he has the voice and the nuance to present Elvis at his most successful and at times most vulnerable stage of his life. Albert played the Vilar Center a number of years ago and he had the audience in awe. Going out into the crowd and singing to all of the ladies in the audience, while placing his scarves around their necks. He captivated everyone.

I hope you can join us for our tribute to “The King” it promises to bring back memories of a great performer and a special time in the history of American music.

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