Segues from act to act were flawless and perfs sounded well-conceived and rehearsed. This was the smoothest Bash since the annual sell-out moved to the House of Blues three revues ago.
Most acts went for straight renditions and the straightest of the night might well have been the best. James Intveld’s rousing “If I Can Dream” captured all of the original’s passion, the backup band working from its bluesy core rather than its schmaltzy fringe and the two collectively drove the tune to a fierce apex.
On the interpretive side, the Blazers’ cool “Stuck on You” benefited greatly from accordion and acoustic guitar; guitarist Albert Lee found an improvisational launch pad in “Wear Your Ring Around My Neck” that spurred the band to some of its most inspired playing of the night.
Naturally, the evening (proceeds from which benefit Union Rescue Mission) concentrated on Presley’s ’50s recordings for Sun and RCA – the hub of rock ‘n’ roll’s childhood. And even if it’s only one night a year, Elvis Presley is celebrated as an important and integral artist rather than lambasted as a reminder of wretched excess – a most worthy notion.