Lisa Marie Presley

House of Blues

June 29, 2005

BY JEREMY D. CAMPBELL



I assume the reason I never heard anyone criticize Lisa Marie Presley’s albums was because no one had the chutzpah to knock the daughter of Elvis.

When she took the House of Blues stage wearing a neon yellow Rainbow Brite t-shirt on a steamy summer New Orleans’ night, I expected to see a mediocre stage show no one would have the balls to criticize for the same reason. But, after a couple of songs, and a convincing “It's good to be back in New Orleans,” I realized no one knocks Lisa Marie’s live show because she has a spell-casting voice and stage presence that lures you in.

When Lisa Marie enters the building, Lisa Marie owns the stage.

Anyone who yearns for self-expression can understand her blessing and her curse. She seemed to be working so hard at proving that she's more than an iconic last name. With a voice as sultry as the heat rising outside the venue, Lisa Marie mesmerized the crowd as she sang of loving, leaving, and what she knows best…living.

One fan chatted with me about seeing her father play. Thirty years later she was at this show for Elvis, but also for Lisa Marie. And that sums up the surprise of hearing her play live. At first I saw a talented performer fight to hold her ground beneath the shadow of a king. Five songs later I was so enchanted that I wanted to buy her a drink and tell her she was amazing.

Maybe this allure is why her love life stays in the tabloids. It's certainly reflected in the lyrics she writes. As Lisa Marie shares songs born from experiences in "a screwed up relationship(she) stayed in even though(she) knew it wouldn’t work," you can't help wondering if it was Nic Cage or Wacko Jacko who made her declare, "I’m hard to handle I suppose!"

Lisa Marie closed the show with a knowing, "Let's see if this song can get played on the radio." She accepted the scrutiny of being the world’s most famous rock n’ roll daughter. Leaving the show there was no doubt Lisa Marie wasn't singing for money or fame(how could she want more of either?). She was at the House of Blues because talent is in her blood, and on-stage is where she belongs.


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