Fans rarely - if ever - rush the stage at a Cattanooga Symphony concert, but Saturday's "Elvis Show" at the Tivoli Theatre brought dozens down to the foot-lights.
In the first pops concert of the season, Elvis Presley impersonator Elvis Wade swiveled his hips, curled his lip and gave the sell-out crowd a royal re-creation of the King.
He certainly has the flair for performance. In a form-fitting white jumpsuit - with a book-size belt buckle, exposed chest and fringed "bat wing" sleeves - Mr. Wade re-created the circa '70s look most associated with Elvis.
His voice was splendid. Boasting a four-octave range, Mr. Wade easily sampled three decades of Presley hits, from "C.C. Rider" to "Suspicious Minds".
He made it to the fouth song, "Teddy Bear" before a young girl emerged from the audience to request the scarf around his neck. After that, every time Mr. Wade put on another scarf, fans lined up to get it.
Mr. Wade rocked with his own band of four supreme musicians, while seven backup singers - including his wife, Sand Posey - provided harmonies.
The only drawback of the evening was that the rock band was occasionally too loud for the orchestra. But that happened infrequently and the score soared to allow the orchestra to reach its own maximum volume by the end of a song.
Because of Presley's wide appeal, "The Elvis Show" probably drew a broader demographic to the symphony. The audience was a mix of young and old, women in furs, men in cowboy hats.
Conductor Robert Bernhardt used the oportunity to full advantage, trading jibes with Mr. Wade, rocking to the beat and banishing any first-timers' misconceptions that the symphony is stodgy.
Though the symphony took a back seat to "The Elvis Show", the orchestra commanded the spot-light at the beginning of the evening, playing serveral selections from "West Side Story". The exquisite sound was matched only by the pleasure of watching them play. Poetry in motion.
Ultimately, though, the show belonged to the talented Mr. Wade. From the "2001: A Space Odyssey" opening fanfare to the "Burning Love" encore, "The Elvis Show" delivered a tribute worthy of the King of Rock 'n' Roll.