by VICTORIA HENLEY
Eli Williams, an internationally acclaimed, award-winning Elvis tribute artist hailing from Canada, continues to thrill audiences from across the U.S. during his residency at the Main Event Theater in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Utilizing the theater’s charming, intimate show space to build a rapport and connection with his audience, Williams seamlessly transitions between crooning tunes from Elvis’s endless trove of top hits including “Viva Las Vegas,” “Love Me Tender,” and “Rock-A-Hula” and providing little known facts and anecdotes about Elvis’s storybook career, as well as the inspirations behind his universally recognized hits.
Throughout his tumultuous and prolific career, Elvis recorded around 700 songs, many of which skyrocketed to the top of the charts, cementing his status as one of the greatest, and most impactful, entertainers of all time.
Flawlessly executing the seemingly insurmountable feat of performing the beloved classics which cemented Elvis’s status in Rock and Roll history, Williams delivers a content-packed, high-octane performance throughout his two-hour set, paying beautiful homage to The King with pitch-perfect tone, signature swagger, and smooth, hauntingly accurate movements.
Throughout the first half of the show, Williams performs many of the hits for which Elvis became known at the inception of his career wearing the sleek, incomparably stylish, black leather jumpsuit, taking intermittent breaks to inform the audience of little-known factoids regarding some of Elvis’s often unconventional, but always undeniably catchy, lyricism.
One of Elvis’s vocal inspirations, for instance, was Mario Lanza (“It’s Now or Never” was inspired by the Italian song of the Neapolitan language, “O Sole Mio” and, indirectly, his predecessor, Enrico Caruso), and the aforementioned operatic icon’s signature vibrato and staccato can be heard in many of Elvis’ signature hits.
During the second half of the show, Williams dons the inimitable “Nudie Suit,” based on designs by the flamboyant and iconoclastic designer, Nudie Cohn, who dressed “The King” for many of his most famous world tours and concerts.
The cozy theater space allows optimal opportunity for audience interaction, and the audience members (ranging in age from children to my nearly 90-year-old grandmother: a testimony to the universally unifying power of Elvis) frequently danced in the aisles, shouted out requests, and enjoyed opportunities to dance, and take selfies, with Williams as he made his way into the crowd during several portions of the show.
Action-packed from start to finish and brimming with Elvis’s signature charm and pizzaz, this Elvis tribute is a “Must See” that will immediately transport you back to a time when the King of Rock and Roll dominated the airwaves.
A TRIBUTE TO CONWAY TWITTY, STARRING TRAVIS JAMES:
Consistently voted on Trip Advisor and numerous additional top platforms as one of the best shows in Pigeon Forge TN, A Tribute to Conway Twitty is the Main Event Theater’s longest running show, starring owner/operator and headliner, Travis James.
One of the very few Conway Twitty tribute shows in the world, this superbly performed and touching two-hour tribute show pays homage to arguably one of the most distinctive, identifiable, and inspiring voices in country music.
James, whose ardently devoted fan base frequently attends his one-man show, maintains an affable and warm stage presence, often interacting, joking, and taking photos with attendees throughout the content-packed set.
Performing Twitty’s most beloved and recognizable hits, including “Tight Fittin’ Jeans,” “I’d Love to Lay You Down,” and, of course, the chart-topping, “Hello Darlin’,” James perfectly embodies Conway Twitty’s unassuming, yet enigmatic, stage presence with every single tune he croons throughout his acclaimed one man show.
Maintaining a jovial tone with the intimate audience, James oscillates smoothly between his character and hilarious, amusing, and very entertaining stories about the start of his career as a young tribute artist, including tales of eventful excursions to Japan and a nerve-laden appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show.
Having performed for thousands of fans as an Elvis tribute artist at his career’s inception, this seasoned professional and consummate showman also performs some of the greatest hits from the illustrious career of The King of Rock and Roll.
James dedicates the first half of his show to the raw, uninhibited sound of Conway’s early career, which maintained a more country aesthetic, and the second half of the show pays homage to the latter portion of Twitty’s career, featuring a more sleek, modern, and streamlined sound.
Twitty was known and revered by his massive fan base for his gentle nature and humility, and James fully personifies the country icon’s legacy, both on and offstage, conducting himself in a manner that would inevitably make Conway himself proud.
Unfortunately, fans have a limited time to enjoy these top notch shows as James has announced that he will be retiring sometime within the not-too-distant future; therefore, if you want to witness these two world class tribute shows which have brought so much joy to a vast array of audiences throughout the years, you’ll need to book your tickets very soon.
Just as Twitty left behind a legacy as, not only one of country music’s most groundbreaking stars, but also a remarkably kind and down to earth human being, Travis James will leave behind a legacy, that will not be forgotten, for bringing pure joy and friendship to his devoted fans.
PHONE NUMBER: (865) 366-5953