I love Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ only child. True, I first became interested in her because of Elvis, but after hearing her music and listening to her interviews, I fell in love with Lisa for Lisa. 2002 was the first time I saw Lisa Marie Presley in person. She introduced her song Nobody Noticed It at Elvis’ 25th Anniversary concert at the Pyramid in Memphis. She didn’t sing it live, but played the recorded version with the words on the screen.
The first time I saw Lisa Marie Presley perform live in concert was in Baltimore on July 24, 2003. This was also the first time I met her. Lisa opened for Chris Isaak at Pier 6. It wasn’t crowded, so I moved down to the front row – standing and singing the entire time! At the end of Lisa’s set, I asked for a set list and one of the guys gave it to me. Then I left missing Chris Isaak because I wanted to meet Lisa. I went to the parking lot and after about five minutes, Lisa came out to greet everyone. She got to me, and I handed her my set list. Lisa smiled and said, “Oh you got a set list!” I told her it was a great show, and she said thanks. Then she said, “You were the one in front singing, right?” Lisa Marie Presley noticed me!
A week later I saw Lisa Marie Presley in concert again. This time in Memphis at the Botanic Garden on August 1, 2003. Lisa again opened for Chris Isaak. I wasn’t as close as I was in Baltimore. I wasn’t standing at the stage, but I was seated at one of the front tables, but off to the side. I was about two tables away from Priscilla! It was amazing to watch Priscilla watch her daughter on stage – and in Memphis! Lisa sounded so much better than she did in Baltimore because the sound was so much better – the band did not drown out her voice this time. Lisa was so excited, and her performance was just amazing!
The next day I saw Lisa Marie Presley perform in Nashville at the historic Ryman Auditorium on August 2, 2003. I ended up staying at the same hotel as Lisa and her band. I waited near her tour bus from 4-7 before the show, but never got to speak with Lisa. I saw her walk by a few times and saw Priscilla. My seat was in the 6th row, right behind Priscilla – she beamed with pride watching her daughter perform. Everyone was forced to sit in the Ryman, but we periodically stood up and cheered and Lisa acknowledged us and Priscilla turned around and smiled at us. When I got back to my hotel room after the show, I realized that Lisa’s band was staying on my floor. We talked with them in the hallway, but we never saw Lisa.
I didn’t see Lisa Marie Presley again for another two years. She performed at the Beale Street Music Festival on May 1, 2005. I arrived at the festival just before the gates opened, but there was a long line waiting to get in. I had to run all the way to the other side of the park to the stage where Lisa was playing. I didn’t get a spot on the front rail, but three people back dead center. Luckily those three people were short, so I had a great view. And Lisa put on a great show – so much better than her first tour. She was so relaxed. Lisa played my favorites Indifferent, SOB, Lights Out, I’ll Figure It Out, and Idiot.
The next day I saw Lisa Marie Presley in Nashville at the Cannery on May 2, 2005. After waiting four hours in line, I was rewarded with a spot up front on the rail. I thought this Nashville show was even better than the show in Memphis. For the first time ever, Lisa played High Enough, which I love! She also played Now What, Road Between, and Here Today, all of which she didn’t play the previous day in Memphis. I got a set list for this Nashville show!
A few days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA on May 9, 2005. It was a seated show, and I was at a table right up front. The set list was the same as the Nashville show, except Turned to Black was played instead of High Enough. It was a great show, and Lisa talked a lot. She was really funny. Unfortunately, the meet and greet was cancelled after the show.
A few days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley at the history Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on May 15, 2005. It was Lisa’s last official show of this leg of her tour. After waiting in line for several hours, I got a spot on the front rail all the way at the end. Lisa was sick, so she didn’t do the acoustic set of Now What and Road Between. She also didn’t play Turbulence or Indifference, but she did play High Enough and Turned to Black. It was still a great show. Priscilla was in the crowd, so Lisa sang Raven. It was amazing! Lisa kept looking at her and she and Priscilla were tearing up – as was I. During Thanks, Lisa invited some fans up on stage to sing with her. At the end of the show, Lisa Marie Presley shook my hand, looked into my eyes, and said, “Thank you!”
Two days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley perform Idiot on Good Morning America on May 17, 2005. I got up at 4am and got a cab from my hotel in New Jersey and waited on the streets in New York City until they let us in the studio at 7am. Lisa didn’t come on until 8:45am. It was only one song, but I was SO close and apparently I was on tv because my mom called to tell me she saw me singing along. After her appearance, Lisa stopped to sign autographs with her fans.
Still in New York City, two days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley at City Hall Park for a free concert. I was right up front and center on the rail. The set list was changed a bit. Lisa played I’ll Figure It Out, Sinking In, Turbulence, Lights Out, Dirty Laundry, Idiot, Here Today Gone Tomorrow – and the Ramones drummer played along on their cover.
I didn’t see Lisa Marie Presley again for over a year, but it was well worth the wait. It was my 34th birthday – October 4, 2006. Lisa performed at the Birchmere again in Alexandria, Virgina and I had been selected for a Meet and Greet after the show. For the show, I had a seat up front, but way to the left of the stage. Lisa announced my birthday during the show. She had never sounded better. She played SOB, Lights Out, Sinking In, Indifferent, Excuse Me, High Enough, Yellow to Blue, Idiot, I’ll Figure It Out, Turbulence, Thanks, Dirty Laundry, Here Today Gone Tomorrow, and a duet with Ryan Cabrera. After the show, I met Lisa Marie Presley and got my picture taken with her. She signed my cd cover and wished me a Happy Birthday. I told her she gets better every tour, and we discussed how it sucks to have seated venues and how excited we were for the Stone Pony show.
Two days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley in concert again at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on October 6, 2006. After four long, cold, windy hours waiting in line, the doors opened and I got a great spot front and center on the rail. The crowd was great, but the sound wasn’t that good. It was the same set list as the Birchmere show, except she closed with a cover of Joan Jett’s I Hate Myself for Loving You.
Two days later I saw Lisa Marie Presley in my hometown of Baltimore at Rams Head Live on October 8, 2006. I was again front and center on the rail. Rosanne Barr opened and was hysterical. Lisa sounded amazing! The crowd wasn’t great because they weren’t really Lisa Marie Presley fans, but by the end of the show, they got into it. The set list was the same as the previous two shows except for the encore Lisa played Turned to Black and did a duet with Rosanne – Baby I Love You.There was a lot of interaction between Lisa and the audience. After the show, Lisa stopped to sign autographs and meet with her fans. This Baltimore show was my favorite of the tour.
The next day I saw Lisa Marie Presley in New York City at BB Kings on October 10, 2006. I was once again up front on the rail, but a little to the left of center. This New York crowd was amazing – everyone knew the words! The set list was the same, except instead of Yellow to Blue it was Turned to Black and she closed the show with a Joan Jett cover.
A year later I saw Lisa Marie Presley as she performed In the Ghetto in Memphis at Elvis 30th Anniversary concert on August 16, 2007. It was amazing! The crowd went wild, and Lisa sounded great!
Five years later on June 15, 2012 I was lucky enough to see Lisa Marie Presley perform twice in the same day and meet her. And because of Lisa, I met so many fantastic people. I started off my LMP Day in Annapolis at 11am. I arrived at Rams Head on Stage to find the band’s tour bus parked out front. I went inside and only one person waiting for Lisa Marie Presley’s Private Artist Showcase put on by the great radio station WRNR. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a line of people waiting for this free, intimate performance. I won free passes to this event just by filling out a form on their website. By noon, a line had formed and we were still waiting outside. We were told that Lisa was late and we would be let in soon. I got a table right up front, and I mean literally on the stage. My knees touched the stage, which was very low. Lisa’s microphone was directly in front of me. She took the stage around 12:45, almost an hour after the show was supposed to start. When she walked out, she looked a little startled and as she sat down in front of me she said, “Wow, you’re so close!” After the opening song of Weary, she asked for the lyrics to the next song. A guy from WRNR gave me her cd to hand to her. Lisa said she doesn’t really look at them, but likes to know they’re there in case she needs them. Then she went on to say she was late because her bus was parked in Baltimore, so they had to drive her to Annapolis. She said she had no idea the two venues were so far apart – it’s at least a 30 minute drive, but more with the Sailabration traffic in Baltimore. Lisa then played Storm and Nails and closed with Over Me. I was singing right along with her on Over Me, as it is my favorite song off Storm and Grace, and Lisa spotted me singing (since I was inched from her face) and smiled at me. There was a huge applause from the 150-plus seated audience, and Lisa seemed really touched – she bowed as she left the stage.
After the show, I made my way to Baltimore for Lisa’s second show of the day. There was lots of traffic on Pratt Street because of the Star-Spangled Sailabration in honor of the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 and the writing of our national anthem. The Blue angels flew right over my car while I was stuck in traffic. I finally made it to the Baltimore Soundstage, parked in a nearby garage, and had some pizza at Joe Squared down the street. After lunch, I walked down the street to see the Tall Ships and watch the Blue Angels practice. At 5:00, I made my way to the Baltimore Soundstage for Lisa Marie Presley’s show. My friend Joey showed up shortly after and Keith after him. We went inside at 7:00, and Joey and I were taken to our table front and center – the same exact spot I was in at the Annapolis show. Shortly after we were seated, I received a text from Lisa’s people saying I was chosen for a Meet and Greet after her show – so excited! The opening act was a local singer named David Tieff, who was really good. Lisa came on stage just before 9pm, she sounded wonderful, and the show was fantastic!!! Highlights for me were Over Me (my favorite song off Storm and Grace), Un-break (especially when Lisa played the drums), and Lights Out (her first single ever and represents Memphis to me). As the guys were breaking down the stage, I asked for a set list and got it. The set list for Lisa Marie Presley in Baltimore was as follows: So Long, Over Me, Weary, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Soften the Blows, Forgiving, Storm of Nails, Un-Break, Storm and Grace, Lights Out.
After the show, Keith, Joey and I made our way behind the black velvet curtain to wait for our Meet and Greet – with about 30 or 40 others. We waited for everyone else to leave and then we were taken to meet Lisa Marie Presley in small groups. We were last to meet her, which was kind of cool. As always, Lisa was SO nice and SO gracious and SO beautiful! I walked up to her, shook her hand and told her it was nice to meet her – she said, “Thank you.” I asked her to autograph my set list. And she was signing it, I thanked her for playing the show in Annapolis earlier that day. She said, “It was a crazy morning!” I told her there was another Rams Head right next door to where we were. She laughed and said, “Yeah poor planning.” Then I asked if I could take my picture with her, and she of course agreed. It was extra special to me that Lisa signed my set list because the first time I ever saw Lisa Marie Presley was also in Baltimore back in 2003. I got the set list then too, and she autographed it when I met her after the show then also. Basking in our excitement over talking with Lisa Marie Presley, we waited outside the Baltimore Soundstage and in front of Lisa’s tour bus. A few minutes later, Lisa walked out surrounded by a few security guards. People on the street ran up and surrounded her. She was nice enough to stop and pose for pictures with them and sign autographs. Then some crazy woman came up behind her and grabbed her throat. Lisa said, “UGH!” and shoved her arm off of her. Then they got her safely on her tour bus. Still excited by the night’s events, we stayed on the street in front of Lisa’s tour bus. A few minutes later, a car pulled up and Lisa’s husband and musical director Michael Lockwood jumped off the bus, ran to the car and pulled out their twin girls and quickly carried them back to the tour bus.
I really did not think I could have a better day with Lisa Marie Presley than I did June 15th. But as perfect as that day was, Lisa Marie Presley’s show at the Chameleon Club in Lancaster, PA November 11, 2012 was phenomenal. Lisa said, “it was the best show of the tour – even better than Nashville.” We made our way over to the Chameleon Club around 5pm to line up for Lisa’s show. There were about seven people ahead of us. Much to my surprise and delight, they were my old friends (Tee, Rosanna, Matt, Maria, Bambi) from Lisa Marie Presley tours past. Then Birgit and her husband, whom I had met at the Baltimore show, joined us. It was great to see everyone again, which ultimately made the night even more special. We were let inside around 6:45, then into the club about a half hour later. We secured our spots on the front rail. The opening band, El El from Lancaster, played for about a half hour then Lisa took the stage at 9:07 and played until 10:23.
This Lisa Marie Presley show was better and longer than the one in Baltimore a few months ago. It is still a promo tour for her latest album, so all songs but three were off Storm and Grace. A welcome addition to the set list for me was a re-worked Idiot off Lisa’s second album Now What. It is probably my favorite Lisa Marie Presley song – if I was forced to pick one. Lisa said Idiot was the “meanest song she had ever written.” The crowd cheered, and Lisa laughed and asked why that made us happy. I think I was the most excited during the show when Lisa played drums on Un-Break and Sticks and Stones because it truly is all about drums. I have a newfound love for Sticks and Stones. I loved the lyrics before, but after Lisa’s amazing performance last night…Wow! Lisa was interactive and expressive as always and this Lancaster audience was amazing – very enthusiastic and singing along to every song. Lisa said one of her favorites off Storm and Grace is Soften the Blows. The set list last night was as follows: So Long, Over Me, Weary, Storm of Nails, Just A Dream, Storm and Grace, Idiot, You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet, Forgiving, Soften the Blows, Un-Break, Sticks and Stones, Lights Out, I Need to Know (Tom Petty cover). For some reason Storm and Grace was not played even though it was on the set list.
Even after the lights were up and Lisa was long gone from the stage, we stayed there soaking in the wonderful show we had just experienced. Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in my quest for a set list. Unless I get one at Carnegie Hall Saturday, this will be the only leg of a tour I have not gotten a set list. After a while we went to the merch table to see what new and exciting things I could spend my money on. When I finally made it to the front of the line, I discovered they were out of Storm and Grace on vinyl which I had been wanting since I heard they were selling it at the Tunica shows. I was told that they were out of the vinyl and the shipment was late, but they should have it for the Carnegie Hall show in New York Saturday. I had already bought the hoodie and tour tee from Lisa’s website, so I left with nothing. We waited around a bit longer. Abbey decided to leave, but she had a wonderful time celebrating her birthday at her first Lisa Marie Presley show. I got back in the merch line and noticed Lisa was standing right next to me waiting to start the Meet and Greets. She heard me say “I’m back” to the merchandise lady. Lisa leaned over to me and asked, “Are you buying everything?” I told her no, just a hat because I had bought everything on her website. She asked if she could sign something for me, so I had her autograph my ticket. I told her that I love Idiot, and it was my ‘go out’ song – that I used to listen to it before I went out to bars to get me excited and hyped up. I told her that I also wanted my picture with her, so I was going to go to the end of the Meet and Greet line – since I wasn’t technically in line for the Meet and Greet yet. It was just pretty cool that Lisa initiated a conversation with me. (yes, i’m geeking out a bit) When I got back to Lisa for my ‘official’ Meet and Greet, I asked her to autograph my M&G pass and asked for a photo with her. I also thanked her for doing the Meet and Greets because a lot of bands charge for them or don’t even do them. She had no idea that bands actually charged for Meet and Greets – she was appalled. Lisa Marie Presley is the sweetest person. She is so gracious and down to earth. It is always a pleasure and a privilege to meet and speak with her.
This blog post is part of my A to Z April Challenge about ‘My Music’ – music I love from A to Z. Thanks for stopping by. I am also blogging the A to Z Challenge on my other blog On the Road with U2 about ‘My U2′ – what I love about U2 from A to Z.