The second of the three nights — no Attractions, no guests, just Elvis. When he last played solo in Dublin (long before Self-Aid and his Coward Brothers appearances) he played a relentless, tortured set that served to challenge the very staying power of his audience. Last night, save for some odd Christmas lights, an umbrella, guitars and keyboards and a strange slide show which looked exactly like the last time you accidentally switched over to Open University on BBC 2, it was (with the help of an excellent venue) so much more relaxed, easygoing and even sloppy.
For just under 2½ hours he entertained the converted with all his mannerisms on display surrounded by a voice filled with soul or racked with a country howl — whatever was required. With King of America and Blood and Chocolate marking the return of his lyrical and musical skill, the sinister poise of the set's more aching numbers was balanced by light-hearted between-song raps and a genuine rapport with an appreciative full house. "I Want You" proved as much a highlight as it had on Monday night with the Attractions, while his version of "True Love Ways," which he dedicated to his lover, former Pogue Cait O'Riordan, showed that maybe this is a man more at peace with the world than he sometimes lets on.
Tonight, the last night, the big one: Elvis and the Attractions plus "guests."