Electric Light Orchestra Part II
One Night - Live in Tempe
Tempe Arizona, USA
June 4, 1996 - 7:30 p.m.

by Christopher A. Landt
Las Cruces, NM USA

It was like any other Monday morning. The coffee tasted of an unwashed 
pot, computers were broken all over the place, people in a fevered panic, 
and me frolicking through my ELO mail list and the alt.music.elo news 
group without a care in the world. Who new that in less than 36 hours my 
life would be drastically changed.

In the back of my mind I mentally sorted the weeks tasks as I slowly, 
ever so slowly, went through the notes from ELO fans throughout the world 
just like I do every Monday.

"Hey, what's this I said out loud." as I quickly looked up from my 
slacking to make sure nobody witnessed my surprise. "ELO in Tennessee, 
COOL!" Then a thought went through my body like the electric power of a 
great ELO song, "I wonder if they will be anywhere near Las Cruces, New 

Faster than my credit card number being given to the guy at Vinyl Vendors 
I slapped a quick message to the mail list for speculation of an ELO 
concert schedule. Embarrassment number two hit me when I went to the next 
message a few moments later and saw that good ol' Steve had taken care of my 
request before I had even asked.

My heart sped up when my eyes got to the line that said Tempe Arizona. 
"Wow, Phoenix is just 6 hours to drive, easy!" Or I thought, "damn, the 
concert is tomorrow night!"

At that point I began to blow it off. There would be no way I could pull 
that off. Beginning of the week, lots of work to do, impossible. I called 
a co-worker, also an ELO fan, and joked about the bad timing. You can 
imagine my surprise when she said, "Hey, no problem we can make that!" 
Now my heart stopped and for one second I actually thought about ditching 
it all and going to Tempe.

Since the drive would be out of the question, maybe we could fly. Airplanes, 
hotels, rental cars, Concert tickets. No way, not at the last minute, but 
I had to at least try. A quick call to directory assistance netted a 
phone number to the Red River Opry. A second call secured the knowledge 
that tickets were still available. In my panic I forgot to ask if the 
date was correct. Luckily it was.

All of a sudden I had this large doubt about the whole thing and thought 
that this could not possibly be happening. A third phone call to my 
favorite travel agent, Mom, guaranteed me Airplane tickets, hotel 
reservation, and a rental car. "Man, my credit card would be smokin' this 
week," I though to myself. This is where things got strange. Mom picked up 
the airfare, and my friend that I was talking about earlier, picked up 
the rest. There is a God!

A fourth, fifth, nervous sixth, and panicked seventh call the The Red 
River Opry secured two fifth row tickets. The poor lady at the ticket 
office was prepared to call 911 and get me a free ride to the farm after 
all of those calls. She finally said "Hey, ELO is coming, just deal with it!"

Now I know, God loves Electric Light Orchestra. I'm not a religious man, 
but hey my knees hit the floor. A quick shuffle of paper and my vacation 
time was secured, funny now that I look back at it. My supervisor had 
taken the day off and I freely assumed I could go. Yeah, like she was 
going to stop me. I glanced up at the clock and noticed that this had 
all been done by 1:00 p.m. 

I'm going to ELO! 

The plane was scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. Leave my office at 3:00 
p.m., an hour drive to the airport an hour wait, and hour flight, an 
hour back because of that wacky time zone thing. Why does your bodily 
functions go crazy at these times? I almost wet myself four times. On 
with the saga, We should arrive in Tempe by 5:30. I know the math 
doesn't work here, but go with me on this. We checked into the hotel, 
not a room in the city, luckily we had reservations.

I barely noticed the 113 degree heat as I set off after my goal, "Find 
the Red River Opry, and find it now!"  Okay the liquid steering wheel was 
hard to miss but hey. Fifteen minutes later my dreams were realized as 
the ticket lady handed us our passes. Oh my god, yes! This is really 

One side note: I have never seen ELO live.  I was too young and lived too 
far away to get the chance. My life's goal was to go, but then in the 
late 80's they broke up. I thought my dream had died, but it hadn't, I 
was getting it now with a vengeance!

Okay, so I have rambled on a bit. But you have to admit, it's not every 
day you drop everything and fly 600 miles just for a concert with less 
than 36 hours of planning. Now that I look back, I think all of those 
computers back at work are still broken, OOPS!

The Concert

The Red River Opry is a very nice place. Sort of a large movie theater 
look to it. Concessions, UMMM Beeeeerrrrrrr, Radio people all over, gift 
But I digress, things were way out of control at this point, but I was 
lovin' it.

The Opry was an excelent site for an ELO concert. All of the employees were 
very nice, and there was a strange magic in the air. I took my seat and 
prepared for the event of my life. The opening act was a great comic. If 
you were there you would understand. He fixed up two loud mouth people 
in the audience, asked a few people to kiss his wet ass he was laughing 
at the "Dry Heat" comments people make about Phoenix, and gave a 10 year 
old girl sitting two seats away from me a few choice questions for her 
father, sitting next to me. "Why can't he breath daddy?" "I'll explain 
later, 10 years later!" He replied following it with a clap of the 
hands in one smooth movement (clap, clap) You had to be there. 

Just a sec, I need to put in CD 2 of "One Night"  Oh yeah, That's better.
Damn this CD is great, they are better in person, but that's what I am 
trying to get to.

Then it Began.
Ladies and gentlemen... The Electric Light Orchestra Part Two

Phil comes out playing the beginning riff to Ma-Ma-Ma belle, as the rest 
of the guys follow. Pre-recorded or not, it was way cool. The crowd goes 
crazy at this point. Okay, so it was mostly me, but what can I say. They 
segued perfectly into Don't Wanna', then into Mr. Blue sky, the 10538 
Overture, and then Perfectly slipped into Fire On High. Man oh man, can 
Phil do that acoustic solo well!

At this point I was in heaven. There I was staring up at Mik, Kelly, Bev, 
Louis, Phil and Eric. This is basically ELO here. They sound better then 
they have ever sounded. This tour is a must. You can really feel Bev's 
drums like they were meant to be felt. 

Then all of a sudden I realized that I was really out of the loop here. 
Kelly is clean shaven, head as well except for a pony tail. Bev has a 
mustache and beard, and Mik hasn't changed a bit. I guess I should have 
been keeping up with the members as well as the music.

Basically the concert was a hard rocking ride to ecstasy only interrupted 
by a few short introductions and thanks. Bev got up and thank the crowd, 
His words almost exactly was that they liked to tour in Arizona the best 
because of the fans. Now I agree he probably says that everywhere, but 
they had done three concert very close, Tempe, Flagstaff, and Las Vegas, 
all in four days.

Here is a list of all of the songs and in order they were played.

	Ma-Ma-Ma Belle
	Don't Wanna' 
	Mr. Blue Sky                                                    
	10538 Overture
	Fire On High                                                  
	All Over The World                                                    
	Wild West Hero                                                   
	Thousand Eyes                                                   
	Hold On Tight                                                    
	Turn To Stone                                                 
	Ain't Necessarily So                                                    
	Standin' In The Rain                                          
	Telephone Line                                                  
	Whiskey Girls                                        
	Can't Get It Out Of My Head                                           
	Calling America                                                   
	Evil Woman                                                
	(Bev introduces the band and  such)                                 
	Livin' Thing                                                 
	Sweet Talkin' Woman                    
	Do Ya                                                  
	Rock 'N' Roll Is King                                                   
	Bev Drum Solo                                                   
	Don't Bring Me Down 
(Wild jamming on last tune with out-of-control audience partcipation...)



Old ELO, New Part II, combined with Xanadu cuts made for a perfect mix of 
the Best of the Best ELO that could possibly be compiled. A flawless 
concert. Songs from almost every album were included, "On The Third Day" 
"Out Of The Blue" "Discovery" "Time" "Secret Messages", Hell even "Balance 
of Power" as well as "Xanadu" and their own releases. The sound was 
perfect, voices were perfect, the concert was the greatest thing I had 
ever experienced. If they did not record that show it would be a shame. 
The Red River Opry was a perfect site. The acoustics were superb. I am 
not exagerating in any way here. Ask anyone that went, it was fantastic.

If you were in the neighborhood and did not go, you missed out! The 
Audience was casual at first, then slowly slipped into their wild side. 
The Opry has seats bolted to the floor, but that did not stop the packed 
room to get up and feel the music, dance, and basically go crazy.

A five minute standing ovation by everyone in the house brought the band 
back for three more cuts, "Rock 'n' Roll is King," a classic Bev Drum 
Solo, and an outrageous free-for-all audience rendition of "Don't Bring 
Me Down." I still can't speak very well, my voice is gone!

The encore seemed to last forever. Kelly was really getting the audience 
crazy as we all made four attempts to sing the chorus and as loud as 
possible. The first three times Kelly seemed disappointed about our 
performance. That did not stop this audience from trying. The fourth time 
was LOUD, I mean very loud. Kelly was so impressed he yelled out "Bloody 

And then it was over as quickly as it started. My saga had come almost 
full circle. But this is not where this story ends. On a hint from Steve 
of "LIGHT" the ELO Fan Club here in North America, I played a hunch and 
stayed in my seat while the rest of the crowd left. About 30 to 40 of us 
stayed hoping for the best. Then all of a sudden a roady came out and 
said the band would be out in five minutes. COOL!

All six of them came out. Eric asked us all why we were their "The 
concerts over!" he said jokingly. We all lined up against the stage and 
the band made there way to each and every one of us. I really think 
highly of these guys. They made sure not a person was missed. They took 
out their time to personally talk to each and every one of us. These guys 
really care about their fans.

I found out, for the first time, that Eric is an American from Indiana. 
Wild! I also got to joke around with Kelly about his missing mustache and 
bald head. He said that when his hair started to go the trademark 
mustache made him look like he was standing on his head, Off it came! 
Kelly is quite a sport. We joked about the band, new and old, and shared 
some personal notes with each other. I will remember him especially for 
that reason.

Louis was very quiet, and you could tell that Bev was tired. Phil, 
sporting his "Blackbeard the Pirate" look, laughed with us as well, as Eric 
stood back talking about home, being with the group, and holding a beer 
as he smiled.

I thanked them all for a life time of hope and great music. Said hello 
from all of us on the ELO Lists, smiled and turned to leave. The perfect 
day, the perfect concert, and the nicest guys. This was it. I had 
reached nirvana. There is nothing left for me to do but look at my newly 
acquired, autographed "One Night" CD, smile and prepare for the plane 
trip home.