With plenty of hip-swiveling action, a strong vocal range and a medley of authentic and unique costumes by his own private tailor, Steve Elliott is planning on mesmerizing the crowd with his uncanny likeness to young Elvis.
Elliott recreates the raw and energetic charisma of the King of Rock and Roll at the Cleland Community Theatre on May 19. The Elvis Elite show brings a fresh experience to the greatest and to one of the most universal performers that ever lived.
“Penticton launched my career so it is my way of coming back home, so to speak, putting it on for them,” said Elliott. “Elvis Elite actually comes from the Elite restaurant downtown. We performed there for the first year of the (Elvis) festival. I would go in there and perform every lunch and dinner and the owner said ‘Elvis Elite at my restaurant’ and I thought what a catchy name. I owe everything to Penticton.”
Elliott was crowned the Top Canadian Champion in 2004 at the Penticton Elvis Festival. He then headlined the show the following year, which had over 5,000 people in attendance at Gyro Park.
It has been over five years since Elliott has been to Penticton and he wants to showcase his own exclusive seven-piece band the Blue Suede Boys, who play a live and authentic rockabilly style that will get the crowds feet stomping and hands clapping.
Using authentic instruments from the ‘50s and ‘60s, Elliott said the group provides a sound pretty close to what it was back in the day. They focus more on the rockabilly era for the majority of the show including songs such as Heartbreak Hotel, Hounddog and Don’t Be Cruel.
“The sound is exceptional. It’s a whole experience and you feed off each other when you have the band on stage. It adds some humour and how it was with Elvis when he would turn around and talk to his bandmates and throw things at them so they would have to improvise,” said Elliott.
The show leads up into the ‘70s-era Elvis, with the glamourous suits and high production. But, Elliott said it’s those high energy “young-Elvis” songs that people seem to really appreciate.
“I find the music is timeless. No matter who performs it the crowd reacts to that kind of music. It is a simple 1-2-3 beat that everybody likes and Elvis knew what he was doing with it from the way he would move with his guitar, serenade the audience or sing to his guitar like it was a woman,” said Elliott.
Born and raised in Nanaimo, Elliott had many artistic abilities before stumbling upon his career as a singer and entertainer. His mother, a very talented artist of all trades, encouraged Elliott at a very young age to draw and be creative with expressions and originality.
With no prior singing abilities, he walked into a karaoke contest at a local mall and was intrigued by the performers caught in their acts. The contest was set in the era of classic rock and early crooners.
Elliott decided to enter last minute for fun and found that he had a natural ability to sing and entertain. He won a prize set of Elvis Presley CDs and discovered the rawness and sensualities in Presley’s voice which led him to his new found career as a performer.
Since then, Elliott has perfected his act as a tribute artist using the energy in the music of Elvis to express to people of all ages the memories and magic of the young King.
Doors to the Elvis Elite show open at 6:30 p.m. at the Cleland Community Theatre with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are available at the Cleland box office by calling 250-490-2426.