It was a freeze-frame moment as Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur pulsed with the swagger, intensity and romance of Elvis Presley on his 41st death anniversary on Aug 16.
The standards – a bit of soul, rock ‘n’ roll, romantic ballads, arms-linked singalongs and cheeky banter set off explosive energy.
The Elvis tribute was a remarkable window onto a bygone age that magically still captures the hearts of audiences worldwide.
Malaysia’s legendary country band Os Pombos brought fine pace and adventure into the show.
They backed Elvis impersonator Frankie Fong and surprise, surprise, Hard Rock Cafe Malaysia co-founder Tan Sri Syed Yusof Syed Nasir.
Together, they made it a night of genuine tribute to the timeless songs of Elvis.
Syed Yusof, fondly known as Jojo, displayed his fondness for ‘The King’ by taking to the stage in the famous white American Eagle cape.
He had the audience swaying and swinging to “Kiss Me Quick”, “Wooden Heart” and “Your Teddy Bear”.
Jojo’s reverential recreation of some of Elvis’s most famous moments that night included driving a Cadillac Seville that he bought from the late Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah.
“There probably will never be icons like Elvis and Michael Jackson whom I adore,” said Jojo who four years ago visited Graceland, a mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, once owned by Elvis.
“Their brands are not only culturally relevant but celebrated globally.”
Hard Rock Cafe Kuala Lumpur general manager Ranjit Singh said the success of the Elvis tribute over the past two years had spurred him to make it an annual affair to honour the singer/actor who died in 1977 at age 42.
Attendee Jerry Ching summed up the night by saying:
“Without Elvis, there would be no rock ‘n’ roll and without that … well … unthinkable.”