AWhen promoter Steve Fountain attended a recent concert at newly renovated Charles Bender Performing Arts Center in Humble, he knew this was the perfect setting for his Elvis concert.
“I knew The Bender was perfect for Elvis,” said Fountain. “It’s where he’d have performed in his early days.”
When Fountain brings his Elvis tribute concert to The Bender near Historic Downtown Humble on July 21, he’ll wow his Lake Houston audience.
“The people who attend this show are going to lose track of where they are,” Fountain predicted. “It’ll mesmerize the audience.”
The tribute will open with “Spinout,” billed as the world’s best multi-artist tribute band specializing in backing several tribute artists.
Keeping true to the spirit of the Elvis tribute, Spinout is named after a 1966 Elvis movie.
“This could be the biggest group ever to perform on The Bender stage; a very talented eight-member band with great backup singers,” said Fountain. “They do all the golden oldies and they’ll back up both Elvis Tribute artists.”
That’s right. Fountain is bringing two Elvis tribute artists to The Bender, and both are award-winners.
Pearland resident Vince King competed against 30 other tribute Elvis’s at Graceland last year, placing third in Images of the King contest. Newbie Riley Jenkins, an exceptional 15-year-old from Clarksville, Tenn., earned first place in the non-pro category.
“After Spinout energizes the crowd, we’ll bring out Riley Jenkins who will perform the ‘50s Elvis,” said Fountain.
He may still be a teenager, but Fountain guarantees Riley Jenkins will amaze the crowd.
“I follow all the tribute artists,” Fountain said. “I saw him on Facebook, did a show with him at the Liberty Opry, and he was amazing.”
Riley admits people who meet him tell him he doesn’t have to talk like Elvis all the time “… but I’m from west Tennessee,” he said, “so how I talk is natural.”
Riley is blessed with good looks and nice hair and he’s been star-struck with Elvis since he was 3 years old.
“I was so enamored by this larger-than-life man, his charisma, his style,” said Riley. “Elvis was cool. I started listening to his music and got into him more and more.”
Riley first performed as Elvis when he was 6 at a school talent show. He hit his stride a couple years ago when he reached puberty and his vocal range dropped where it needed to be for him to perform as the early Elvis.
The night will climax with Elvis-pro Vince King performing Elvis in the concert years.
King has had lots of time to perfect his performance. He’s been doing it for 15 years.
“I was called Elvis in school,” he recalled. “I remember growing my hair out and growing a goatee, so I wouldn’t be called Elvis.”
Times have changed.
“I respect Elvis,” Vince said. “I don’t do the corny stuff. It’s not a serious show, but I would never do anything to disrespect him. What I do is true to what he did live. If you’ve seen one of the concert movies, you’ll see me doing the same thing. I make it as true to his performance as possible.”
What can Lake Houston audiences expect from Steve Fountain’s Elvis Tribute at The Bender?
“Lots of smiles,” Vince King says quickly. “That’s one of the great things about this Tribute concert. To see the audience react to the different songs, the familiar moves.”
Riley Jenkins centers his Tribute performance exactly as the early Elvis would have performed.
“I practice my moves and vocals every day but, when I perform, I don’t pick out my outfit until the last minute,” Riley confesses. “I like to do that because that’s what the early Elvis would do. Be spontaneous.”
For older generations, King says he can see the happiness in their eyes as they remember that time in their lives. For the middle-aged crowd, it’s remembering how their parents enjoyed Elvis. And for the young kids? King says the youngsters just love it.
To appreciate how good Vince King is, go to his website: vincekinglive.com. And to see how realistic 15-year-old Riley Jenkins is, go to rileyajenkins.com.