KEARNEY — Joseph Hall dug a little deeper into the music of Elvis and found something that he — and his audience — enjoys.
“My show has progressed over the years,” Hall said. “I’ve been doing a lot of different songs from Elvis’ catalog of music. I’ve been doing more rarities, something that the hard-core Elvis fans really enjoy. Those are songs you don’t hear very often.”
The singer, of course, keeps the hits of Elvis close to his heart.
“The ‘Hound Dogs’ and the ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ and the ‘Jailhouse Rock,’ I’ve kept them in the show,” Hall said.
He considers his show to be more than just a list of the greatest hits of Elvis.
“Elvis, Rock & Remember,” a tribute concert featuring Joseph Hall, starts at 8 p.m. July 19 as part of Nebraska Auto Club’s annual Cruise Nite celebration. Tickets for the concert are $22-$29.
For Hall, performing requires attention to many different parts of the experience.
“When I’m on stage, I visualize myself that I’m in a control center,” the Lincoln-based singer said. “You want to get the sound right, you want to get the looks right, you want the right moves — at the same time you want to make sure that the audience is enjoying itself. There are a bunch of different mechanics involved in the show.”
Hall delivers each song in a different way.
“I really try to remind myself that every song tells a different story,” he said.
Even with all the stress of performing, Hall said he still enjoys bringing The King to life.
“It’s a blast, I enjoy it, I really do,” he said. “My favorite part about what I do is traveling. It’s going to different theaters where I’ve never been, it’s the nerves and the preparation of the show, the sound, the lights, the rehearsal.”
And when the road gets too long, a few days off usually cures Hall.
“There are times when I feel drained and I feel a little homesick,” he said. “I start to have those doubts, Can I keep doing this? Once I’m off the road for just a few days, I start to get that itch again, like I’m ready to get back up on stage. And then everything just comes back.”
Hall began performing tributes to Elvis in 2006. Two years later he appeared on the TV show, “America’s Got Talent,” making six appearances viewed by 90 million people.
“When I started this Elvis thing, I had no musical background,” he said. “I had never taken a voice lesson in my life, never taken a guitar lesson and I had no sense of musicality whatsoever. Less than a year into it, I went on ‘America’s Got Talent.’ I felt very out of place. There were people on that show that had been doing their craft for 10, 15, 20 plus years. Here I am, still learning how to do it.”
Over the years Hall has seen his audience change.
“When I was first starting out, there were a lot of older folks in the audience,” he said. “But 12 years into it, I’ve started creating a fan base. That gives me hope that I’ll still have a career in the next 10 years.”
Hall sees 40 and 50 year-olds in his audience.
“They were raised with the music of Elvis in their households,” the singer said. “They’re coming out to the shows and they’re bringing their kids to the shows. It’s really neat when I see four generations come to a show. That doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, it’s pretty neat.”
Hall’s father, who now manages his son’s career, introduced Elvis to his household.
“We moved a lot as children,” he said. “But we always heard Elvis in the CD player. Dad was always in control of the stereo. It was always Elvis, Elvis, Elvis. I think that musical tastes get passed down. A lot of the older folks have passed down their musical roots to their children.”
Hall uses a very specific word to describe Elvis: Timeless.