ETA Week: Slaughter & Bennett

ED SULLIVAN THEATRE.  Elvis fans, ETAs, and professional musicians weigh in on Cody Ray Slaughter and Brandon Bennett performances.  Below are some of the comments making rounds on social media sites.

Cody’s critique…

Cody [Ray Slaughter] started flat, NOT…Cody didn’t sound like EP to me, but I guess he moved ok. Props to the band!

Brandon’s critique…

I watched other videos of Brandon Bennett on the web and was very impressed, last night on Letterman not so great. Again no one can seem to mimic that young Elvis “Grittiness” quality & high pitch. He had the moves. Personally thought Cody looks more like young Elvis. I think [K]lush’s voice will be as close as any of them gets to the kings real sound. [S]handor is always good. But On Letterman the smoke and mirrors are removed and the voice is heard so well that if you don’t nail Elvis’ voice the listener can instantly make the comparison. You must have the look for sure, but it’s MUCH more important to sound like the king. And if you don’t it’s just silly to consider yourself a Pro. Just as owning a drum set doesn’t make you a drummer, owning a jumpsuit doesn’t make you an ETA. Before you hate remember this is just my Humble opinion.

The importance of being a good study of Elvis Presley…

The trouble I’ve seen many get into is that for Elvis, the moves weren’t studied. So many ETAs seem to be thinking, “Okay, now I do this, and now I bend the left leg, and now…” I see very few that can give off the illusion of spontaneity.

My Opinion

I’ve seen Slaughter perform live when he and Shawn Klush shared the El Portal stage in North Hollywood.   He was impressive, spectacular even to the point I was mesmerized and forgot it was ETA and not Elvis.  However, his performance on Letterman was less than stellar and a bit stiff.  Fortunately, most of the audience watching Letterman are probably unfamiliar with Elvis unique moves.  To them it all looks like Elvis.

Bennett was the better of the two, but it’s not a contest.  Nevertheless, he appeared more relaxed, confident, and put an energetic performance.

Maybe the floor is a little tacky.  It looked like they were having difficulty moving smoothly along the surface.  I’m not sure how important a good stage floor factors into a performance, but it looked like the ETAs were struggling with it.

Tune it tonight for Justin Shandor.

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