Elvis Presley - Viva Las Vegas

First performance: 23/03/1993


Bruce performed the song 9 times (soundchecks included) and 2 times as a snippet:
2024-03-22 T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
The song was soundchecked prior to the show. 
2002-08-18 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
played 2 times: A setlist full of Las Vegas references for Bruce's first ever appearance in Nevada: "Viva Las Vegas" premieres and is played twice (in its only tour appearances).
1995-04-12 Carnegie Hall, New York City, NY
During the sixth annual benefit concert for the Rainforest Foundation.

1993-05-22 National Bowl (The), Milton Keynes, England
1993-04-24 Flanders Expo, Ghent, Belgium

1993-03-23 Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ 
 In preparation for World Tour 1992-1993, viva Las Vegas was performed during the tour's public warm-up rehearsal at Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. 
  • Snippet

2024-03-21 SiriusXM Studio, Las Vegas, NV
Bruce calls into Jim Rotolo's E Street Radio show to discuss the spring tour—starting the call by singing the title line of "Viva Las Vegas". 
2002-08-18 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV
Official Studio Version

Bruce Springsteen recorded Viva Las Vegas for The Last Temptation Of Elvis, a UK-only various artists album produced by British music magazine New Musical Express and released in February 1990 in support of the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Center in London. The commemorative album contains renditions by singers and rock groups of songs made famous by Elvis Presley. The official studio version of VIiva Las Vegas, without the Elvis Presley dialogue, was released on a promotional single in the UK in 1990. It was also included on The Essential Bruce Springsteen (2003 3-disc edition) compilation album and released as a promotional single in Spain in 2003.
On 18 Sep 2007, ABC aired Elvis Viva Las Vegas, a new Elvis Presley television special that chronicles Presley's life during the Vegas years with the focus on his music, his style and his legacy. The documentary features rarely-seen footage of Elvis performing in Las Vegas, interviews with those closest to him, and performances by some of today's stars doing their interpretations of the Elvis songs that had the most influence on them. Included are Bruce Springsteen's official studio version of Viva Las Vegas playing over the opening credits and footage of Patti Scialfa's live August 2007 version of Looking for Elvis. A soundtrack album for the documentary was released in January 2008 and features these performances as well as original masters by Elvis. The album opens with the Springsteen track and concludes with the Scialfa one. An expanded version of the documentary was released on home video (DVD and Blu-ray) in August 2008.


"Viva Las Vegas" is a 1963 song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman and recorded that same year by Elvis Presley for his Viva Las Vegas film. Viva Las Vegas was released as the b-side of the "What'd I Say" single from the same film. 

Bruce on the artist

Whenever he could, Bruce would mention the enormous influence, Elvis had on him and on his music. Elvis is the most covered artist by Bruce (23 times) together with Chuck Berry, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan. The Influence of Elvis on Bruce, is described in a documentary compiled from previously existing footage by Dennis P. Laverty, a former Old Bridge resident who now lives in Staten Island (and who calls Springsteen and Elvis Presley "my two favorite rock stars". He used concert footage and previously released interview segments with Springsteen and various rock experts to show just how important Elvis Presley was to Springsteen.
"It's a cliché story, but watching Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show changed Bruce Springsteen's entire life. "It was the evening I realized a white man could make magic," he said in 2012, "that you did not have to be constrained by your upbringing, by the way you looked, or by the social context that oppressed you. You could call upon your own powers of imagination, and you could create a transformative self." He urged his mother to buy him a guitar after that, and in 1976 he went to Graceland after a Memphis show and even hopped the fence in a failed effort to meet the King himself. Elvis died during the recording of Darkness on the Edge of Town, right as Springsteen was hoping the King would cover his new song "Fire." Springsteen channeled his sorrow into "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)," which later morphed into "Factory."
"In the beginning, every musician has their genesis moment. For you, it might have been the Sex Pistols, or Madonna, or Public Enemy. It's whatever initially inspires you to action. Mine was 1956, Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was the evening I realized a white man could make magic, that you did not have to be constrained by your upbringing, by the way you looked, or by the social context that oppressed you. You could call upon your own powers of imagination, and you could create a transformative self. A certain type of transformative self, that perhaps at any other moment in American History, might have seemed difficult, if not impossible. And I always tell my kids that they were lucky to be born in the age of reproducible technology, otherwise they'd be traveling in the back of a wagon and I'd be wearing a jester's hat. It's all about timing. The advent of television and its dissemination of visual information changed the world in the fifties the way the internet has over the past twenty years. Remember, it wasn't just the way Elvis looked, it was the way he moved that made people crazy, pissed off, driven to screaming ecstasy, and profane revulsion. That was television. When they made an attempt to censor him from the waist down, it was because of what you could see happening in his pants. Elvis was the first modern Twentieth Century man, the precursor of the Sexual Revolution, of the Civil Rights Revolution, drawn from the same Memphis as Martin Luther King, creating fundamental, outsider art that would be embraced by a mainstream popular culture. Television and Elvis gave us full access to a new language, a new form of communication, a new way of being, a new way of looking, a new way of thinking; about sex, about race, about identity, about life; a new way of being an American, a human being; and a new way of hearing music. Once Elvis came across the airwaves, once he was heard and seen in action, you could not put the genie back in the bottle. After that moment, there was yesterday, and there was today, and there was a red hot, rockabilly forging of a new tomorrow, before your very eyes."
Bruce also wrote a song : "I’m turning into Elvis" :
During the Rainforest Fund concert at 1995/04/12 Bruce played the song and used this as an intro :
" this is the second half of the show, gonna be a tribute to Elvis and his decade. It´s been done before and a lot prettier than we’re about to do it….but that´s ok, look at it like you’re 15 years old, you don’t know a whole lot about Elvis and your uncle gets up in the livingroom trying to explain to you what it was all about. So with that in mind I’ve written a song especially for this particular occasion. You remember the coach Tom Landry, when he was trying to explain his personal relationship that he had with God ? well, this is a song that’s sort of about my personal relationship with him….´´ [Taken from the Backstreets Magazine, issue 49.] 


Bright light city gonna set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire
Got a whole lot of money that's ready to burn so get those stakes up higher
There's a thousand pretty women waiting out there
They're all living the devil may care
And I'm just the devil with love to spare
So viva Las Vegas, viva Las Vegas

How I wish that there were more than the twenty-four hours in the day
Now even if there were forty more I wouldn't sleep a minute away
Oh there's black jack and poker and the roulette wheel
A fortune won and lost on every deal
All you need's a strong heart and a nerve of steel
Viva Las Vegas, viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas with you neon flashing and your one arm bandits crashing
And all those hopes down the drain
Viva Las Vegas turning day into nighttime turning night into daytime if you see it once
You'll never be the same again

I'm going to keep on the run, I'm going to have me some fun if it costs me my very last dime
If I wind up broke up well I'll always remember that I had a swinging time
Yeah I'm gonna give it everything I've got
Lady luck please let the dice stay hot
Let me shout a seven with every shot
So viva Las Vegas, viva Las Vegas, viva Las Vegas
Viva, viva Las Vegas