Indiana Fun Fact – Elvis Played His Last Concert in the Hoosier State Before His Death in 1977
Welcome to another edition of "Indiana Fun Facts." An ongoing series where I share with you tidbits of trivial knowledge I discover about our home state. In today's edition, we learn that Elvis's last concert took place at a venue in Indianapolis just two months shy of his death.
Throughout his career, no one was a bigger star in the music world than the King of Rock 'n' Roll himself, Elvis Presley. Men wanted to be him, women wanted to be with him, he was charismatic, handsome, and unbelievably talented both on stage and in front of the camera. Unfortunately, like so many other musicians who ride the highest of highs, Elvis succumbed to the vices that often go along with fame when he died at Graceland of heart failure due to abuse of opiates on August 16, 1977, at the age of 42.
Before his untimely demise, Elvis was in the middle of a nationwide tour that started in mid-February that year and had him playing shows across the country nearly every night with few breaks in between dates. With that said, a planned break between the first and second leg of the tour was set to begin June 27th and last until the day after his passing. Before he could take that break, he had to play a show on June 26th, that unbeknownst to him, his people, and the world, would be his last.
Thank You, Thank You Very Much, Indianapolis
That final show took place in downtown Indy, at a venue that no longer exists, Market Square Arena. The arena was torn almost 20 years ago on July 8th, 2001 just over two years after it closed permanently a week before Conseco Fieldhouse (now Banker's Life Fieldhouse) opened its doors to become the new indoor arena in that area.
Marking the Occasion
If you drive or walk to 300 East Market Street in downtown Indy today, what you'll see on the land Elvis played his final show is the furthest thing from an event venue you can think of. A Whole Foods Market. While you won't find a concert happening here anytime soon to my knowledge, what you will find is a plaque marking the significance of the lot in music history.
Here's a closer look:
According to a photo shared by Inside Indiana Business in 2018, the plaque reads:
"Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has left the building."
Former site of Market Square Arena where on June 26, 1977 Elvis Aaron Presley performed his final concert. A scarf given by Elvis at that concert and words of remembrance from his fans have been encased in this marker so that a future generation may choose to reveal the memories 100 years from this date, June 26, 2002.
Also inside that time capsule, according to the Inside Indiana Business article, is a cassette recording of the show. Hopefully, on June 26th, 2102 someone has a device they can use to play it. I imagine by that time, people will have chips implanted in their heads that will play whatever song they literally think of.
If you enjoyed this fun fact about the state we call home, be sure to check the previous editions at the links below.
- The First Sears Retail Store was in Downtown Evansville
- Did You Know the First Electric Streetlight in America Was Installed in Indiana?
- Tomato Juice Was Invented in French Lick
- A Tree Has Been Growing on This Courthouse Roof for 140+ Years
[Source: Roadside America]