• Two exciting new Carpenters releases are now available. The new book Carpenters: The Musical Legacy can be ordered here. A big thanks to the authors and Richard Carpenter for their tremendous effort in compiling this book! Also, the new solo piano album Richard Carpenter's Piano Songbook is available for ordering here.

Live at Harrah's, Lake Tahoe, 1978

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Karen's charm and sense of humor shines through. And she holds that last "need" on I Need To Be In Love just like she did on Bruce Forsyth's Christmas show of the same year. I love that!
 

ullalume

Well-Known Member
Was the show on September 4, 1978, when Richard fell down the stairs??
I think that was fabricated for the tv movie. In actuality I think he stumbled in the bathroom and bruised his head.

Also...anyone notice how the recorded audience members during sing sound suspiciously like the ones during live in Holland. Fair play. In what world would the duo believe that half a century later nerds like me would be comparing live shows on a social media platform.😄
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
Thank for posting this - a very interesting listen, particularly for the live version of 'When I Fall in Love'.

They both sound in surprisingly good spirits, given what we now know was going on in their lives at the time, so I'm assuming this is from earlier in 1978 rather than their final engagements later in the year?

It does seem a bit strange that this was largely a repeat of their 1976 setlist and show, right down to a lot of the ad libs, which gives off a sense of them performing on autopilot despite their seemingly high energy levels on the recording. Obviously they weren't intending to adapt their show much in the light of the different sounds and approach on Passage. However, perhaps all the schtick in the 1976 show went down well with Vegas/Tahoe audiences?
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
^^Rumbahbah, excellent questions and analysis.
First of all, as a fan, this show is nice to hear.
I particularly enjoyed When I Fall in Love ( the "live" Don't Cry For Me Argentina can be located on Youtube).
Of course, Karen sounds fantastic.
But....
here we are (imagine the audience in 1978) and we almost get to revisit the 1976 Television Special ( "Hits Medley," for example).
It is easy to see why a "live" album release for the USA was never going to happen, it had all been heard previously.
Also, one has to wonder if these Las Vegas shows could be "scaled up" for bigger venues--
that is, if the duo had been performing for larger audiences at that point in time.
To this day, the habit of singing the songs in a faster tempo has not set well with me-- sounding too rushed.
It is easy to see that Passage had to happen. I appreciate the effort more than ever.
 

Rumbahbah

Well-Known Member
^^Rumbahbah, excellent questions and analysis.
First of all, as a fan, this show is nice to hear.
I particularly enjoyed When I Fall in Love ( the "live" Don't Cry For Me Argentina can be located on Youtube).
Of course, Karen sounds fantastic.
But....
here we are (imagine the audience in 1978) and we almost get to revisit the 1976 Television Special ( "Hits Medley," for example).
It is easy to see why a "live" album release for the USA was never going to happen, it had all been heard previously.
Also, one has to wonder if these Las Vegas shows could be "scaled up" for bigger venues--
that is, if the duo had been performing for larger audiences at that point in time.
To this day, the habit of singing the songs in a faster tempo has not set well with me-- sounding too rushed.
It is easy to see that Passage had to happen. I appreciate the effort more than ever.

Yes, the show did sound quite rushed, although that's something that had been evident in their live act before. For example, the live version of 'Sometimes' on Live in Japan from 1974 was spoiled by being performed at far too fast a tempo.
 

GaryAlan

Well-Known Member
From Fan Club Newsletters (59 & 60, May & July respectively).
Carpenters played Las Vegas Harrah's: June 2- June 15, 1978.
Then, MGM Grand, June 29- July 12, 1978. This later show included Richard's Warsaw Concerto and Star Wars/Close Encounters.
 

Kacfan

Well-Known Member
From Fan Club Newsletters (59 & 60, May & July respectively).
Carpenters played Las Vegas Harrah's: June 2- June 15, 1978.
Then, MGM Grand, June 29- July 12, 1978. This later show included Richard's Warsaw Concerto and Star Wars/Close Encounters.
What a discovery: short but sweet! She sang yesterday once more like she did on thank you rocknroll, I need to be in love like she did on Bruce Forsyth, we’ve only just begun like she did in 1976 at Osaka, and the superstar rainy days and goodbye to love medley like she did on the 1978 tonight show, some of my favourite moments. plus, a beautiful live version of when I fall in love! Already I am so excited to have this recording. Now if this was their last night at Tahoe, that was June 15th 1978, it was the day I was born!
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
^^Happy belated birthday! :)

"a beautiful live version of when I fall in love!"

Agree...It's OUTSTANDING! The highlight of this particular recording IMO.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I wonder if this show was before or after they recorded the studio version of When I Fall In Love. The arrangement - save for some nice electric guitar on this live version - is virtually identical.

They were in Vegas in March... which was would pre-date "Space Encounters" for the recording of "When I Fall In Love" (depending on how close the recording/taping was from the May airing) so it could have been around then.

From Fan Club Newsletters (59 & 60, May & July respectively). Carpenters played Las Vegas Harrah's: June 2- June 15, 1978.

I’m trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together as to whether this show came before or after they recorded the studio version of When I Fall In Love. With the information from the fanclub newsletter, I think we can now answer the question.

The air date for Space Encounters was May 17, 1978. With the recording of the music tracks for the special, as well as the filming of it, the studio version would therefore have been recorded way before this stint at Harrah’s in June, 1978 - probably sometime around March or April. This would explain why the live version is almost identical to the studio version we hadn’t yet heard. Richard must have taken Peter Knight’s chart from the studio version and used it for the live shows.
 

1969

Active Member
I just came across this on Youtube today. I remember seeing the ads in the entertainment section of the local newspapers for the Carpenters' Tahoe appearances. I was a little kid back then and could only dream of ever seeing them in concert. This audio soundboard recording is fantastic and good enough for me. (Surprised shows were pretty short at around 39 minutes but maybe designed to be a little bit of entertainment after patrons finish eating). I wonder if Karen and Richard were still performing through the 80's/90's/today if their shows would've been a lot longer..... more than an hour? Later in life, I was lucky to be in a position that allowed me see nearly a who's who of recording artists across multiple genres in their prime. Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Celine Dion, Prince, Sheila E., Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Billy Joel, Madonna, Cher, Tina Turner, Pavarotti/Carreras/Domingo/Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, Janet Jackson, Coldplay, Reba McEntire, Brooks and Dunn, Shania Twain, Martina McBride, the Eagles, Garth Brooks, George Strait, Toni Braxton, Usher..... The list goes on and they were all great, but I'd gladly trade them all to see Karen Carpenter sing live once.
 
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Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Listened to this concert (again) today...just wonderful!! 👌
I noticed how Karen sang a bit breathier in the beginning of Close To You. I guess that was a bit of a preview of how she would use her voice sometimes during the solo sessions a year later?

Here's an ad from The Berkeley Gazette, June 2, 1978 (their opening night):
img



Karen jokingly said that Helen Reddy would be able to hear them from across the street. I found out that Helen was at Sahara June 6 - 20.

In this photo from 1973 you can see Harrah's on the right, the tall building across the street is Harvey's and a little further down the road a piece is the vertical Sahara sign:
3524691144_ef6ea652c8_b.jpg


This one (also from '73) taken from the opposite direction, with the tall building on the left side being Harrah's:
3526803479_cebf67c31d_b.jpg
 
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Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Well how about that! The photos in the post above this one are from (ca. early June) 1973, but later that same year Karen & Richard were actually there too for a 2-week engagement, as shown in this clipping from the Reno Gazette-Journal, August 17, '73:

img


So with the other 2 photos we can imagine what it was like driving up to the Sahara to see Richard & Karen, late August '73 :)


Oh my.... I was just looking for a photo of the Sahara to put here as well and found this nice one in color, which looked like early 1970s to me (looking at the cars), and then I zoomed in on the marquee... :love: (what are the odds?!! 😃)

sahara-tahoe.jpg
 

Rick-An Ordinary Fool

Well-Known Member
Well how about that! The photos in the post above this one are from (ca. early June) 1973, but later that same year Karen & Richard were actually there too for a 2-week engagement, as shown in this clipping from the Reno Gazette-Journal, August 17, '73:

img


So with the other 2 photos we can imagine what it was like driving up to the Sahara to see Richard & Karen, late August '73 :)


Oh my.... I was just looking for a photo of the Sahara to put here as well and found this nice one in color, which looked like early 1970s to me (looking at the cars), and then I zoomed in on the marquee... :love: (what are the odds?!! 😃)

sahara-tahoe.jpg
Remarkable odds lol
How cool is that of all the performers, nice find.
The thing I noticed about those 70’s photos other than the cars and signs is how clean the streets are, no garbage, no litter. It also looks safe walking those streets back them then, I bet not so much now.
 

GDBY2LV

Well-Known Member
I saw them at the Sahara twice in the winters of 1976,1977. It was a nice venue, and dinner shows.
It was sold, and goes by another name now. There were only 4 casinos there in the mid 70’s. 2 on each side of the tiny strip. There was another under construction, but stalled, very rusted iron, on the Harrah’s side of the street.
You can see the framing in the 1st picture.
 

Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
Remarkable odds lol
How cool is that of all the performers, nice find.
The thing I noticed about those 70’s photos other than the cars and signs is how clean the streets are, no garbage, no litter. It also looks safe walking those streets back them then, I bet not so much now.
Just found this video, made pretty recently and it still looks nice and clean there as far as I can see. :)
We'd be walking with the Sahara behind us (although the Sahara is no longer there now), so Harrah's is on the left side of the street and the tall building across the street is still Harvey's. Then around 2:39, the guy has moved on a bit and turned 180 agrees, walking back towards Harrah's (now on the right side).
Nice to see what it looks like on the inside and the quick shot of the casino reminded me of Karen's wish for everyone at the very end of their 1978 concert 🤩




Here's another video, just about Lake Tahoe. And yet another video... I wouldn't mind spending a vacation there some time 🤓
 
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Walkinat9

Well-Known Member
I saw them at the Sahara twice in the winters of 1976,1977. It was a nice venue, and dinner shows.
It was sold, and goes by another name now. There were only 4 casinos there in the mid 70’s. 2 on each side of the tiny strip. There was another under construction, but stalled, very rusted iron, on the Harrah’s side of the street.
You can see the framing in the 1st picture.
I'm sooo jealous, but really awesome! d:)b
Do you remember anything from the 1976 show, what songs they sang? Was this early '76?
 
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