I just got back from the Elvis Costello concert tonight at the Myth Nightclub and boy what a nice show. Elvis is releasing a couple of greatest hits collections so the tour promised all hits, no filler, no opera songs, duets with Burt Bacharach, etc. Just Elvis Costello and the Imposters.
The show was to start at 8:00 and sure enough at 8:01 Elvis was on stage, a small wave to the crowd and they jumped right into Welcome to the Working Week. A delightful 110 minutes later as the last notes of What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding were ringin' in my ears, Elvis waved goodbye and that was it.
This was a show about delivering the hits. Very little patter, basic red and blue lights, no video screen, no dancers, no shout outs to Minneapolis-St. Paul, no "I wrote this song in the back of a truck while driving across Canada in 1981." The vast majority of the songs were from This Years Model, Armed Forces, Imperial Bedroom (which I think is an overlooked classic) and Get Happy. Only a couple from My Aim is True. I was going to try to do a set list but I forgot my notebook. If I find a list on-line I will update this post.
Highlights include Beyond Belief which The Imposters built up quite nicely, Watching the Detectives, Lipstick Vogue (Tim B, if you still read this blog, you need to learn the bass part to that song!), and What so Funny.... Radio Radio was about as perfectly played as it could be live. Very muscular, fast version. If you ever have heard a band described as "tight" this was the perfect example of that. I would include Pump It Up in this description too but at the end Elvis was singing so fast that he outsang the beat that the rest of the Imposters were laying down.
Elvis' voice was in fine form, again during Radio Radio it was perfect,. Looked like he lost some weight too. The rest of the Imposters very very good. The keyboards were mixed very well so you could hear them, which is important for an Elvis Costello song. I was a little disappointed that they didn't use a real Farfisa Organ, it was an electronic machine. It sounded like a Farfisa, but it's just not the same. Also Elvis plays a mean guitar, I forgot that.
It was my first time at the Myth and I was impressed. Basically they took 1st Avenue and made it a little bigger, but the layout is very similar. The crowd was pretty old as you could imagine and the hot babe factor was pretty close to zero -- Less Than Zero perhaps? :o)
I saw Elvis Costello at Parade Stadium in 1982 and that was a pretty good show (I still have a picture of Elvis dressed in black on a sunny 80 degree day shaking his fist to the sky). This was just as good and quite satisfying. Well worth seeing.