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Elvis Is King

Well, I've just come back from an absolutely stellar show at the Orpheum, and THE MAN, a/k/a Elvis Costello, is responsible for this thing.

Frankly I can't calibrate it against the last time I saw him (which was a long time ago), but let's just say that the intervening years have only bolstered his artistry.

Cult heroes NRBQ (who I have never seen before) warmed up the crowded with their unique take on rock and roll or something to that effect. Definitely a great combo. But bring on Elvis !

Who did not disappoint. In keeping with the “rowdy rhythm” basis of When I Was Cruel, this was a guitar-and-drums-centric show, which faster tempos and perhaps more prominent and assertive rhythm guitar than some fans might have wanted or expected from the records. “Tear Off Your Own Head” seemed to be about 40% faster than the LP version, even faster than the version he did on Letterman on the first tour this spring. So there was a lot of energy and sharpness to the playing, with his encylopedic of songs bent to the modern beat combo styles .

One thing I like about Elvis is that instead of giving us dreaded JAMS to lengthen songs in concert, he splices songs together. So, ”Deep Dark Truthful Mirror” gets a transplant of “You've Really Got a Hold On Me,“ while “Allison” is extended with “Suspicious Minds” by that other Elvis.

To sate the loyal crowd, there were three encores, and I think this is where the best stuff happened. The mix of “When I Was Cruel” was a little overwhelming, but the effect was both akin to “Watching the Detectives” (which preceded it) and yet modern, especially when Elvis became Aphex-Twin-for-a-chorus and starting tweaking the loop upon which “Cruel” is built. (By the way, he also played a song with the same words in the chorus, but otherwise, much, much different.) ”I Want You" was given a similar warp in instrumental excursions, except with guitar this time, and I think this was the high point from a purely musical view; it's just one of his best songs, and it got an excellent working tonight. That was followed by “Almost Blue,” and pretty much was a perfect pair to end a great show.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2002 06:29 am (UTC)

almost FUCKING blue and i WANT YOU!

you are a very wicked man. i know i will be stranded in argyle knee socks in front of the beacon thr tonight looking to score off a tout and i will be UNSATISFIED.
Oct. 22nd, 2002 09:47 am (UTC)
Don't despair
You New Yorkas have more chances ! He's playing there twice, then Newark and the Hammerstein Ballroom at the end of the month.

Oct. 22nd, 2002 10:21 am (UTC)
Re: Don't despair
you know...
the more i think about it, the angrier i get. asking $75 a ticket is just plain RUDE, and not befitting a pop-punk icon. i guess "the kid" is entering college soon?
Oct. 22nd, 2002 11:51 am (UTC)
75 semoleans
That is pretty steep. My ticket was $40, which sad to say seems to be the going rate these days. And who is actually getting the lion's share of the duckets anyway ?
Oct. 22nd, 2002 12:12 pm (UTC)
*takes a belt of prune juice*

back in the day, a show was steep if it was over $15! this just ain't right, i can see a whole opera with live camels and bellydancers for less!

/geriatric rant

(i actually like prune juice, for the record)
Oct. 22nd, 2002 01:21 pm (UTC)
I hear ye !
(through my Miracle Ear™)
Oct. 25th, 2002 03:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Don't despair
asking $75 a ticket is just plain RUDE

Only about half as rude as the $143 I just spent on a Peter Gabriel ticket through TicketBastard! I'm being buggered by Peter himself, I swear.
Oct. 25th, 2002 03:55 pm (UTC)
Yow !
Yow, that's incredible. $143 for one ticket ? And to think I was thinking of going…
Oct. 25th, 2002 04:14 pm (UTC)
Re: Yow !
Yes, one ticket! Well, I suppose he has to pay off all the debt incurred on those Womad festivals, and on that terrible *Eve* computer game.
Oct. 26th, 2002 08:22 am (UTC)
Re: Don't despair
did it hurt, or was it worth it?
Oct. 29th, 2002 04:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Don't despair
The concert is not until the end of November, so I guess we shall see. I'll bring my KY jelly just in case.
Oct. 25th, 2002 03:46 pm (UTC)
Re: Don't despair
P.S. I hope you got to see your man.
Oct. 26th, 2002 08:21 am (UTC)
Re: Don't despair
i was elvis free. weep for me?
Oct. 26th, 2002 10:21 am (UTC)
Re: Don't despair
[wails and lamentations]

I remember when I was in high school and couldn't see Elvis because he was only playing clubs. The Injustice of it all !
Oct. 29th, 2002 04:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Don't despair
I'm doing my best impersonation of The Scream as we speak.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


into battle
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