"Are You Finally Happy Now"

Stuttgarter Nachrichten.De: June 5th, 2012

It is a crimson evening in Hamburg.  –

“I Want You” is an ode to the desire that wants so, that Elvis Costello ends a show which begin, seemingly harmlessly with "I hope you're happy now", a hyperactive, funny, twisted pamphlet of complaint at the end of love and ending with a psychodrama of such a damned obsession that Michael Winterbottom made a movie from the song in 1998.

In between, there is a two there a half hours cross-section through the amazing diversity of work and Costello characters. Sunday in the Hamburg Congresscentrum,  is his only German concert.

It is a common misconception that the Internet for the death of the LP, and therefore responsible for the decline of pop.

Actually hardly anyone hears through albums from beginning to end, they put together playlists from his favorite songs.

And musicians, who think that their songs are understandable only in the overall context of an album, have a problem. But ultimately the pop finds so back to its beginnings, the single was the nucleus of pop.

He had as a teenager, Elvis Costello says he heard only singles, And the superstructure of the singles; The Beatles, Kinks, or Hollies he heard at that time, did not need to be heard, like his own songs, in the form of an album.

This is demonstrated also in the countless rearrangement, where nature of the songs is released.

Therefore, with his repertoire in a game show of chance and on a stage of colorful fun, it is among the great ideas of the now 57 year-old.

After opening with a handful of overdriven Pub rock numbers such as "Heart Of The City" or "Radio Radio", played hot, the actual "The Return Of The spectacular spinning Songbook" begins, “The Happy Wheel” is celebrated.

Audience decides the songs and the order.

Elvis Costello sets up his cylinder, transforms into his alter ego Napoleon Dynamite, promises a blend of presenter, ringmaster and pop Barker "Songs about love, sex, death and the dancing, but not necessarily in that order".

Again and again, Costello and his assistant get people on stage who spin the wheel of fortune and thus decide on the set.

In addition to the song titles there is also a “Joker” selection and Jackpot titles such as "Crime & Punishment" or "I Can Sing You A Rainbow" on the wheel and Costello takes the liberty to play songs on this subject.

The tops the pointer at "Time", and he covers  “Out Of Time" from The Stones. Later, he plays "Day Tripper" by The Beatles or “Purple Rain" play by Prince.

The volunteers from the audience in a borrowed from a Burlesk show dance cage be dragged in which they around must linger or dance on stage for the song of their choice. It is clear that it has fallen into a satire of pop.

Costello the Irrwitzigkeit of pop circus presents enjoyable, the superficial, the vanity, even moments of utmost seriousness He presents always: this is interchangeable. This is pop. That's show business.

You know it never know exactly what is Elvis Costello, who although he has lived many years in the United States with the jazz singer Diana Krall and has two small children, still has his British sarcasm

“The Wheel of Fortune” is well named in Hamburg

Worlds collide between his numbers. Here reggae of "Watching The Detectives" or the lively "Peace, Love & Understandng", there the ballad "Shipbuilding".

Or the knurrige "National Ransom" re-worked over an evil, stuttering reef, or "She", in which he acts as the crooner, climbs down from the stage and on one of the Sperrsitze on the Orchestra's cozy there.

In the midst of this colorful confusion of the game of pop Costello does  a series of acoustic Ragtime numbers like "A Slow Drag Named Josephine" on the guitar and the ukulele.

Because it is a wheel of Fortune this evening with Hamburg, there are also hits like "Chelsea" or "Everyday I Write A Book" to hear.

And then as a final bonus, then "I Want You".

It begins with the disturbing guitar chords in familiar but later there is only an electric piano and the voice of Elvis, which eerily echo through the Hall, before this singer- songwriter finally dispensed with entirely on the mic.

An intimate moment, he is sensitive then the front of the stage in the dark, calls unamplified, "I want you!", "I want you!" into the hall.

Once you are ready to believe that he is really serious about it now, the light goes on, Costello grins.

The show is over.


The Happy Wheel In Top Form With The Only Concert In Germany.

Regioactive.De : Jan Wolfer: June 5th, 2012

Elvis Costello & The Imposters live in the Congress Center Hamburg

He is one of the greatest musicians of our time, even though he could never achieve the commercial mega success.

Currently, the British musician on "Revolver" tour through Europe. During his only concert in Hamburg, Germany left Elvis Costello fans the song selection.

They are determined by Fortune.

Despite some chances but hilarious all got their money, because at the end of Costello was still burning from the great Hitfeuerwerk.

Go back to the year 1986.

Elvis Costello has just recorded the last album with his first band The Attraction, “Blood and Chocolate” and will appear for last time with his old backing band on tour. At this point, however, that no one suspects.

The theme of this tour, however, was spectacular: "The Spectacular Spinning Songbook" based on a giant wheel of fortune, were on the dozens of song titles.

The trick was that viewers were from the laconic host Napoleon Dynamite (aka Elvis Costello) called on stage to spin the big wheel and thus to determine the next song.

Costello announced in 2011 "The Return Of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook" for his North American tour on where the show was launched on the same concept again. With Wheel of Fortune (albeit with a different song selection), where the lucky chosen ones were allowed to take place and be cared for by Mr. Dynamite’s assistant with drinks and with Miss Dixie, who is dancing in the cage stage.

Now the tour ended up in Europe. Germany had to accept but only one gig in Hamburg.

The CCH is unfortunately only about half full.

A fact that is probably due to the fact that Costello is an artist whose recent publications in this country, and hardly promoted, so more and more became an insider tip.

To those who have yet found the way to the concert, you can download the fascinating scenery and soon after hired a two members of a precise and active band that has played together for 33 and 1/3 years.

Bassist Davey Faragher has been member of the Imposters for at least ten years as Costello now calls his band.

They are able play about 70 songs on command, it needs. It need a base. On this evening soon becomes clear that these Imposters are the base, with ease.

The first five songs - all from the first ten years of her career - will not break and no announcement after the other rocked the audience.

It's a start but the sweeps and lengths cannot be detected.

After the first spectator is brought to the stage.

To the sound of Blood Sweat & Tears "Spinning Wheel, they can turn the wheel of fortune, and it comes "Round and round it goes - where it stops, no one knows” to the word “Time.

Behind it “Strict Time, “Man Out Of Time” and the Rolling Stones' cover of “Out Of Time” as a jackpot of the same topics, is another Überraschug.

During the gradiosen cover of “Out of Time”, Dr. Costello and Mr. Dynamite chooses those for the cage stage and leads them back into the crowd.

Another program feature is called "The Hammer of Songs", in which a small high striker is used.

This is asked a couple on stage. Both have to swing the hammer. Anyone who has reaches the bell to the free choice of song.

It is good that the young woman desires “Everyday I Write The Book”.

But her  silly companion refuses the option on the grounds that he doesn’t know any of the songs.

Nice, but again Costello takes the fact of the affair and he conjures “Purple Rain” by Prince out of a hat.

Then he plays alone, acts as its own intermediate program, with an entirely unamplified “A Slow Drag With Josephine: before the audience.

The next effect is the most beautiful show "guitar shrinking trick", which is a fully ausgewachsenene a ukulele guitar for the song “Who's The Meanest Girl In Town, Josephine”.

Later, he rises again with his terrific band with “Shipbuilding”.

Among the few lengths of the evening include a slow, somber interpretation of National Ransom, which comes much tougher than in the rousing version of his last studio album.

The unexpectedly fantastic version of Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece” but pulls out all at once.

Reaching a protracted “Watching the Detectives” one can suspect that the concert was going to end now.

Far from it: Napoleon Dynamite once again brings two female fans on stage and asks her to spin the songs for the finals to be determined.

It gets one of the two wild symbols and the right to free choice, an opportunity that turns out to be more difficult than expected.

Thankfully, Mr. Dynamite then switched to the "give-the-people-what-they-want" mode and the now-standing audience still a hit-package skin around the ears. In between, he brings “Day Tripper:, and – “God Save The Queen” for the Jubilee.

At the end of the stage is bathed in red light.

Costello rises again very deeply in “I Want You”.

A spooky effect will be the voice and he quotes “I Say a Little Prayer” - this song is not always so intense.

That evening, however, he makes a perfect finish, oh that “Alison” is not heard. It does not seem to bother the audience.

It is also no true that there was no reason for the Hamburg audience to carp, there have been plenty of opportunities to hear this classic.