Elvis Costello & The Imposters pump up ‘Imperial Gardens’ with familiar faves, intricate album cuts

Local Spins: John Sinkevics: July 18th 2017.

Costello’s first appearance at Meijer Gardens since 2011 focused heavily on tracks from his 1982 classic “Imperial Bedroom,” but also unearthed some rare gems.

When Elvis Costello first burst onto the scene in the late 1970s as a 22-year-old, he came off as a brash, angry young man with bold spectacles, immense talent and the gall to pilfer the first name of the king of rock ‘n’ roll while churning out songs about sex, deception, cinematic homicide and the apocalypse in a manner unlike anyone who came before.

These days, Costello, 62, comes off much more like a civil and gracious, well-read connoisseur of genre-melding rock music with a witty and engaging stage manner – qualities that certainly impressed and entertained the sold-out crowd of 1,900 at Fredrick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park on Monday night in the singer-guitarist’s return to the amphitheater for the first time since 2011.

Focusing heavily on 1982’s classic “Imperial Bedroom” album as part of Costello & The Imposters’ “Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers” tour, the red-hatted Costello – aka Declan MacManus or Mr. Diana Krall – also clearly showed his affection for West Michigan’s picturesque outdoor venue.