Rock NYC: Helen bach: October 26th 2016
Elvis Costello. There’s a name we’ve heard a lot about lately Last year at this time he was peddling his book “Unfaithful Music, Invisible Ink”. Doing Q&A’s from coast to coast offering anecdotes on his life, his family, his history and at age 60 he spoke like a man with nothing to lose.
Suddenly out of nowhere New Waves bad boy was on shows like CBS Sunday Morning, what the actual hell happed to the angry Elvis? Well that’s easy enough, ‘he’s not angry anymore’
Nor should he be. Successful enough to do as he pleases he has had his own TV show, throws down oddball out of left field tours in tiny venues. His fans will follow him wherever he may go. From his pockmarked early days to his rounder middle aged to the new, hat wearing fit- Costello endures.
There have been many reports that the old bloke’s voice is on its way out. Tuesday night at The Orpheum Theater in Boston, he proved those people have no auditory skill. Everyone imagines the first thing to go is the range- but I think tonight Mr. Costello showed he’s not degenerating yet.
The Imperial Bedroom and Other Chambers tour is on its third stop. A set list with some pretty interesting change ups and in the cavern of filth as I like to refer to the Orpheum. Elvis took us on a journey to what I consider one of his very best albums. With some added bonuses.
But there is a different element involved this go round. I sorted it out that this was my 11th time seeing Costello and there was something just not sitting right. Gone is that shy smile, you know the one I mean the ‘aw shucks’ sort of private joke smile he so often flashed. Gone is the scowl. Gone is that angst and in its place? Well, try as I may the only descriptive I can come up with is.. Bruce Springsteen.
Elvis Costello is making the grand guitar neck grabbing gestures of an arena rock god. I have never seen his pelvis more active. I have never seen him sans tie… and with a gold chain peeking from his chest hairs, wait who is this guy? In gigs past Elvis had no sexual prowess, but at the Orpheum he morphed into Elvis the Pelvis and well .. I’m not complaining.
Tuesday night with the assistance of Steve Naive, and Pete Thomas original Attractions the old trio hopped on through Imperial Bedroom and some hits for the fans. I always become slightly miffed when the crowd goes insane for mediocrity. The good news is “Accidents Will Happen” had Elvis’ voice giving me chills and despite the dim wit behind me loudly proclaiming that “Almost Blue” was (and I quote him) ‘ a standard from the 40’s’, the tempos got slowed down, bringing a softer element that I think was supposed to be sultry- it just didn’t work as such. The songs were gorgeous, but sultry? Nah.
Highlight “Party Girl”. and the encores “Beyond Belief”
Low Lights? That tired version of “Shabby Doll”, coulda done better. That and the fact that he called the Orpheum the Palace twice. (Costello plays the Albany Palace Theater tonight) I am honored and excited to see Elvis again in Connecticut on November 5th. I am hoping again for the pelvis action, but if I can make a gentle plea for a bit more awkward and a bit less thrust? Little fool little fool…
Grade B+ with a stiffy