Okayplayer: 3rd October 2013.
Elvis Costello x The Roots lighter-worthy live rendition of “Tripwire” (captured by our cameras at their historic show at Brooklyn Bowl on September 16h) truly demonstrates what can happen when a brilliant singer/songwriter and a band that gels as an act all its own meet on equal ground. You could not ask for a better illustration of the versatility of Wise Up Ghost than this venture into Impressions-era doo-wop, complete with tinkly vibraphone hook (created on keys by Ray Angry–or is that James Poyser?). Think of a Cadillac-tested tear-jerker like James & Bobby Purify’s I'm Your Puppet" but with Questlove‘s crispetty-crunchy post-Dilla snares cutting through the mix, like the sound of that puppet repeatedly hitting rock bottom. Meanwhile, Costello’s vocals are another kind of revelation; if “Walk Us Uptown” channeled the restless spirit of the mighty Joe Strummer, Elvis’ husky pub-rock harmonies over this Bronx streetcorner melody, speak of a heart even hungrier than Springsteen's. And yet The Roots’ sonic signature makes it all emotionally and aesthetically coherent with “Uptown” and even the more straight ahead Soulquarianisms of “Viceroy’s Row.” And that’s what a band can do, when they gel together as an artistic unit but meet a brilliant composer and vocalist on common ground. They can stretch out. And out. Watch Okayplayer TV’s exclusive footage of the live moment below: