Back in 1979 Elvis Costello & The Attractions celebrated April Fools’ Day by playing a total of three shows in New York City. Thirty-two years later, Costello has duplicated the feat in spectacular fashion.
First, Elvis turned up unannounced for the Amos Lee / Secret Sisters show at Irving Plaza. He took the stage and played a song solo followed by a tune with The Secret Sisters, who went on to finish their set. Next, Costello headed uptown to The Strokes concert at Madison Square Garden, where he performed a mini-set of Pump It Up, Radio Radio and Peace Love and Understanding backed by The Imposters in front of a shocked crowd. Elvis yelled “Happy April Fools’ Day” before leaving the stage. During The Strokes’ headlining set front man Julian Casablancas told the audience Taken For A Fool was his band’s “Elvis Costello song” and sure enough in the middle of the song Costello emerged to help with the vocals. Costello finished the night with a show of his own at the intimate Gramercy Theater.
Back in 1979 Elvis Costello and The Attractions kicked off April Fools’ Day with a short set at the Lone Star Cafe, moved to The Bottom Line for a 15-song barn-burner and finished the night with a legendary performance at Great Gildersleeves that’s just as well known for the brawl that ended the show as for the music. Who says history never repeats itself?