Huffington Post: Philip David Morton: 6th June 2017
Elvis Costello’s blazing streak from the English Punk Rock and New Wave scene in the late 1970s into rock super stardom in the 80s started with his debut album My Aim Is True. His songs were like electric shocks to the body. He was alternative rock before it officially existed. He was his own genre of existential outrage; self hating and self loving his misery and triumphs. His violent poetic streaks across 12 bars or rock and roll seemed to bring a new excitement and expression to a medium already bored of the punk scene it created. When he famously changed his performance during his live set on SNL in 1982 to an unapproved song and was banned from the show for years, his ‘bad boy’ reputation was cemented in stone. He created a lyrical code that is now normal expression for intellectual rock and roll for bands like Cold Play, Muse, The Black Keys, One Republic, Imagine Dragons and up through Fall Out Boy, Linkin’ Park and Panic at the Disco.
Last night at the Greek Theater, Elvis Costello proved he’s still an original. He rocked the stadium for two hours and coursed through 30 songs that centered around his pinnacle album; Imperial Bedroom. An emotionally complex and verbally dexterous expression, musically playful, creative, catchy and punishing. Released in 1982 the album was listed 38th on Rolling stones 100 great albums of the 80s, and voted best album of the year on The Village Voice Pop and Jazz critic poll. It’s what some feel is the best album in a career that spans over 20 other albums, a career that includes collaborations with Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach, and playing stadiums as well as at the White House for President Obama.