Elvis Costello Rocks the Keith

Huntington News: 10th October, 2011

Huntington, WV (HNN) - Arriving in Huntington 20 minutes before show time, British music icon Elvis Costello once again proved the value of the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center and the Marshall Artists Series.  Costello and his band almost did not make their first West Virginia appearance --- they were held up for four hours in Columbus, Ohio, by members of the TSA which had found a curling iron in the jet’s overhead bin. His show opens with the former Mother Superior of Our Lady of Perpetual Torment, Dixie De La Fontaine tastefully go-go dancing in a gilded cage before Costello and his band unleash a session of five rapid firing classics --- “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” “Heart of the City,” “Mystery Dance,” “Uncomplicated” and “Radio Radio.”

Providing a vaudeville magician appearance  (complete with top hat and walking stick) with a giant “Wheel of Fortune” containing the names of his songs, Costello calling himself  Napoleon ("We got all these hits") Dynamite hosts an out of the box routine where  guests mount the stage and have a spin of  the Spectacular Singing Songbook.

Challenging the audience, Costello croons the aisles selecting lucky "are you man or woman enough to spin the wheel" contestants. Before long, the stage rocks with pure serendipity and it’s obvious that Costello loves every minute of it, too.  Among those on the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center stage were Kerry Nessel and family members.

Costello’s one hell of  a jack hammering guitarist, and he's the latest world renown "star" to grace the Spanish Moorish themed house of the grand Keith Albee.  Normally, eclectic acts fail to stop in Huntington in favor of a glam-rock chart toppers that guarantee a large mainstream audience. If not for the MAS and it's sponsors,

Actually, the British musician and The Imposters are fortunate to be added to the list of Keith Albee performers, especially considering that the elegant Thomas Lamb designed theatre palace has survived two fiery close calls and the abrupt closure a year after Pullman Square opened. Huntington residents  came together and Costello had a regal venue in which to entertain, and a restored vertical sign coming soon.