Toronto reviews/Montreal preview article

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johnfoyle
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Toronto reviews/Montreal preview article

Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:15 am

Toronto reviews/Montreal preview article


see
http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Conten ... 9483191630

Jul. 3, 2003. 12:05 AM

Costello delivers, but on his terms


VIT WAGNER
POP MUSIC CRITIC

After more than 25 years of writing tunes, Elvis
Costello boasts a songbook that rivals all but the
most prolific composers of the rock era.

The 48-year-old singer/guitarist probed the obscure
recesses of that repertoire at the Hummingbird Centre
last night in a way that tested the recognition factor
of even his most obsessive devotees.

Costello, who made his debut back in 1977 with My Aim
Is True, gave every impression of being on a mission
to validate the largely ignored and even maligned
portion of his career that followed the 1986 release
of King Of America.

While Costello was welcomed on to the stage with a
generous ovation, no whistles or hollers of
appreciation greeted the opening bars of his first
offering, "Everybody's Crying Mercy," a Mose Allison
song that appears on 1995's Kojak Variety. And the
audience wasn't exactly humming merrily along with his
next serving, "My Dark Life," an extra track from the
2-CD reissue of 1996's All This Restless Beauty.

After "In The Darkest Place" from Painted From Memory,
Costello's brilliant but largely neglected 1998
collaboration with Burt Bacharach, he tossed out a
bone in the form of "Clubland," which the audience
hungrily seized. Then he reverted to form with "So
Like Candy" and "Clown Strike," two more tunes penned
during the '90s.

By this point the chorus of requests was growing
audible and potentially disruptive. Costello ignored
the shouts for "Alison," "Watching The Detectives" and
other chestnuts, stopping during one of his few
conversational interludes to say, "I forgot to
mention, we don't do requests."

It was a bold move. And, thanks to the sure-handed
accompaniment of keyboardist Steve Nieve, drummer Pete
Thomas and bassist Davey Faragher, a brilliantly
executed one as well. In almost every respect, this
was a much better and more memorable concert than the
one the same quartet delivered last summer at the
Molson Amphitheatre, even if the set list on that
occasion was probably more fan-friendly.

"Toledo," another track from the Bacharach album, is
one of the finest songs Costello has written in the
past decade. And each, clever phrase resonated with
crystalline clarity.

"Indoor Fireworks," which launched the acoustic guitar
segment of the program, was another shining moment, as
was a hushed version of the Patsy Cline-imprinted
"Sweet Dreams."

Perhaps influenced by his fiancée, Canadian jazz diva
Diana Krall, Costello maintained a low-key, restrained
approach throughout, even taking a little bit of the
compressed air out of "Pump It Up," a rare
re-acquaintance with his early career.

At one point, a frustrated fan shouted, "Rock out!" To
no avail.

This wasn't a night for pandering to the audience. It
was a night when the performer gradually succeeded in
winning the audience over by showing off his less
recognizable side.




http://www.torontosun.com/NewsStand/Tor ... 25567.html




Thu, July 3, 2003


Elvis pumps it up

Superb artist presents old songs in brand new ways

By JANE STEVENSON




Elvis Costello may have a classic songbook that stretches back 26 years
but
he wanted to make one thing perfectly clear last night at the
Hummingbird
Centre: "We don't do requests." This clarification came after some
audience
members had clumsily spent the first part of his two-hour concert
shouting
out song titles during some of the show's more delicate pauses despite
the
fact that the British singer-songwriter was doing just fine without
their
guidance.

In fact, last night was probably the most vocally strong I've ever
heard
Costello -- or maybe it was just that I could hear him so well in the
intimate and acoustically perfect surroundings -- as he expertly
crooned
his way through both more obscure songs and familiar hits, the latter
for
the most part dramatically rearranged.

Thus you had a strangely slowed down version of the normally blistering
Pump It Up , a more playful and sped-up rendition of Everyday I Write
The
Book and a downright jazzy, finger-snapping run-through of Watching The
Detectives.

In between, Costello and The Imposters -- Attractions keyboardist Steve
Nieve and drummer Pete Thomas, along with new bassist Davey Faragher
(Cracker) -- never failed to entertain.

COSTELLO SEDUCED THE CROWD

It was more like a complete and utter seduction really as Costello --
dressed in head-to-toe black save for red cowboy boots -- coerced the
crowd
into singalongs on tunes ranging from Tart -- from 2002's When I Was
Cruel -
- to the Beatles' You Really Got A Hold On Me.

Costello was equally at his intoxicating best on both pretty and
caustic
pop ballads like My Dark Life, In The Darkest Place, So Like Candy,
Toledo
and Indoor Fireworks, and the more uptempo Dust 2, I Can't Stand Up
(For
Falling Down) and I Hope You're Happy Now.

Since Costello played here a little over a year ago at the Molson
Amphitheatre, he's become engaged to Canadian jazz-pop pianist Diana
Krall
and he'll follow up When I Was Cruel with North, an album said to be
influenced by her since it features 11 piano-based ballads.

All I care about is that he returns to perform again, and soon,
because,
frankly, there are few showmen like him as he so capably demonstrated
during the show-ending (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love &
Understanding.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Montreal preview
see

http://www.staging.canada.com/montreal/ ... 60228EF51D


Thursday » July 3 » 2003

Ever-Changing Elvis
Costello pursues new ground with almost every project,
but what unites his diverse work is the quality of his
songwriting. 'I've never yet gone into the studio
without songs,' he says

BERNARD PERUSSE
The Gazette


Thursday, July 03, 2003

CREDIT: ALAN SINGER, AP

What's on Elvis Costello's set list for tonight? Don't
ask him: "A lot of music is pretty much all the same:
it kind of comes out of a big sausage machine. We try
to keep things from being too predictable."


If there's one thing Elvis Costello's followers can
predict, it's that their predictions will usually be
wrong. From straight-ahead rock to challenging
string-quartet arrangements to pop collaborations with
Burt Bacharach, the singer has restlessly pursued new
ground with almost every project.

Tonight Costello plays the Montreal International Jazz
Festival with backup group The Imposters - drummer
Pete Thomas, force-of-nature keyboard player Steve
Nieve and bassist Davey Faragher. "Actually, this tour
is fairly unique in that we're playing the Montreal
Jazz, the Ottawa Blues and the Calgary Folk Festivals
all in the same spin. That pretty much says everything
about definitions and what I'm about," Costello said.

What unites Costello's work is the quality of his
songwriting. Over the course of a 26-year career, even
his weakest material has shown clever craftsmanship.
His best is the stuff of full-on inspiration. Costello
would be the first to admit that not all his efforts
have been stellar: this is, after all, the man who
began the liner notes to the reissue of Goodbye Cruel
World (1984) by congratulating the reader for buying
his worst album.

Still, there's a minimum standard. "I've never yet
gone into the studio without songs," he said. "You'd
be surprised how many people do that. They say 'We're
going to make a record,' and the very last thing they
thought to do is write any material. They sort of try
and will it into existence - particularly if they've
got strong personalities. They might even have
instrumental signature sounds. In a lot of minds,
that's enough to make a record. But it doesn't do it
for me."

Further evidence of consistency can be found in the
reissues of Costello's back catalogue that started
coming out two years ago, each supplemented by a full
disc of bonus material related to the sessions. This
Year's Model (1978), Brutal Youth (1994) and Spike
(1989) are among the albums that have been rehauled so
far. "Part of the possibility of the process of
reissuing them is that people may hear them afresh,"
Costello said. "Certain fashions of the time may
prejudice people's ears to a record on its first
release. A little down the road, the intentions become
a little clearer on review - maybe not to me, but to
the listener. I always knew what I was doing."

Even the angry young man of the punk-rock era doesn't
seem entirely foreign to his older self, Costello
said. "I still sing some of the songs from even my
earliest records, but they're transformed somewhat by
the passage of time - hopefully not in a bad way," he
said.

In a recent appearance as guest host of the David
Letterman Show, a witty and self-confident Costello
bantered with Kim Cattrall and Eddie Izzard, revealing
a flair for on-camera comedy that few expected. "I
don't see myself as a talk-show host, but some sort of
musical thing on television - I could certainly handle
that. I've always known I could do it. Nobody ever
really thought to give me a chance," he said.

For now, the immediate concern is live performance.
Given that tonight marks only the fifth Costello
sighting in Montreal since 1978, fans would be
ill-advised to gamble on sitting it out until next
time. "I kick myself when I think about people that I
might have seen if I'd been a little less lazy and got
out," Costello said. "The best place to hear music
these days is in concert."

And, of course, expect the unexpected. Talking from
Toronto Tuesday night, Costello said he and the
Imposters will have changed their minds five times
about the set list by the time they get here. "A lot
of music is pretty much all the same: it kind of comes
out of a big sausage machine. We try to keep things
from being too predictable," he said.

Elvis Costello & The Imposters tonight at 8:30 at
Salle Wilfrid Pelletier of Place des Arts. Tickets
cost $47.50 to $72.50. Available at the box office or
through Admission. Call (514) 790-1245 or go to
http://www.admission.com



© Copyright 2003 Montreal Gazette

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spooky girlfriend
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Postby spooky girlfriend » Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:24 am

Mr. Foyle: Do you ever sleep? How do you ever find the time to dig up all this info?

Doesn't take any requests, huh? I wonder if he tells that to Diana? :o

Sounds like it would have been a good show. And here I still sit, waiting on him to come to the southern US. :cry:
Last edited by spooky girlfriend on Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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taz
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Postby taz » Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:42 am

Sorry, but that sounds like an awesome show...what do those people know anyway? :D
A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. Do you think when Jesus comes back he ever wants to see a fuckin' cross? It's kind of like going up to Jackie Onassis with a rifle pendant on.

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mood swung
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Postby mood swung » Thu Jul 03, 2003 8:40 am

sounds to me like this message board--half seduced and half wanting him to rock out. I would love to be there...
Like me, the "g" is silent.

Copenhagen Fan
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Postby Copenhagen Fan » Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:04 am

Hvad fanden snakker de om, det lyder som et megafedt show!

*what the hell are they talking about, it sounds like an awazingly cool show!*

cbartal
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Postby cbartal » Thu Jul 03, 2003 9:59 am

Sounds like a great show to me too!!

I wonder if Elvis will change his repertoire at all to cater to some of the bigger, less EC aware crowds he will be facing this summer.

I'm seeing him at Taste of Chicago this Sunday, and I'm sure that he will be facing a big dumb drunken sweaty massive crowd. I just can't see "My Dark Life" going over real well on a 95 degree beer soaked Sunday afternoon.

I saw Wilco pull a similar stunt a couple of years ago at the Taste. They introduced a whole host of weird noises and songs from Yankee to a bewildered crowd, most of whom were probably more in the mood for a Jimmy Buffet show. And this was a hometown crowd.


On another front, I was jogging in downtown Chicago a few weeks ago and ran into Wayne Coyne (sp) from Flaming Lips who was in town for a show that night. I gotta say he was one of the nicest people that I ever met. He made a point of addressing me by name a few times. I told him I thought his music was uplifting and transcendental. I'm sure he must think I'm a Swami or something. Oh well.

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mood swung
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Postby mood swung » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:22 am

well, cbartal, you are the Guru of the Taste, are you not? :lol:
Like me, the "g" is silent.

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Postby cbartal » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:32 am

Yes, mood, I wave a pickle on a stick as well as the rest of them. Like a magic wand in fact!

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mood swung
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Postby mood swung » Thu Jul 03, 2003 11:38 am

just wave that pickle at elvis and mesmerize him while repeating 'you want to do a show in knoxville...you want to do a show in knoxville...you must do a show in knoxville or diana will turn into nick nolte...', OK? Thanks.
Like me, the "g" is silent.

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SweetPear
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Postby SweetPear » Thu Jul 03, 2003 1:39 pm

My heart started pounding as I read the reviews posted on the Trainspotter's Guide (and then here) esp. the one by Jane Stevenson.
(But the Foyle brothers are my favorites.) :)
I am getting so excited I can barely stand it!!
I will be third row center on Wednesday in Philadelphia (*yawn* I know I've mentioned that before :) )
Except for the time I saw him during his Spinning Songbook Tour at a very small local college (Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania) where he sat on a stool w/his guitar right down on the auditorium floor, I have never been closer than this at one of his shows.
I know some of you lucky ducks have met the man which, (except for in my re-occurring EC fantasy) I can't even comprehend. And am probably better off because I can't even imagine speaking anything intelligable if I was ever in that situation. I know this because when I saw him in May @ Bard, in the 9th row, in that intimate hall, I swear, I almost passed out when he came on stage! His stage presence was incredible.

And if you can believe, when I saw him at Lafayette College in the auditorium (and it was not even close to being a sold out show) and people started to realize that this WAS the show...Elvis and his guitar...they started filing out in disgust. There was a decent group of us left who went up and formed a semi-circle around him and were treated to a rockin rest of the show.
Unfortunately, I wasn't as smitten with him then as i am now. :lol:

But third row....I better bring some smelling salts.
I'm not angry anymore....

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jul 03, 2003 2:21 pm

[quote="spooky girlfriend"]Mr. Foyle: Do you ever sleep? How do you ever find the time to dig up all this info?

ww.google.ie , click on `news` , put E.C. into search , stuff pops up - time involved? About 30 seconds.

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spooky girlfriend
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Postby spooky girlfriend » Thu Jul 03, 2003 2:56 pm

Oh, I know that. I do that, too. It's just that you're always posting when someone looks for something. I know it doesn't take that long, you're just always kind enough to have everything ready for all of us to read.

So, thank you. :)
Last edited by spooky girlfriend on Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

horsemad!
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Postby horsemad! » Thu Jul 03, 2003 3:43 pm

I was there! The man was awesome... totally on form. I thought he sounded brilliant when he'd go slightly off mic - man, can he project his voice. My only disappointment would be with the buffoons behind me, taking pictures with their digital camera and then discussing said photos :roll: . After they chatted through a good portion of Darkest Place I finally told them to put a sock in it (which, thankfully, they did). Oh yeah, and the eejits shouting out requests... could have done without that too.

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Postby norman brain » Thu Jul 03, 2003 4:27 pm

The setlist is sublime. He hasn't played "Sweet Dreams" in ages.

I love it when he doesn't pander to the audience. When it's on his terms, the performances are infinitely more passionate.

Not only that, hearing just "the hits" gets so boring and predictable after awhile.

My only regret is this is the first American tour in 22 years that I couldn't attend at least one show!

Oh well, thanks for this great new, John!

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Postby BlueChair » Thu Jul 03, 2003 4:35 pm

Where *is* the setlist?

norman brain
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Postby norman brain » Thu Jul 03, 2003 4:47 pm

Hey, Blue. I'm just going by the few numbers listed in the review. I'd love to see a complete setlist as well.

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Postby Goody2Shoes » Thu Jul 03, 2003 4:50 pm

Sweet Dreams!

Oh dear. I have tickets for Monday's show (crap seats, but what the hell--I've never mastered the art of getting good seats for concerts--what gives?), and I would LOVE to hear Sweet Dreams.

No proper set list yet, but the articles have me looking forward to Monday!
It's a radiation vibe I'm groovin' on

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Postby martinfoyle » Thu Jul 03, 2003 5:27 pm

[[quote]"norman brain"]Hey, Blue. I'm just going by the few numbers listed in the review. I'd love to see a complete setlist as well.[/quote
Here ya go, Norman.
The setlist:

1. Everybody's Crying Mercy
2. My Dark Life
3. In The Darkest Place
4. Clubland
5. So Like Candy
6. Clown Strike
7. Toledo
8. Dust 2...
9. Pump It Up
10. Either Side Of The Same Town
11. I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
12. Man Out Of Time
13. Indoor Fireworks
14. Sweet Dreams
15. Tart
16. Deep Dark Truthful Mirror /
You Really Got A Hold On Me
--- Encore 1
17. Everyday I Write The Book
18. Pouring Water On A Drowning Man
19. I Hope You're Happy Now
--- Encore 2
20. Watching The Detectives
21. Almost Blue
22. (What's So Funny, 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding?

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Postby norman brain » Thu Jul 03, 2003 5:31 pm

Awesome, Martin! Thanks. What is "Either Side of the Same Town"? Cover or original?

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Postby martinfoyle » Thu Jul 03, 2003 6:40 pm

norman brain wrote:Awesome, Martin! Thanks. What is "Either Side of the Same Town"? Cover or original?


That's the track he wrote for Howard Tate, which is available here
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... ce&s=music

norman brain
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Postby norman brain » Thu Jul 03, 2003 6:56 pm

Thanks again, Martin. Maybe Elvis will give it to us as a bonus track sometime.

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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:04 pm

Great setlist. Surely he has to announce UK dates at somepoint?!?!?!?

Where are the North songs? Is he not playing them in the band format? Will they start to feature as the tour progresses? Seems odd.

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Postby norman brain » Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:40 pm

Otis, my guess is that he'll start playing the NORTH songs toward the end of the tour in those dates scheduled with just Steve.

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Postby Boy With A Problem » Fri Jul 04, 2003 8:55 am

Indeed a great set list - can't wait for next weekend. I'm sure he'll be mixing things up -

One quibble with the review - the one in which they credit the Beatles with "You Really Got A Hold On Me" -

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Postby pip_52 » Fri Jul 04, 2003 9:07 am

I was hoping he'd do Almost Blue . . .

Well, I guess I am still hoping he'll do Almost Blue, in Chicago.

The Deep Dark Truthful Mirror/ You Really Got a Hold On Me was one of my favorite parts from his concerts last fall.

Though, if he sticks to this type of setlist, its going to be strange to see a concert that *doesnt* end in I Want You . . .


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