15 May 2006

Concert Review: Elvis Costello with the ASO

We saw Elvis Costello with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Saturday night at the Fox. It was a great, cool, different show. The show began with the ASO playing selections from Il Sogno, which Elvis composed for an Italian ballet company’s performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” I’m not a classical music expert, so I can’t really say if Il Sogno is brilliant or mediocre. I enjoy listening to the album, and I thought the ASO did a great job.

A tuxedoed Elvis Costello bound onstage after that, kicking off the show with a great acoustic version of “Veronica” — accompanied by the ASO and Elvis’ longtime friend and pianist, Steve Nieve.

Elvis Costello performs on the Fox stage. That's Steve Nieve on piano.

Actually, his entire set was great. Fantastic versions of “Almost Blue,” “God Give Me Strength,” “Watching the Detectives,” “Almost Blue,” “My Flame Burns Blue” and “She,” among others. My favorite was “Alison,” an arrangement that weaves in bits of “The Tracks of My Tears.” We heard him perform this version at the Masquerade concert last spring, but it was a different song with the ASO.

Elvis seemed to have a great time, too. He has the jazz-singer moves down pat, and was so f’ing cool and funny and charming. We sat fourth row center, so we got to enjoy him up close; Diana Krall is the lucky one in that pairing.

As at all concerts, Interpretive Dance Chick was on the first row; however, she sat in her seat, so the interpretive dance lost a bit of its impact in her drunken translation; it was really just weird arm-waving. Added to the ambience, though.

One thing I love about seeing Elvis Costello is every show is different. He’s all over the map musically these days, and each show leaves you feeling like you just saw another facet of his personality. I'm lucky to have seen his show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium during his "Almost Blue" country tour in 1982 or 1983, and I've missed very few of his Atlanta appearances since then. Elvis said he’ll be back in mid-July, appearing at Chastain with Allen Touissaint. I’ll be there.

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At 5/16/2006 10:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like a good show

At 5/16/2006 10:51:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

It was, invisible person.

At 5/16/2006 01:49:00 PM, Blogger guerrilla blogger said...

elvis costello is just so....cool...that is great that you saw him, i enjoyed reading about it, but not nearly as much as you enjoyed seeing him live...rock on..

At 5/16/2006 10:14:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

He's damn cool.

At 5/17/2006 08:56:00 AM, Blogger Scrivener said...

I do have to admit that I have never quite gotten the massive Elvis Costello attraction. I mean, I like his music--I'm not a huge fan or anything, but he's clearly talented and he is always pushing himself and doing interesting stuff, so I generally have a positive image of him, even though I don't listen to his albums a whole lot. For whatever reason, I've just never quite connected with him. But I've got a number of friends who just think he's the absolute greatest, and I've never quite figured out why.

At 5/17/2006 10:45:00 AM, Blogger Beth said...

Scrivener, you might be too young for Elvis Costello. My last great love was 13 years younger than me, and he didn't get EC until maybe five years ago. I was in college when New Wave hit the airwaves, so I've loved EC since "Green Shirt."


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