rock nyc’s Tenth Anniversary Celebration: Elvis Costello At The Beacon Theater Last Night: First A Mistake And Then Brilliant

Written by | February 2, 2019 4:32 am | No Comments


(Elvis Costello is the musician I have seen on stage more than any others. Circa Brutal Youth I was so broke I couldn’t afford a ticket, so I sat outside Summerstage and listened to the set. Since this review, June 2009 I have reviewed him on stage as late as 2018 when I went on my final date with my girlfriend of eight years to the Capitol Theatre, she wrote the review, I wrote an overview: front row for the first time since the Trust tour… IL)

First Costello was awesome and then he was fair to middling for an hour and a half and then he was awesome again. In front of a hometown audience and in front of his session players deluxe the Sugarcanes, the four eyed fiend opened with a rollicking cover of Hoagy Carmichael’s “My Resistance Is Low” (you remember: “I’m going overboard with a capital O…”). EC originally tried it on “The Kojak Variety” but it wasn’t up too much if you knew the original. Last night Hoagy must have been smiling to himself as EC does what he can do with a good cover: he plays it straight and gives it his all.

But then a less than thrilling song from “Secret, Profane and Sugarcane,” stops the proceeding. “My All Time Doll” is one of his clickety click dark hued songs he once did so well (think “Shabby Doll”) but hasn’t really pulled off since “Kinder Murder”. And now we are getting an idea of what we are in for, one oldie, one newie, a back up band that is not the Imposters let alone the Attractions when it comes to chemistry and a schitzo bluegrass, countryish high culture low brow Nashville cats hybrid and anyway if you wanna hear this stuff catch Ralph Stanley at Highline Ballroom on July 12th and see how it is meant to be done.

They can’t get momentum and it dragged down both the oldies and the new ones: it dragged down “I Felt the Chill before the Winter Came” which seriously missed Loretta Lynn’s back up vocals (she co-wrote it), it dragged down an ill chosen “Our Little Angels” which crashed and burned, startingly, it dragged down “Blame It On Cain”. Didn’t kill em mind, made them ordinary and stiff instead of swing.

And the first song of the first encore was “Red Cotton” (a song about slavery in the South… Slavery In the South? How about what the Egyptians did to the Jews: God had to intervene there so you know it was bad) which sounds awful like Allan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah“. It is tenish and another forty minutes to go and things are about to get better…

But first “Secret, Profane and Sugarcane” by the numbers…
14 Songs including the Itunes bonus song
4 excerpts from the