Article and Photography by: Larry Young
DALLAS, TEXAS – I did not expect a one man Elvis Costello show. The show was both effective and very entertaining.
Mr. Costello’s is in the middle of his 2016 ‘Detour Tour’ and his show at the Majestic Theatre last night saw him combining all of his personas from his ‘70’s post-punk’, ‘80’s pop’ to today’s transformation into a composer, country western singer and his latest collaboration with ‘The Roots’. Elvis Costello has become one rock’s treasures.
The show started with the video of Costello’s “Monkey Man’ playing on a video screen made up to look like a big 50’s style TV. The show was retrospective in nature with Elvis walking us through the history of his musical life. The “Big TV’ played an important role in the narrative in the show, showing videos of a young Elvis, a video of his Dad performing with his big band. Elvis told stories of his Dad’s band being on the same bill with The Beatles in London and to playing with his Dad for the first time and how he evolved into the Elvis we know today. Elvis meticulously worked through his catalog on his many guitars and a piano, which he said belonged to wife Diana Krall. It was a warm, at times very funny, casual evening. It was if the audience had been invited to the Costello residence for a few stories, great music and good times with good friends.
He played all the hits “Radio Radio”, “Accidents Will Happen”, “Everyday I Write The Book” which had a more pleasant-sounding side to it, “Veronica”, “Alison”, “Watching The Detectives” played on a whaling electric guitar and of course “(What’s So Funny ‘bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” which closed the show.
Elvis’ rendition of Alison was quite unique and very powerful. He walked to the front of the stage off mic and with out any amplification to sing the song. The acoustics are as such at The Majestic that you could hear every word, note he was playing perfectly. You could hear a pin drop. Very impressive!
Opening act ‘Larkin Poe’ join Elvis back on stage for an extended encore sporting mandolins, guitars and dobro playing a variety of folk tunes with a modern twist. They complemented each other quite well.
The majority of his collection had been modified for solo guitar or piano. Even the hits took on a new feel. The show lasted two-and-a-half hours with four encores!
Fans had plenty swoon over the 32 song set, with plenty of hits and rarely played nuggets and a few rare forgotten songs to give everyone something to talk about.