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.
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.