Elvis Costello opened his latest US tour in Seattle. On his last trip he looked lean and cagy, played 30-minute sets at breakneck speed, and left many fans fuming. He has gained some weight and came out this trip looking positively Henry Kissinger, bolting into "Just A Memory," backed only by organ.
A muddled mix, the band often swamping the vocals, marred his generous 90-minute set. El did 23 songs, over a third new, concentrating on material from Get Happy. Tunes from the imminent lp, Trust, sounded promising and I hope it includes his covers of Patsy Cline's '62 hit "She's Got You" and Presley's "Little Sister."
In an oblique comment on charges of racism during his last tour, Costello encored with "Watching The Detectives." He sang with grim wit, "It nearly took a miracle to get you to stay / But it only took my little finger to blow you away," and pumped his guitar into an audacious version of Stevie Wonder's "Master Blaster" in mid-song. That alone was worth the admission.
Squeeze opened with a set that was as likable as forgettable.