Elvis Costello in Antwerp: the power of a hurricane with an acoustic guitar
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Elvis Costello is a bit like Tom Waits: it has been so long that it seems like he's always been there, he's just not in him to write a bad song though surprise his latest CD not really.
Does that mean he's become? Irrelevant Far from being, Costello was a tower of strength, and that we can use in these uncertain times. A born musician, as he Wednesday night with a solo concert at the Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp once again came to prove.
He, however, began with a false start, his greatest, or rather only hit 'Oliver's Army'. Costello's always some flu-like voice was not warmed up, and that song is not so easy to force into an acoustic straitjacket. That turned gradually more often the case with his famous pop tunes from the eighties: "Veronica" also did not really convincing, "Everyday I write the book" Nor. He slams at those numbers subtle little on his acoustic guitar, hence his self-chosen nickname "the little hands of concrete" all honor-looking.
But he made the first hour up for it with an impressive array of his best country ballads, which he clearly felt better in his skin, and he proved that he can pluck the best. 'Either Side of the Same Town "was wonderful," Good Year for The Roses "sounded really heartbreaking. Goosebumps to the back rows of the balcony.
And then had the best yet to come, with songs from his latest underestimated album National Ransom. 'Slow Drag With Josephine" was a tour de force (he spent part without microphone and guitar amplification, you could hear a pin drop in the room)," Jimmie Standing in the Rain "was even better, and" Bullets for the New-Born King "was once the highlight of the evening.
If at the end of the first hour support act Larkin Poe, a country folk ensemble from Georgia, U.S., will lend a hand. That worked well with the somewhat forgotten 'Love Field', on the album (Goodbye Cruel World) a few nagging lounge song, transformed here into a sultry torch song. It worked less well when hastily afgejakkerde 'Brilliant Mistake', and it did not in "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes," that all punky ferocity of the original lost in the country treatment.
But what was it, there was another El alone, with a new laundry list of his finest songs. He more covenant waltz 'New Amsterdam' that waltz of The Beatles, 'You've got to hide your love away. "New Amsterdam" came out as the better song, imagine that you still agree to.
Costello played almost two and a half hours, went a few times in the fog when he lost the battle with his battery pedals in 'Watching The Detectives', but the highlights were so, well high that no one had really into. He biste including a thrilling 'Chelsea', again with Larkin Poe, and finished with an unusually intense "I want you", which he so abused his old Fender Jazzmaster that thing almost squeaking and creaking gave up the ghost.
Fantastic concert. For those who were not there, Costello has another show on November 17, at the Cirque Royal in Brussels