Enthusiasm was high as the sold-out crowd stood blissfully waiting for Elvis Costello to take the stage and take them through the last 90 minutes of 1981. The show had to be great: At thirty dollars a seat, Costello and his Attractions were indebted to the jovial New Years' Eve crowd. In two sets totalling over two-and-a-half hours, Elvis and his Attractions performed many of their biggest hits from their seven albums to date, a number of cuts from their current release, and even provided several cuts from a forthcoming album.
11:45 saw the stage void of all musicians save Steve Nieve, who had come on to take the crowd up to midnight with an enlightening, original, and upbeat piano solo. With a minute to spare, on ran Elvis and the rest of the band, as they moved into "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding." Paying no attention to the stroke of midnight, they moved through "Strict Time," "Watch Your Step," "Hand in Hand," "Clowntime," a rare rendition of "Almost Blue," "Give a Hand" and a beautiful version of "New Lace Sleeves," among others.