Elvis Costello in Brussels: From Circus to Lonesome Elvis Costello ****
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Elvis Costello is known as impossible to pigeonhole, but the two sold out performances, the bespectacled singer / songwriter in recent days and polishes at the Ancienne Belgique and the Royal Circus could not be more different.
Elvis Costello has over thirty CDs to his name and just about every genre practiced. He began his career in the mid-seventies London pub-scene, was later one of the most prominent figures from the British punk, and subsequently built a repertoire from which both country, soul, jazz, opera and classic were dealt with.
In addition to his acting, whose actual name is Declan MacManus, in the last few years he has become a supreme talk show host. That latest show Wednesday evening in the Ancienne Belgique fitted well, where he, together with The Imposters put on a show of The Spectacular Spinning Songbook, a concept where Costello traveled through the USA last year. The idea is simple: there is a big wheel on the stage on which song titles and topics are listed. Costello's assistant, a hormone-disruptive mirrored Russian type picks random people in the audience that it may move, and thus determine the setlist of the evening. Then they are often under a little persuasion led into a cage for a dance to entertain us all, aided by a lascivious professional whose bones seem almost elastic.
Meanwhile crept Costello Wednesday in the skin of his sardonic alter ego Napoleon Dynamite and he emerged as a circus director with high-hat and stick the crowd entertained. To be honest: in essence, the set is not much different from a regular gig with The Imposters, but hold the new packaging made sure the show right from the first note was a party. The band played tight and raged against a fierce pace classics like "I Hope You're Happy Now", "Radio Radio" and "Mystery Dance".
In between the timid Lana turned the intimate "Almost Blue" on the setlist, and was ravishing Joke 'Clubland' on the program. Now, occasionally there was ever cheated. The obscure "Hoover Ville'was run twice but not played, and there was a bubble that provided reproductive worked with a hammer, yielded a wildcard. So come on request 'Alison' along, even stopped the wheel any time at that number.
Costello made twice a walk in the hall, built a solo moment to some new work for the prices-including the recently deceased Doc Watson dedicated 'Dr. Watson, I presume. " But after well-received covers of Prince ("Purple Rain") and Johnny Cash ("Cry, Cry, Cry") were in the final straight hits yet again scattered like the confetti was concerned with "Oliver's Army', 'Indoor Fireworks', "Pump It Up" and as always thrilling "I Want You" as a finale.
Where the concert in the Ancienne Belgique actually give the people a great show What They Want, was the solo concert the next day at the Royal Circus one for the connoisseur. With much less obvious at work and a generous selection from National Ransom, his latest CD. No problem, because those songs were very well live up to its promise, with the intimate "Jimmie Stading In The Rain" and "Bullets For The New Born King" as surprising outliers.
Costello is a fabulous addition songchrijver also a masterful storyteller, who therefore had no difficulty to the public on his own two hours and three quarters on the edge of the chair to keep. He switched between acoustic and electric guitar, week regularly on the set setlist, his cover of Aznavour's 'She' was one where the crop in the throat crawled and played on the piano "For More Tears", an excellent new song not even included.
During the encore got as a surprise Costello's pianist Steve Nieve on stage, and their austere, semi-improvised version of 'I Want You "- one of the few overlaps with the set the day before, was again a hit. With Nick Lowe borrowed '(What's So Funny About) Peace, Love And Understanding" - the traditional bouncer, was it out. Twice Costello, two different times, twice an excellent concert. As befits a true Elvis.