Cal State Long Beach Daily 49er, September 24, 2003

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Cal State Long Beach Daily 49er
  • 2003 September 24

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Young, Costello worthy of infamy

Karl Peterson

If it weren't for the disappointing venue and rock opera, rock favorites Neil Young and Elvis Costello would have been better in concert.

IRVINE — The bill at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater boasted two Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famers, but the inadequacy of the venue, Ticketmaster and an experimental rock opera made the show more worthy of the hall of infamy.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse used this tour to promote its newest album, Greendale, which comprised the soundtrack for the play of the same name.

The near sod-out crowd was, however, forced to sit through a rock opera that was at the same time boring and ridiculous before Young would play an encore that featured the songs the people wanted to hear live like "Cinnamon Girl" and "Rockin' in the Free World."

Unfortunately because of the poor sound at the amphitheater and circuitous story telling it was difficult to understand what was exactly the message.

The crowd, who was starved for anything to cheer for applauded Greendale's message that the war on terrorism is unjustified, seemingly signifying its support of Young's message, but the masses cheered even louder for every reference to marijuana in the play.

Elvis Costello, played well for those who were able to see his entire set. The concert was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. and believe it or not, at 7 o'clock sharp Costello was wailing on his jazzmaster, while at least four concert-goers were standing at the turnstiles being told their e-tickets had been refunded.

I was leery when told by Ticketmaster that simply printing out a facsimile of my ticket would insure me and three friends admission to the concert, to only get to the gate and find that our tickets had somehow been refunded. Maybe it was a technical glitch or maybe Ticketmaster over-booked.

By the time the e-ticket fiasco was finished we had missed more than half of Costello's show. Costello played with all of his former musicians in the band Attractions, minus the disgruntled bassist Bruce Thomas.

The best performance of the night was Costello's soulful medley of "Alison," Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown" and "Tracks of My Tears," and that other bloke named Elvis' "Suspicious Minds."

Costello played an encore of one song, "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding," but when the crowd bricked the call and response portion of the song Costello left the stage. Perhaps the crowd missed the expected response because most were there to see Young, or perhaps it was because the sound at Verizon may be the worst of all Southland venues.


Cal State Long Beach Daily 49er, September 24, 2003

Karl Peterson reviews Neil Young and Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Saturday, September 20, 2003, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Irvine, California.


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