Deseret News, August 18, 2009

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Elvis Costello, Utah Symphony make sweet music

Jennie Nicholls

DEER VALLEY — As members of the Utah Symphony took their places, and the strings began warming up, a hush fell across the Deer Valley crowd Saturday night.

It appeared the early morning rain did not deter any eager audience members from attending the show, as the grass was filled with a sea of onlookers.

Utah Symphony conductor Alan Broadbent took his place, and the man of the evening, Elvis Costello, joined the throng on stage.

So casual in his demeanor, Costello began the evening with "Accidents Will Happen," with an effortless, beautiful accompaniment from the symphony.

Pulling from his extensive repertoire, Costello performed "All This Useless Beauty" to an outstanding arrangement, elaborating the elegance and grace of the lyrics.

Costello's stage presence was undeniable. The artist was so comfortable and confident, standing with his hand in his pocket and delivering a mounting intensity in each song.

Costello mentioned that he worked with the symphony for only one day on the set list for the evening. The collaboration was simply breathtaking in numbers such as "Veronica" and "The Birds Will Still Be Singing."

After intermission, Costello returned to the stage donning his signature hat.

He was even more animated in "Green Shirt" than he had been before the short break.

Costello proved to be true to his original recording while also allowing the symphony's robust talent to equally shine during "Watching the Detectives."

The dramatic styling of "Almost Blue" got Costello behind the piano, playing along with the symphony's melodic accompaniment.

Costello joked that he wrote the romantic song "She" as the theme for the movie "Notting Hill" and was not allowed to use his usual escape clause at the end.

Smoothly performed by Costello and delicately accompanied by the symphony, the song may have been one of the most memorable of the evening.

Costello ended the show with an energized performance of "God Give Me Strength."

The songwriter graciously performed an encore set, which included a rousing performance of "Suplher to Sugarcane" off of his new album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane.

While delivering one line of the song, Costello stopped everything and said the phrase didn't come out right, and he redid the line of the song.

His vocal styling must have been to his liking on the second try because Costello continued on with fervor.


Deseret News, August 18, 2009

Jennie Nicholls reviews Elvis Costello with Steve Nieve and the Utah Symphony, Saturday, August 15, 2009, Deer Valley Snow Park Amphitheater, Park City, UT.


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