"Next time I come back here I'm going to be singing just fine," promised Elvis Costello at the end of his triumphant show in the National Stadium.
He was talking about his croaky vocal chords which earlier in the night had actually forced him to walk off the stage and take a break.
Although the voice was strained and near to breaking point at times, there was no-one in the jam-packed, sweaty National Stadium who would have demanded a refund.
When Elvis Costello plays, he cuts no corners. Sure the stage setting, the clothes and the general demeanour were not as grand as say Queen, but with his music his aim is true.
The National Stadium — a boxing arena — is far from being the ideal venue yet it was just right for Costello in a way the RDS barns could never have been.
Even with his dodgy vocal chords Costello insisted in inflicting massive punishment on his voice as he and the Attractions picked their way through a list of songs which ranged from 1977's "Alison" to a new work to be recorded only next week.
But after ten albums Elvis has such a vast repertoire that he has to leave out almost as many goodies as he has room to fit in.
He concentrated on material from his latest album, Goodbye Cruel World, opening with "Sour Milk Cow Blues" and later giving us "She's Not The Only Flame In Town," "Inch by Inch," "Home Truth" and "Worthless Thing."
In between he stretched back to My Aim Is True for "Alison" and "Red Shoes," and to This Year's Model for "You Belong To Me" while at the same time entertaining us with "Girls Talk" and "So You Wanna Be A Rock 'n Roll Star."
Supported by the best backing band in the business — Bruce Thomas, Pete Thomas and newcomer Laurence Dunnet — the slight singer was at his best and bitterest in a new song which ran "There's nothing at the end of the rainbow, there's nothing to live for anymore".
This was delivered as an encore with Costello accompanying himself on guitar. He followed with the anthem, "Peace In Our Time."
The band came back and it was time for a Costello classic, "Shipbuilding," an anti-war song which could teach lyrical and musical subtlety to so many other pop stars who vent their concern for humanity on us.
"Oliver's Army" came next, then it just had to be "Pump It Up" and it was as the crowd danced around the stage and the aisles and chanted the words frustrating the strict Stadium stewards.
Costello will be hack in the National Stadium on November 17 for a solo concert.