Florence Times Daily, November 29, 1986

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Florence Times Daily

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Elvis Costello on tour in Europe


Marianne Meyer

Someone should grab a video camera and follow Elvis Costello's current European tour so that fans who didn't attend his recent American dates can see what they missed. For those who say that touring is a repetitive grind, Costello's show is a lesson to both audiences and performers in how to beat boredom. It would make a great home video concert-documentary.

Costello performs a series of differently structured shows in each city, ranging from solo evenings to "The Spectacular Spinning Songbook." The latter is a multi-media low-tech extravaganza that takes game-show theatrics to the concert stage. Though the glitzy set evokes the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, the giant spin-a-song-title prop is straight out of Wheel of Fortune. Audience members are called onto the stage to spin the wheel, which dictates the next tune to be played. There are no prizes, but spinners get their choice of a Gatorade at the "Society Lounge" (a TV-equipped bar next to Steve Nieve's keyboards) or the opportunity to show off their Watusi moves in the on-stage "Go-Go Bonus Cage." In typically sardonic style, Costello calls the songbook shows "an awesome blend of mechanical invention and vaudevillian imagination." Actually, the shows are terrific fun.

The tour also saw a number of notable guest appearances. Tom Waits, members of the Bangles and X's John Doe all joined the Attractions onstage in L.A., while a New York show featured Buster Poindexter and magicians Penn and Teller as "Mystery Guest Comperes." One burning question remains: Were Penn and Teller really kicked off the stage for taunting Costello with requests for Bruce Springsteen songs or was that, too, part of the act?


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Florence Times Daily, November 29, 1986


Marianne Meyer writes about the Costello Sings Again tour.

Images

1986-11-29 Florence Times Daily page 12D clipping 01.jpg
Clipping.

1986-11-29 Florence Times Daily page 12D.jpg
Page scan.

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