A nervous wreck mesmerized a full house out in Schaumburg, completely exceeding everyone's expectations and opening with "Welcome To The Working Week," Elvis Costello and the Attractions grew from a tentative beginning into a real hot set, overcoming their sparse instrumentation and delivering a blistering, truly impressive performance.
They played almost every song from My Aim Is True and gave us at least six new songs, most of which struck instantly and were very enthusiastically received. The crowd went wild throughout the show but sat and stood spellbound during the intensely emotional "Alison." Elvis was really spacing out as he sang it and it seemed so personally agonizing that I can see why he doesn't perform "Alison" too often.
Other standout numbers were "Watching the Detectives," "Red Shoes," "Less Than Zero," "The Beat," "You Belong to Me," "Radio," "Lipstick Vogue," Ian Dury's "Roadette Song," and the superb encore, "Mystery Dance," which we were all screaming for as they returned to the stage. The Attractions played very well and gave a vibrantly full sound that I did not expect live — the band is just drums, keyboards, bass, and Elvis on intermittent guitar — but they were a great complement to an extremely bizarre singer/songster, the King, Elvis Costello. B'Ginning's does present some of the best shows around, and for those of us who made it out to Schaumburg that foggy Wednesday nite, we saw why Elvis is King!
The following is Elvis' play list of the intended set, courtesy of a certain Diana Slash, who found it on the dance floor:
Blame It On Cain
You Belong To Me
End Of The World
Less Than Zero
Actually, also played were "Radio," "Alison," one unknown song, and "Mystery Dance" as the encore.