Welcome friends to the 55th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series. Tonight we're in for a treat, as we have Elvis Costello and The Imposters on the "Revolver" tour. United Palace theater is the place to be (at what I THOUGHT was) 125th and Broadway. United Palace is a seated venue, and just like with Charlie Sheen at Radio City back in April, I snagged tickets in row A in whatever section I'm in. So again, unless the alphabet has changed, I should snag some pretty good shots and hopefully some video. I figure since Harlem, they're looking for guns not cameras. Who knows. And guess what? I got the Blazer with me, got that "pseudo journalist" look going tonight.
And as for the "Revolver" tour; they are not playing the Beatles. "Revolver" means Revolving wheel placed on stage in which songs are listed in each slot, and whatever it lands on they play. Sweet for numerous reasons, but for one I'm walking outta here knowing the setlist tonight, and I won't have to rant about how dude didn't play the songs I wanted to hear. It's a wheel. Random. Fun. Let's roll.
The Village Voice ad I read about this show said this place was at Broadway and 125th street, which would be the furthest uptown I have ever been to hit a show. Harlem was the neighborhood I THOUGHT I was going to until I googled this place minutes before leaving my house, it's actually 175th street and Broadway. I'm no math wiz, but that's 50 blocks off where I thought I was going. I wouldn't have even bought the ticket had I know I'd be in Washington Heights near midnight waiting for a train in fear of my life. Not that I'm pissed, but I know I'm crazy and all but the ad in that paper said 125th — I hope I can find it in my room somewhere to prove it.
On to the show which starts at 8. Running late after re-figuring my route there, I walked in at 8:32 right in the midst of "Watching the Detectives". Dammit! I mean at least I got some of it but I love that song! So I tapped dude to my left who told me all I missed was "Alison" (another "Dammit!" moment). But the first thing I'm eying this evening is the wheel with all the songs on it, looking for my favorites. "Veronica," my all-time Elvis Costello favorite song hands down, is not even on the wheel. Shucks.
Moving along to the circus-like atmosphere. This place is like a rock 'n' roll carnival from outer space. We have dancers, a big flashing wheel and a guy in a top hat (Mr. Costello of course). The theater was like a cathedral too (they actually may still use it for religious services on required days but I'm not looking it up), been up since the 1930's, it's got that Radio City/Town Hall type of "old style movie theater" set up. Very snazzy. And again, Row 'A', so a place to lean my arms while taking video — which I was steadily rocking all night taking. So thank you United Palace for not hiring event staff who take their jobs too seriously.
"Everyday I Write the Book" was the first full one I got, after I sat back a minute and enjoyed the songs of my childhood. Well, not MY childhood really, but my Dad driving me to school in 1st grade all I was raised on was Elvis Costello (til he came home one day with this CD that had a naked baby on it).
"Waiting for the End of the World, "New Lace Sleeves", "Monkey to Man" — classics. And it's all good times here; didn't think I'd be having this much fun. And random fans (maybe contest winners) are being brought up on stage to spin the wheel to pick the next few songs.
Hey, there's someone who looks sorta familiar. Oh, that's Mary Louise Parker from the Showtime hit Weeds. She's on stage to spin the wheel. The crowd of course goes bananas — and she gets in the birdcage thing set up on stage where all the hot chicks (I guess she's hot too) of the evening are dancing, and she jammed out. It was awesome, and one of the few early parts of the evening the crowd was on their feet.
Seemed like it went so fast when 10 o'clock rolled around and he said goodnight, right after "Chelsea" and "Pump It Up" (which went straight into "Heart of the City"), but they came back out with like a 40 minute encore. Awesome lost tune for me "Joanna" was in there, "Radio, Radio" and then just to give the Reverend Justito a boner of his own, we got into some Prince with "Purple Rain," and it's one of the many I recorded (Here's hoping for a "Lunchtime Jam of the Day" this week), "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding" was in there towards the end. They may have squeezed one in there after that, but at 10:45 we were done kicking out the jams, and I felt extremely fulfilled.
Below I have a list of the songs I was trying to type into my iPod touch while holding the camera still so people don't comment on my videos "get a tripod!" (which was in my pocket by the way). I missed a few song names that, when uploaded, should be fixed within a matter of hours. So here's most of the setlist:
Alison; Watching the Detectives; The Judgment; Everyday I Write the Book; Cash; Monkey to Man; Waiting for the End of the World; You Little Fool; New Lace Sleeves; Time; Chelsea; Pump It Up; Heart of the City; Joanna; Radio, Radio; Purple Rain; (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding.
What a fun night. I mean, besides risking my life at the 168th Street train station near midnight in Washington Heights. I kid around a little with the risking of life, but it is a pretty reckless part of the city and all my friends who are a lot tougher than me were all in "be careful" mode. But totally the opposite inside the doors of the glorious United Palace. I mean, it's a trek and all, but that's a venue I'd take the trek for if another artist that suited my fancy was there.