Lawrence Journal-World, October 14, 1999

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Elvis Costello dazzles crowd
with 36 songs, four encores

Levi Chronister

Beginning with a song in the dark and ending with an audience sing-along, Elvis Costello's concert Saturday night at the Midland Theater in Kansas City, Mo., was a showcase of his early and recent work.

Fitting four encores and 36 songs into 2½ hours, Costello focused most of the set on his early works but also included five new ones.

Steve Nieve, from Costello's backup band The Attractions, played keyboards and piano, matching Costello and his guitar well. Although the two didn't banter back and forth — Nieve never said a word during the concert — they used their instruments to communicate with and play off each other.

Costello opened in total darkness, playing "Alibi Factory." The new song and the lack of stage lights forced the audience to focus on the words and melody, rather than Costello's first appearance in Kansas City since 1982.

Ironically, "Man Out of Time" was the concert's next song. It was followed by "King Horse" and "Talking in the Dark," punctuated by Nieve's strong piano play.

The second new song, "You Lie Sweetly," followed a hyped-up version of "Beyond Belief." "Sweetly," a short number, was written by Nieve and Costello while on tour. A great version of "Indoor Fireworks" was sandwiched between two new songs, "I'll Cry Until You Suspect My Tears" and "45." If there's any justice in the world, "45" will be on Costello's next release.

"God's Comic" received the biggest laugh of the night. After singing the line, "I've been wading through all this unbelievable junk and wondering if I should have given the world to the monkeys," Costello added. "Except, of course, in Kansas," referring to the recent evolution debate.

The only real drawback was the lack of early hits such as "Radio, Radio" and "Pump It Up," but the guitar-piano combination didn't really lend itself to these rockers.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest) and even with the audience's lack of participation, the set list and the quality of the songs made the concert a 9.25.


Lawrence Journal-World, The Mag, October 14, 1999

Levi Chronister reviews Elvis Costello with Steve Nieve, Saturday, October 9, 1999, Midland Theatre, Kansas City, MO.


1999-10-14 Lawrence Journal-World The Mag clipping 01.jpg

1999-10-14 Lawrence Journal-World The Mag page 04.jpg
Page scan.


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