Lincoln Journal Star, February 26, 2015

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Elvis Costello: By the numbers

L. Kent Wolgamott

0 — Number of times Elvis Costello has played Lincoln.

That will change Tuesday when the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer plays a solo show at a sold-out Rococo Theatre.

6 — Album collaborations by Costello with other artists.

Costello is a continual collaborator, doing songs with symphony orchestras and artists that cover the range of music, from jazz to country, rock and hip-hop. He has made the following full albums with these artists: Richard Harvey, G.B.H., 1991; The Brodsky Quartet, The Juliet Letters, 1992; Burt Bacharach, Painted From Memory, 1998; Marian McPartland, Piano Jazz, 2005; Allen Toussaint, The River in Reverse, 2006; The Roots, Wise-Up Ghost, 2013.

8 — Number of bands led by Costello.

The Attractions — keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist Steve Thomas and drummer Bruce Thomas — were Costello's primary band from 1977 to 1987 and again from 1994 to 1996. The Imposters — the same lineup with Davey Faragher on bass — has been Costello's primary band since 2001. Other groups he has led — for tours or a few shows — include The Coward Brothers, The Confederates, The Rude Five, The Imposters, The Pick-Ups and The Sugarcanes.

12 — Number of songs Costello performed in his last Nebraska solo show

Opening solo for Bob Dylan at Omaha's CenturyLink Center on Nov. 26, 2007, Costello played "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes," "Either Side of the Same Town," "Watching the Detectives," "Every Day I Write the Book," "The River in Reverse," "Down Among the Wine and Spirits," "From Sulphur to Sugarcane," "Alison," "Pump It Up," "Radio Sweetheart," "(What's So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" and "The Scarlet Tide."

25 to 30 — Number of songs Costello performed each night on the European leg of his solo tour last year.

The setlists varied each night, but constants were "Shipbuilding," "Watching the Detectives," "Ghost Train," "Alison" and "Veronica."

30 — Number of studio albums since 1977's My Aim Is True.

His most recent album is "Wise-Up Ghost," the 2013 collaboration with The Roots. The most recent Costello-only album is 2010's National Ransom.

64 — Number of songs performed only once during Costello's solo European tour.

That's the number compiled by, based on the lists submitted to the website by those who attended shows. It's not 100 percent accurate — some setlists are incomplete, and others are wrong. But the fact that "So Like Candy," "Pump It Up" and "Less Than Zero" are on the list only once shows the variety of and unexpected inclusions in each performance.

1954 — Declan MacManus was born on Aug. 25 in London.

1976-77 — MacManus begins performing as D.P. Costello.

MacManus' father, a jazz band leader, had performed under the name of Day Costello, and Costello has said he took the Costello name as a tribute to his dad. He was signed to Stiff Records and added Elvis to the name as a tribute to The King. Elvis Costello also recorded his debut album My Aim Is True, formed Elvis Costello and The Attractions, appeared on and was banned from Saturday Night Live and all NBC programs for playing "Radio Radio" rather than "Less Than Zero." The ban lasted until 1984.


If you go
What: Elvis Costello with Larkin Poe
Where: Rococo Theatre, 140 N. 13th St.
When: 8 p.m. March 3
Tickets: Sold out


Lincoln Journal Star, February 26, 2015

L. Kent Wolgamott profiles Elvis Costello ahead of his solo concert, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, Rococo Theatre, Lincoln, NE.


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