True fans had waited four years for this moment to arrive — Elvis Costello at the Sunrise Musical Theatre. It was definitely like the Second Coming. Costello was there, playing the kind of music he is famous for and leaving no question in anyone's mind as to why he is famous for it.
The crowd at Sunrise waited as the lights went down and Costello and the Attractions rushed onto the stage. "Oh, I just don't know where to begin ..." Costello sang. But, to the near capacity crowd, anywhere was fine.
Just what kind of music draws this kind of attention? Well, one could say it is basically rock 'n' roll, but it is really much more, because Costello draws heavily upon country and rhythm and blues.
From the opening, "Accidents Will Happen," to his latest release, Imperial Bedroom, Costello played and sang with a vengeance. However, the moment of truth came during the first few notes of "Watching The Detectives."
As the band members were silhouetted by green lights, they were accorded their first clear view of the auditorium and it was then that Costello was able to catch sight of the banner. "Elvis In Florida — Beyond Belief!"
After seeing that, Costello barred no holds and went on to deliver one of the finest shows ever staged at the Sunrise. He rang every ounce of emotion from every song he sang. whether it was the desperate sadness of "Kid About It" or the sheer joy of "You Belong To Me."
Costello displayed his lyrical prolificy. He is a man of subtle nuances, who is able to reveal the hidden meanings of his lyrics when in concert.
When Costello left the stage for the first time, he did so with a witty rendition of "Imperial Bedroom," a song, as yet, unavailable in the United States.
The crowd went wild and Costello returned. It was almost like a conquering hero returning home from battle; the roar was deafening. "This is our new single. It's called 'Man Out of Time,'" he said. Then he played once again.
"Mystery Dance" soon followed and the audience rose to its feet, where the majority remained for the rest of the show. Those who could find the room were dancing in the aisles.
Costello took his second exit, followed, of course, by a second encore. "Why Don't You Love Me Like You Used To?," "Two Steps Away From The Blues" and "Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down," offered a more country-tinged turn to the concert. Then Costello broke into "Almost Blue," a song he hopes Frank Sinatra will record.
The up-tempo, "Pump It Up," ended the musical part of the concert, but the applause remained.
It had been over two and a half hours since Costello had taken the stage. He had touched on songs from most of his albums. His voice was raspy and his clothes were soaked when he said his final good-night. Truly beyond belief, Elvis was in Florida.