Stevenology, May 8, 2011

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Elvis is king in Reno


Last Saturday night we traveled to Reno to see Elvis Costello and the first night of his Spectacular Spinning Songbook tour. First a bit of history: about twenty-five years ago Elvis toured with a big spinning wheel with names of songs on it. We saw that tour but it was a l-o-n-g time ago. And now, all these years later, he is doing a short tour again with a new, huge, updated wheel. The photo on the right gives you an idea of the size of the wheel. He gets people from the audience to come up and spin the wheel. Then he and the band play the song that is chosen by the wheel spin. Meanwhile, the audience member(s) get to relax with a beverage in some chairs on stage, or also have the option of dancing in the metal go-go cage at the left side of the stage. Yep, big fun!

To start, Elvis and his band, The Imposters, came out and played a few songs, starting with a rocking "I Hope You're Happy Now," "Mystery Dance," and "Radio, Radio." What a great 1-2-3 punch, and they were just getting started! It was time to pull the first couple of people out of the audience and let them spin the wheel. Elvis was joking around with them and hamming it up as he was talking about the wheel and it was all quite a hoot, in the best sense of the word. Anyway, you get the idea. It continued on like this for about two hours total.

When the main set ended, the crowd was roaring for an encore. Which of course happened. The complete setlist is below, and included two Beatles songs also.

BTW, I have more crappy cell phone pix and maybe even some crappy cell phone video, which I may try to post soon too. All in good time.

The songs, with a few comments by me…

I Hope You're Happy Now
Mystery Dance
Radio, Radio
Spectacular Spinning Songbook selections
Stella Hurt
Green Shirt – these next three were referred to as his "color songs"
Almost Blue
(The Angels Want To Wear My) Red Shoes
Veronica – A bit slower and more laid-back than the album version
Chelsea – awesome keyboards in this and most songs
Beyond Belief
Shot with His Own Gun
Girl – Beatles cover
Sulky Girl
This Year's Girl
Party Girl
Man Out of Time
And Your Bird Can Sing – Beatles cover
Oliver's Army
A Slow Drag With Josephine – solo, just Elvis
Pump It Up – slow, bluesy version that segued into the old classic song "Busted"
The Other Side of Summer
Alison – extended ending that had a few lines from Over The Rainbow, Wind Cries Mary, and something else, was it from West Side Story?
(What's So Funny About) Peace Love and Understanding – a rocking finale!

It was a great show and Elvis was in fine form, whether singing or playing guitar or joking around with the wheel spinners from the audience. He's one of the best songwriters ever and his stage presence and vocals have only improved over time.

Plus, his band is top-notch. Long-time keyboardist Steve Nieve was awesome as always. Pete Thomas is a really good drummer and the bass player was no slouch either.

I loved how there were songs from Elvis' entire career. I could nit-pick and say, what, no "So Like Candy" or Watching The Detectives"? But he has hundreds and hundreds of songs and he can't do them all.

Tags: Grand TheatreRenoNevadaThe ImpostersSpectacular Spinning SongbookHostage To Fortune Go-Go CageI Hope You're Happy NowMystery DanceRadio, Radio


Stevenology, May 8, 2011

Steven reviews Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Saturday, May 7, 2011, Grand Theatre, Reno, Nevada.


2011-05-08 Stevenology photo 01 st.jpg
Photo by Steven.


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