Rock 'n' roll is big business these days, with every element organised in fine detail — and that's just behind the scenes.
With most bands this also includes their setlists, which vary only slightly as the tour makes its way around the world.
But Elvis Costello was having none of that, as he ended his Australian tour as part of the Day on the Green festival at Kings Park Botanic Gardens last night.
The 57-year-old English rocker, a frequent visitor to Australia since he first came here with the Attractions in 1978, brought a new band — the Imposters, featuring original Attractions Steve Nieve (keys) and Pete Thomas (drums) plus bass player Davey Faragher — down under, with the setlist chosen in the more usual way by Costello and the band.
The current tour's Spinning Songbook concept features 40 selections of hits, rarities and surprises each night, with the band playing whatever song the wheel lands on.
Unfortunately the spinning wheel only made it Sydney and Melbourne but that didn't stop Costello from changing tune for his eager Perth fans, pumping out 20 of the greatest in just under 90 minutes — and he wanted to keep going.
The crowd got moving at the man's insistence with "High Fidelity," while Costello kept them dancing while showing he was more than a clever songwriter on "Uncomplicated," belting out wicked riff after riff as sweat flew from under his choc-nut coloured trademark hat.
Solo renditions of "A Slow Drag With Josephine" and "Jimmie Standing In The Rain" on acoustic were poignant, as was a cover of Johnny Cash's "Cry, Cry, Cry."
The Imposters joined Costello back on stage for crowd favourite "Watching The Detectives," before they launched into a series of classics, reluctantly finishing the set with the Nick Lowe cover "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?"
If Costello wasn't sure what Australian city he was in, the crowd certainly knew when when he sputtered his final words on tour, at 10.20pm:
"We want to play more but they won't let us."
And with that, Elvis left the park.