Elvis for King. Hey, the south has always been big on El-vis, and even though this one didn't throw scarves and sing "Blue Hawaii," he attracted a solid crowd of admirers to the Fox Theatre Saturday night. Elvis Costello, masterblaster of the perfect pop song, had returned.
Despite a rumor that Elvis would play first (D., you must not get carried away so) the English band Squeeze opened the show. They leaned heavily on tunes from their most recent album Argy Bargy including the wonderful "Pulling Mussels From A Shell," but got their loudest response for "Slightly Drunk" — an appropriate song considering the stimulating effect they had on the audience. Atlanta missed hearing "Cool For Cats" and got, instead, a danceable "How Long Has This Been Going On" (the oldie of the evening).
As the lights dimmed after intermission Elvis strolled onstage and began with a ballad (a new one, this was). When the lights came up, here was a brand new Elvis, well-fed (about 20 pounds heavier) and respectable (in a three piece suit). But this Elvis could still cut loose and attack with his music. Those biting lyrics only sounded more cynical when delivered with a crooner's control.
Elvis altered states and alternated rockers and slower ballads throughout the show. He performed quite a few songs ("Luxembourg" and "Club Land" among others) from his forthcoming album, Trust. These were mixed in with many, but not all, of the old favorites: "Opportunity" and "High Fidelity" from Get Happy!; "Clowntime Is Over" (the slower version) from Taking Liberties; "Accidents Will Happen," "Green Shirt" and 'Watching the Detectives" with a few bars of Stevie Wonder's "Masterblaster" (does that mean anything?) thrown in from Armed Forces; plus a crowd-rousing "Pump It Up" (the encore) from This Year's Model.
Still, I was offended by the omission of "Miracle Man," "The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes," "Five Gears in Reverse," "Clean Money," "Blame It Cain," "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding"... oh the list goes on. One young man was so upset by the omission of "Girls Talk" that he took off his athletic socks and threw them towards the stage. Even the wonderful "curtain of light" stage effects couldn't console him. As long as Elvis is so prolific, one night just won't be enough.