Even for those who aren't Elvis Costello geeks, there are a few good reasons to attend this week's two shows at Universal.
The first is that Costello's touring with the Attractions — drummer Pete Thomas, bassist Bruce Thomas and keyboard player Steve Nieve. They are absolutely some of the best musicians in the business, the kind of knock-your-socks-off combo that can fill the Amphitheater to the top with divine sound, and your organism with the wonder of life. On his last pass through town, Costello brought along only Nieve, and since the Attractions are an on-again off-again proposition, you need to catch 'em while you can.
The second reason is that Costello's current album, All This Useless Beauty, is his best in years, packing at long last the vitality conspicuously absent from the handful that came before it.
The third and most important reason to attend the concerts — both, if you can — is that Elvis Costello is God.