Ottawa Sun, May 2, 2008

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Scotiabank Place, Ottawa - May 1, 2008 By AEDAN HELMER - Sun Media


Before the Police took the stage, Costello, in trademark black-framed spectacles and backed by The Imposters, delivered a solid 40-minute opening set, blending old favourites with tunes from his latest record, Momofuku.

After ripping through a blistering (I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea, with its lilting reggae one-drop beat, and the rousing Every Day I Write the Book, Costello gave fans what they came for with a tender rendition of the 1977 hit Alison, from his debut album My Aim Is True.

With Momofuku, Costello makes a slight return to his schizophrenic geek-punk roots, the rocking American Gangster Time and Turpentine striking a sharp contrast to the soft, acoustic ballad My Three Sons.

The highlight came mid-set, with longtime keyboardist Steve Nieve's swirling Wurlitzer giving way to a stark, almost tribal rendering of Watching the Detectives, before closing out with frenetic renditions of Radio Radio, Pump it Up and the anthemic (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.

As the song, and set, came to an abrupt close, Costello held his Telecaster aloft and the house lights came up, leaving fans wanting more.