COSTELLO;ELVIS AND THE IMPOSTE 2004: CLU
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Elvis Costello and the Imposters - Club Date - Live in Memphis
Elvis Costello and his band pull off a deft bit of alchemy with Club Date - Live in Memphis, a 2004 show that mixes some of his oldest songs with some of his newest. That's quite a range, as Costello has been at it since the mid-'70s (as have drummer Pete Thomas and keyboardist Steve Nieve, who were once Attractions and are now Imposters); performing for a lucky few hundred souls at the Hi Tone Cafe, he dusts off several chestnuts from the early days, including "Mystery Dance," "Pump It Up," "Alison," and "Radio Radio," all of which sound great. In fact, although Costello is decades past the angry young man period that spawned those classics, the guy still knows how to rock, with a raunchy sound dominated by his own elementary but effective guitar playing and Thomas' tireless pounding. The quartet (bass player Davey Faragher is the fourth member) also draws heavily on The Delivery Man, performing no less than ten tunes from the CD that was his most recent at the time of this gig. Meanwhile, Emmylou Harris turns up for three duets (plus one bonus track) with Elvis, among which are Gram Parsons' "Wheels" and Johnny Cash's "I Still Miss Someone;" the pair sound good, albeit a little too quavery for some tastes. A nearly hour-long documentary in which Costello and Thomas visit some Memphis landmarks (as well as Oxford, Mississippi, where The Delivery Man was recorded) rounds out a great-looking (in High Definition), great-sounding disc sure to satisfy the faithful--and many others as well. --Sam Graham
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You know how it is when you go to a concert of a well known artist and all you really want to hear is the old stuff, mainly because the new stuff is pretentious and lame...that was NOT the case here. Elvis varied it. He played both. But honestly, the best part of the show was when he played the new stuff. The duets with Emmylou Harris were also outstanding. And it might just be a personal preference, but I really dug the purple suit he was wearing.
Check it out for yourself. And look for me while you are at it, I may have been imortalized on the DVD. I am the curly haired girl in the red and white shirt.
The disc is great on many different levels. Elvis rocks his heart out on stage, and his duets with Emmylou Harris are nothing less than sublime. He also takes us on a long tour of the Southern locales that have inspired him throughout his career. His vocal and instrumental chops are first-rate, whether he is performing solo or with the band, acoustic or electric, before stomping, hooting crowds, or alone with a piano in a small studio. He meets performers and fans and really seems to enjoy talking to them.
(I saw Elvis in a one-man show in Seattle in 2005, and he has never been better. At the peak of his form, and with just a guitar and an empty stage, he put on a long, ebullient, and amazingly rich performance, filling a stadium with thousands of his fans who stood in rapt attention when they weren't cheering and singing along, playing hit after hit from the length and breadth of his oeuvre.)
Get this DVD to understand the power of Elvis live!
As for the live performance and quality, this is superb. Elvis still sings in the original key, which is something not many performers his age can still do. (I know this because he still plays the songs in the original key. I played guitar along with the DVD.) There are plenty of closeups since this was a small venue, and it's easy to see the audience reaction. (I haven't seen the PoGo dance for quite some time.)
I suggest you pick this up. If you're a die hard fan or are new to his music, I believe you'll be in for a treat.
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