Costello performs a slew of hits

The Green Music Center was visited by Elvis Costello and the Imposters as one of only four stops along their small U.S. tour. The audience was full, filling both the hall as well as the lawn. The concert started at 7:30 and lasted about two hours with an additional 30 minute encore. Costello played quite the set list with 24 songs to be exact; ranging from his older hits to songs from his newest album, “Wise Up Ghost.”

Elvis Costello is an English singer-songwriter who began his career in the early 1970’s. He is a Grammy Award winner that has released 32 albums to date. Costello had numerous influences and sung a variety of genres including rock, pop, jazz and even country. He performed with The Imposters; drummer Pete Thomas, bassist Davey Faragher and pianist Steve Nieve, for nearly 30 years.  

Elvis Costello had an impressive catalogue. His solo shows gave him the opportunity to arrange and choose songs to tell a story. 

“This show may contain any song I’ve written, some you will know already, some are the hits of tomorrow,” said Costello. 

He opened the show with “I Hope You’re Happy Now”, one of his older songs.

A highlight of the night was when Costello performed one of his newer songs, “The Last Year of My Youth,” in which he urged people to stand up, for it described the history of our lives. Costello sung, “Hold onto your fondest wish whatever you call the truth.” 

Another memorable performance was “Will You Walk Us Up Town,” where Costello’s band, The Imposters, got the chance to play a large instrumental sequence. Costello repetitively sang the title line, “Will you walk us uptown?” 

Other notable performances included, “Red Shoes”, “Everyday I Write the Book” and one of his more popular songs, “Chelsea”. Costello ended his encore with “Peace, Love, and Understanding,” ending the show with a question, “There’s one thing I wanna know: What’s so funny ‘bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh What’s so funny ‘bout peace love & understanding?” 

Unfortunately, Costello’s on stage presence was less than stellar. He sang song after song, however, he did not talk and interact with the audience. When seeing an artist live, one likes to hear the artist talk and maybe give a little story about the song or interact with the crowd somehow. Costello barely spoke with the exception of the hello, the introduction of his band and good night. He did not tell stories, make jokes or even say thank you. 

He zipped through the set list as if it were a chore. Costello did not even seem to be having a good time. Those who had a close-up view on the jumbotron had a constant distraction of Costello chewing his gum which was a disturbance to the music. Although Costello did not seem to be enjoying himself, the same cannot be said about his audience. The crowd was excited to be there, cheered after every song and danced on the lawn, while enjoying Costello and his band perform their hits. 

Because this event was held on a college campus, many students came out to enjoy the evening. First time Costello concertgoers may not have received the best impression of him. It was clear that Costello’s show was geared to an older audience.