Home Indie Music Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets @ Beacon Theater, NYC, July 13, 2023

Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets @ Beacon Theater, NYC, July 13, 2023

Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets @ Beacon Theater, NYC, July 13, 2023


Elvis Costello & The Imposters

Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets

Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets @ Beacon Theater, NYC, July 13, 2023,

Jul 18, 2023

Images by Matthew Berlyant
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It will be extremely truthful for followers to anticipate the surprising from Elvis Costello by this level, greater than forty-five years into his profession and with so many twists and turns, it could make even essentially the most devoted Method One or NASCAR fan dizzy. As such, this summer time tour together with his long-time backing band The Imposters, billed as a “summer time vacation,” noticed him touring as soon as once more together with his longtime mentor, producer, buddy, and collaborator Nick Lowe and *his* backing band Los Straitjackets doing their very own mini-set as properly. Due to this fact, followers, even ones who maybe had been perusing the setlists from earlier within the tour in numerous fan corners of the web, might need been shocked that this, in contrast to final yr’s comparatively rather more simple present at Pier 17 (see my assessment HERE) , resembled much less final yr’s rock and roll sort revue that includes a biggest hits/new album/some rarities sort set and extra resembled his 10-night run on the Gramercy again in February (see my assessment HERE) the place he principally took over the theater for a month, inviting particular company, enjoying units based mostly on totally different themes every night time, and in a single occasion, even debuted his Broadway musical, which additionally occurred to be on the present I noticed throughout that run. Throughout that run, he didn’t repeat a single music and performed 250 in complete, a outstanding achievement.

Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets
Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets

You simply *knew* that this was going to be one thing totally different when the present opened with the comparatively little performed “Drugs and Cleaning soap” (in a brand new association) adopted by “Possession” from 1980’s Get Joyful!! (which I believe could also be my favorite of all of his albums and that’s saying one thing) .From there, we bought a mixture of new, unreleased songs, outdated favorites like “Alison” (this time fully rearranged and with a snippet of the Gamble/Huff basic “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” “Nearly Blue” (additionally fully reworked) together with the ever-present “Watching the Detectives” and deep cuts from the ‘80s and ‘90s like “The Comedians” from 1984’s Goodbye Merciless World (although with lyrics later rewritten for Roy Orbison for his final album Thriller Lady) and “Toledo” from his glorious 1998 album Painted from Reminiscence together with his lately departed collaborator Burt Bacharach. It was good to listen to him pay tribute to Burt by saying that they’d been writing songs collectively for nearly thirty years! Time certain does fly.

Backed by The Imposters that includes “particular visitor” Charlie Sexton (at what level does he develop into an official member?) and a visitor horn part (solely current for the final six dates of this tour!) that make outdated favorites just like the aforementioned “Possession” notably totally different from their recorded variations (and extra like how he performed it on his 1983 tour, which additionally featured a horn part), one phrase that might be used to explain this night was “eclectic” and extra for hardcore followers than for informal ones or those that wished to simply hear “Pump It Up” or one thing in that vein.

That mentioned, followers who simply wished his extra simple rock and roll facet did get their needs in the direction of the final thirty to forty-five minutes of the two-hours-plus set when the blitzkrieg rage of “Chelsea,” “Pump It Up,” and “(What’s So Humorous ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” (for which its author Lowe got here out to duet with Costello) closed the night. And barely earlier, a completely searing “Excessive Constancy” adopted a equally rousing model of that very same album’s (1980’s unimaginable Get Joyful!!)’s UK #2 hit “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down” (a Sam and Dave cowl that he began slowly like their model earlier than tearing into the sooner one).

This familiarity, nevertheless, was coupled by extra experimental fare like a number of songs from 2013’s Smart Up Ghost (a collaboration with The Roots), specifically “Come the Meantimes,” which was slinky and funky in a method not discovered on the file, and “Cinco Minutos Con Vos” (launched because the sequel to 1983’s “Shipbuilding,” additionally performed on this night). Within the midst of all of the fiery rock and roll that categorized a lot of the remainder of the set, we additionally bought the 2006 association (credited to Allen Touissant and solely showing on a reside DVD from the identical yr referred to as Scorching as a Pistol, Eager as a Blade) of “Poisoned Rose” (initially recorded by Costello in 1986 for his album King of America and far in a while by Lowe for 2011’s The Outdated Magic) with Costello filling in on piano for he much-missed Touissant (RIP).

Los Straitjackets
Los Straitjackets

As he did final yr, Nick Lowe dutifully opened the present backed by Los Straitjackets by enjoying a set of career-spanning highlights starting from the opening observe “So It Goes” (his 1st UK solo single from 1976) to “I Stay on a Battlefield” (from 1994’s The Unattainable Chicken) to “Home for Sale,” a gorgeous ballad from 2011’s The Outdated Magic and most lately, the rockin’ “Tokyo Bay” and “Trombone.” In the course of Lowe’s set, Los Straitjackets performed a brief set by themselves earlier than Lowe got here again out to play extra and be part of them, together with his greatest hit “Merciless to Be Sort” and “After I Write the E-book” (on Rockpile’s 1980 LP Seconds of Pleasure). For the latter, he requested the group to sing alongside and the group, after all, dutifully and respectfully obliged, setting the stage for the two plus hours of Elvis to come back.



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