Elvis Costello and The Imposters
Date: November 28, 2018
Location: House of Blues, Anaheim
Elvis Costello graced the stage of the House of Blues, Anaheim for his Look Now and Then tour. The iconic rocker is on tour promoting the release of his 30th studio album “Look Now” (October 20th), his first album in over five years. Earlier this summer he canceled a string of European dates due to cancer related surgery. Earlier this month he canceled a show in Connecticut due to a throat infection. He however made a speedy recovery continuing the rest of his tour. His sense of humor though has not disappeared though. A fan shouted out to him asking about the state of his health. Costello replied back stating, “I’m feeling just fine”, with a grin on his face he turned to his band. “They’re just being nice to me because they think I might die.”
The singer, song-writer arrived on stage at 8:10 pm as he and his band The Imposters began the night to This Year’s Girl. Costello and The Imposters were greeted with thunderous roars of shouts and applause as the evening began on a rocky start. Costello appeared on stage dressed in an all black suit and tie as members of The Imposters wore black and white clothing that complimented the leading guitarist. The current line up of The Imposters include Davey Faragher (bass), Steve Nieve (keyboard), and Pete Thomas (drums). New additions to the tour since the 2017 “Imperial Bedroom” tour include back up vocalist Kitten Kuroi and Briana Lee. Though being 64 years old, he still performs with a youthfulness as his passion for live entertainment shines as bright as ever.
As previously mentioned, the night began on a rocky start. Technical issues related to his electric guitar plagued the beginning of the concert. Costello referred to these issues as “the gremlins” as the issue persisted. During the first four songs, his guitar cut out making it impossible to hear it well. The music became out of sync with Costello’s singing as the concert continued on. Costello could be seen continuously pointing to stage right at an unseen technician about the sound issues coming from his guitar. Best way to describe this situation is one of the songs that Costello performed, Accidents Will Happen. Actually, after performing this particular song Costello became fed up with the sound issue and walked off stage. A technician arrived on stage trying to fix the issue on hand. After five minutes it appeared that the issue had been resolved. Costello came back on stage performing two more songs, Green Shirt and Photographs Can Lie. Do you know what else lies? Technicians. The sound problem with his electric guitar persisted much to the annoyance of everyone.
Once again Costello stopped played as a technician came on stage to resolve the issue again. This time Costello addressed the audience telling them that he would not be “abandoning” them again. Instead of making everyone wait, he picked up another guitar to perform acoustic. Starting with Burnt Sugar Is Bitter he performed acoustic versions of some of his huge hits. He kept the concert afloat as he continued performing, not letting these technical issues became a large problem. The guitar wound out not being the only issue as the piano would be out of tune too. Costello sat down to play it for a few seconds before getting back up to sing at the microphone.
His passion roared fiercely as the crowd took in every note he sang or played with heart. There is no stopping this musical genius from performing his hits to the adoring fans that came to see him that night. As the evening progressed the concert started to mellow out as the crowd became smaller. Costello himself started getting tired as he sat on a stool for a few tracks towards the end. Who could blame the guy when he performed for over two hours and a half hours? Each minute of the concert being more spectacular than the last.
Throughout the night he would tell the crowd little jokes and antidotes here and there. One of the jokes involved comparing Elvis to Trump, stating he recalls someone telling him that joke. Other little jokes and tales were sprinkled in here and there. In addition to The Imposters, the two lovely backing vocalist Kuroi and Lee stood to the right of Costello throughout the concert. They both wore black with one wearing red boots and a red top that complimented Costello’s outfit. The two ladies performed on the side, but were center stage for a beautiful arrangement of Alison. Their added vocals through the evening added a nostalgic element of Costello’s early music.
A man in the front row collapsed and passed out towards the end of the concert. Costello stopped the concert to check in on him. Costello proceed to sit on the edge of the stage and sing He’s Given Me Things to the man who passed out. He kept an eye out on him as he performed the song without missing a beat. Later on the man collapsed again requiring emergency personal to assist him. The man was later stated to be doing well.
Highlights of the concert included his performances of Pump It Up, Alison, He’s Given Me Things, Don’t Look Now, and Radio, Radio.
Elvis Costello Setlist
1. This Year’s Girl
2. Honey, Are You Straight Or Are You Blind?
3. Radio Radio
4. Accidents Will Happen
5. Green Shirt
6. Photographs Can Lie (snippet of The Look of Love)
7. Burnt Sugar Is So Bitter
8. Tears Before Bedtime
9. Mystery Dance
10. Why Won’t Heaven Help Me?
11. Motel Matches
12. Watching the Detetives
13. Sugar Won’t Work
14. Deep Dark Turthful Mirror
15. The Beat
18. High Fidelity
19. Unwanted Number
20. It Takes Time (Otis Rush cover)
21. Everyday I Write The Book
22. Moods For Modern
23. Man Out of Time
24. Don’t Look Now
25. He’s Given Me Things
26. (The Angeles Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
27. Mr. and Mrs. Hush
28. Pump It Up
29. (What’s So Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
Orange County Register. November 29, 2018. “Elvis Costello is playing LA: Here are 3 takeaways from his Anaheim concert” by Peter Larsen. https://www.ocregister.com/2018/11/29/elvis-costello-is-playing-la-here-are-3-takeaways-from-his-anaheim-concert/
- 26th concert at House of Blues, Anaheim in The Garden Walk.
- 2nd time seeing Elvis Costello.
- 50th concert of 2018.