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In Action! Elvis Costello at the Chicago Theatre

Catching up with Elvis Costello's show at the Chicago Theatre on Monday, December 20.

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"As host of the Sundance Channel's Spectacle, Elvis Costello gets fellow artists to open up about their creative process, and often perform stripped-down versions of beloved songs. The British singer/guitarist followed his television show's cue Monday during a wide-ranging solo concert at the Chicago Theatre, giving a sold-out crowd a rare glimpse into the intricate workings and bare essentials of his own material," Bob Gendron writes for the Tribune.

"Never short on ideas, Costello has adopted nearly every imaginable musical guise throughout his 33-year career. Many of these flirtations surfaced during a 140-minute, 29-song set dependent on little more than voice, guitar and periodic loops. Keeping banter to a minimum, Costello embraced myriad roles - clowning minstrel, sincere balladeer, backwater bluesman, street busker, blue-eyed crooner, boxcar-hopping folkie, Dixie-whistling vaudevillian. No matter the style, his timbre seemed immune to age. Occasionally Costello walked away from the microphone, his voice still ably projecting, and capable of emphasizing dramatic impact."

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"With large snowflakes projected on the curtains behind him, Elvis Costello took the stage at the Chicago Theatre on Monday night for a sold-out solo acoustic show that was billed as a special 'career-spanning once-in-a-lifetime event,'" Anna Deem writes for Spinner.

"Indeed, Costello lived up to his 'consummate showman' title as he stood humbled before the massive audience, which gave standing ovations after nearly every song in his two-hour long set. Decked out in a smart dark gray suit and matching hat, Costello wasted little time chatting with the crowd and instead blazed through most of his set. Kicking his performance off with '(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes,' Costello mixed in classics such as his set list with classics like 'Alison,' 'New Amsterdam' and 'Green Shirt' with newer fare such as 'A Slow Drag With Josephine,' 'Jimmie Standing in the Rain' and 'The Spell That You Cast' from 2010's National Ransom."

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"Christmas with Elvis Costello evidently does not include chestnuts roasting, sleigh bells ringing or children singing while dressed as Eskimos. Monday night at the Chicago Theatre, he paid homage to the season but in a way more expected from this acerbic rocker: a song about poisoning the family clan over the Christmas ham and another that imagines winter winds as tentacles coming to get you," Mark Guarino writes for the Sun-Times.


1. Hello, baby, I'm pleased to meet you.

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2. But for the dead shot of an amber glass . . .

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3. Is all hope lost? Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

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4. Spare a thought.

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5. Vile vaudevillians applaud sobriety.

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6. There's no fool like an old fool.

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7. Hope in the eyes of the ugly girls.

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8. You drink yourself insensitive and hate yourself in the morning.

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9. His face closes in like an old pork chop.

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10. History repeats the old conceits.

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11. I'm just a soul whose intentions are good.


12. I'm a man with a mission in two or three editions.

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13. My aim is true.

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14. I get so angry when the teardrops start.

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Comments welcome.




Permalink

Posted on December 27, 2010


MUSIC - RockRadio.com.
TV - Tribune: Sinclair Blew Sure Thing.
POLITICS - Defense Bill's Media Myopia.
SPORTS - The Ex-Cub Factor.

BOOKS - Arne Duncan, Unreliable Narrator.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Foxconn Flooding Alert.


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