Elvis Costello – The Revolver Tour

Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 12:13 AM by   

Elvis Costello - The Revolver Tour

Fox Theater, Oakland – May 9, 2011

It has been 25 years since Elvis Costello brought out “The Spectacular Spinning Songbook” where the audience is invited to participate in a one-of-a-kind concert.  If you are lucky enough to live near (or travel to) one of the nine cities where Elvis Costello and The Imposters will play this month, you won’t be sorry.

Audience members will be invited onstage where they may spin “The Wheel” and then be offered a chance to enter the “Hostage to Fortune Go-Go Cage”, while their selection is performed.

Alternatively, they may choose to take a seat in the on-stage “Society Lounge”, where light refreshments will be served, during what promises to be a splendid and surprising evening.

–taken from www.ElvisCostello.com

This was actually my first time seeing Costello live (in-person that is).  I’m perhaps what you might call a “casual fan” of sorts.  My wife certainly has a deeper understanding of the catalog than I do.  However, that didn’t stop me from having a great time.  The music sounded amazing.  Sure, there were tracks I recognized, but there were many more that – despite not knowing the words – I still danced and tapped along to the beat.  It’s hard not to, the music is just so damn good, it’s practically infectious.

The Stage When It's All Lit Up!

“I Can Sing A Rainbow” – Jackpot Spin

Spinning “The Wheel” makes for a custom playlist each show, and we were lucky enough to hit a special jackpot purple wedge on the second spin.  “I Can Sing A Rainbow” yielded us songs about color, including Green Shirt, Blue Chair, and Red Shoes.  Before Costello started the set, he asked the spinner what her favorite color was.  She responded with a color not in his library, so he borrowed a few lines of Purple Rain from Prince – well done, I might add.

If you have ever seen VH1 Storytellers, then you’ll understand how pretty much of the remainder of show went.  Costello told many tales of how certain songs were written, stories about when they would be on tour, and just lots of great humor in between.  Each time someone got invited to the stage to spin “The Wheel” meant Costello would take on a new role as Master of Ceremonies, including a tiny costume change.

The entire set played that night of the tour (and other nights), as “borrowed” from the ElvisCostello.com website:

Overture
I Hope You’re Happy Now
Heart of the City
Strict Time
Mystery Dance
The Spectacular Spinning Songbook
Shipbuilding  (SPIN #1)
“I Can Sing A Rainbow” Jackpot (SPIN #2
)
Green Shirt

Blue Chair
Red Shoes/Purple Rain
The Other Side of Summer  (SPIN #3)

Chelsea  (SPIN #4)

This Wheel’s On Fire/River In Reverse  (SPIN #5)
Monkey To Man  (SPIN #6)

Counting Darkness – IMPROMPTU
Harry Worth  (SPIN #7
)
Alison/Wind Cried Mary/Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Somewhere  (SPIN #8)

* Interlude *

A Slow Drag With Josephine

Jimmie Standing In The Rain
Pump It Up – in 6/8 – Busted
The Spectacular Spinning Songbook
“Girl” Jackpot (FINAL SPIN)
Girl

This Years Girl
Doll Revolution
* Finale *
You Belong To Me

Next Time Around
Peace Love And Understanding

The Bottom Line

Go see this show! If you can find yourself a ticket, you won’t be sorry! The sixth row made for a great up close and personal view, but I think that darn near any seat in the Fox Theater would have been great to enjoy the show. In some cases, it might have been better, as the podium and Society Lounge did block some views of the band.

Waiting For The Show To StartCostello Serving as Master of Ceremonies at The Wheel

Elvis Costello and The Impostors

The Imposters are: Steve Nieve (keyboards); Pete Thomas (drums) and Davey Faragher (bass).

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  • Lmt61

    He did a tour like this back in the 1980’s that I missed. The only tour of his I missed BTW!

  • What made this such a strange show for me were the tracks I knew that they didn’t play that night. i.e. “Pump It Up” or “Radio Radio” weren’t even on The Wheel. That said, I was very enthusiastic and jazzed the entire show, and I hope to see him play again soon.

  • Mark Vaughn

    On our way to Chicago from Omaha to see him, this is the eighth time! Cannot wait EC is my fav, I still can’t figure out what I like best…the writing, his voice, the music, the fun he has on stage and with the audience, maybe its the correct WHOLE PACKAGE! Saw him in Minn, at the taste of minnesota dead center first row, He interacted with us and it was outstanding. Thanks to you Elvis for a life time of great music, Mark in Omaha and wife Irene!