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Oct 02

An intimate evening with Elvis Costello

Audience bonds with English rocker Elvis Costello at San Luis Obispo concert

Note: Brittany Hensley, sales manager at The Tribune, attended Elvis Costello’s Sept. 29 concert at the Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo. Below is her review.

On the night of September 29, 2012, Elvis Costello took the stage at the Performing Arts Center. The tickets were nearly sold out and the audience was dotted with middle-aged die-hard fans.

Elvis took to the stage in a three-piece suit and straw hat, with a lineup of guitars that would have made any musician envy.

Outfit changes were replaced with guitar changes as he played a variety of his hits along with versions of songs from Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Costello stunned the audience with his mastery of the effects pedal, and a white police siren also made its presence known.

Old songs and new were accompanied by short stories of how they came about. “Every Day I Write the Book,” for instance, was written in less than 10 minutes and achieved fame for less than 10 minutes.

Costello also talked about family history, mentioning that his grandfather was his musical inspiration, and his upbringing in the industry.

Costello’s easy banter with the crowd reminded the audience of the humility behind the man.

The audience bonded with Costello, who performed four encore songs, ultimately playing for two and half hours. I was taken back by the legend standing in front of me, and other members in my party had a fond remembrance of Costello.

A lot of performers will jam through a concert and sing their goodbyes to move onto the next show, but Costello seemed genuinely happy to be playing in San Luis Obispo — which shone through in his performance.

Costello’s final encore was his hit “Alison.” Costello unplugged his guitar and microphone and stood at the edge of the stage and played.

This obviously touched the crowd and will be remembered by all of those where lucky enough to have attended. Old fans were pleased and new fans were awed.

Here’s a partial play list:
“Alison”
“Radio Radio”
“Watching the Detectives”
“Veronica”
“Oliver’s Army”

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