Elvis Costello And The Imposters
Beacon Theatre
New York, NY
May 23, 2011

Elvis Costello - guitars, vocals

The Imposters
Steve Nieve - keyboards
Pete Thomas - drums
Davey Faragher - bass, vocals

The BibleCode Sundays - featuring Ronan MacManus on vocals, guitar
Tennessee Thomas - drums
Alex Turner - vocals

Source: master audience recording
Taper: bronxapostle
Equipment: Sony cassette recorder
Sound: good (mp3 samples attached in the comments)

Time: 2:25:54

Lineage: CDR > EAC > TLH > FLAC 6 (align SB) > Foobar2000 (flac tags)

Review in the New York Times:


Another Spin of the Musical Wheel
Published: May 24, 2011

Elvis Costello came on as all jovial show business — carny barker, M.C. and musical attraction — on Monday
at the Beacon Theater. It was part of a three-night stand there for his Spectacular Spinning Songbook tour
with his longtime band, the Imposters.

A smiling go-go girl danced in a cage, cocktail glasses sat alongside Steve Nieve’s piano, and dominating
the stage was a giant roulette wheel with song titles instead of numbers. Repeating the concept of a tour
Mr. Costello did 25 years ago, songs were to be chosen by audience members spinning the wheel. He promised
“songs of love, songs about sex, songs about death and dancing, but not necessarily in that order.”

For part of the show he stayed with the concept, bantering with audience members and leading the band
through choices from the wheel (which largely overlapped his best-of albums). At one point he put on a top
hat and flaunted a silver-tipped cane. Between songs the band played mock game-show music; perhaps since the
Beacon has a Broadway address, Mr. Nieve kept dropping in bits of “On Broadway.”

Mr. Costello built loopholes into the wheel: one for “solo” songs he could choose — like the ragtimey “Slow
Drag With Josephine,” from the “National Ransom” album of 2010 — and slots that were themes instead of song
titles. “Time” came up, for a miniset including his own “Clowntime Is Over,” “Strict Time” and “Man Out of
Time” and the Rolling Stones’ “Out of Time.” He brought out the Bible Code Sundays, his brother Ronan MacManus’s
Celtic band, to play along on a few unlisted songs. (There was other family, too: Tennessee Thomas, the drummer
Pete Thomas’s daughter, joined the band on a second drum kit, matching her father fill for fill.) Mr. Costello
turned some of his own songs into medleys, quoting sources like Smokey Robinson, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley.
When he felt like it, he just moved the wheel to the song he wanted to play. “If I can’t cheat, who can?” he teased.

But the real and gratifying cheat was that there is, in the end, no way to keep Mr. Costello’s songs in any
shallow entertainment mode. His torrents of words hold desire, rage, wounds and revenge, from the scathing personal
scale of “Alison” to the historical sweep of “Oliver’s Army.” The music converges from all over — punk, soul,
British Invasion, Tex-Mex, tango, country — to carry those words and sort out their emotions.

Even in music dating to the 1970s, the Imposters didn’t treat the songs as rote oldies. They were still pushing
and pulling at them, putting (for instance) a guitar-scratching funk finale onto “(I Don’t Want to Go to) Chelsea.”
And Mr. Costello inhabited his characters completely when he sang: all the ache, all the venom. None was more telling
than “I Want You,” a slow, seething, self-lacerating and furious confession of passion and need, with jabs of bitter
lead guitar. It didn’t feel like show business at all. Maybe that was the real proof of Mr. Costello’s showmanship.

Overture - featuring former free-style rodeo champion, Susie Darling, direct from her engagement at the “Tethered Steed”
01 I Hope You’re Happy Now
02 Heart Of The City
03 Mystery Dance
04 Radio, Radio

The Spectacular Spinning Songbook
05 spin 1
06 Watching The Detectives
07 spin 2 >>> "Time" Jackpot
08 Clowntime Is Over
09 strict Time
10 Man Out Of Time
11 Out Of Time
12 spin 3 / Oliver's Army
13 spin 4
14 A Slow Drag With Josephine
15 American Without Tears - with The Biblecode Sundays
16 Little Palaces / Traditionals - with The Biblecode Sundays
17 spin 5 by Willie Garson
18 So Like Candy
19 Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
20 intro to All Grown Up
21 All Grown Up
22 spin 6 by Alexa Chung
23 Turpentine - with Tennessee Thomas
24 Uncomplicated - with Tennesee Thomas
25 Shotgun / applause - with Tennessee Thomas

26 Lipstick Vogue – with Alex Turner
27 Waiting For The End Of The World
28 Gloria
29 (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea
30 I Want You / applause

31 spin 7
32 Alison
33 Tracks Of My Tears
34 Tears Of A Clown
35 Suspicious Minds
36 (The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes
37 Purple Rain
38 Pump It Up - with Tennessee Thomas
39 Subterranean Homesick Blues - with Tennessee Thomas
40 (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding? - with Tennessee Thomas