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Elvis Costello Reviews

Indie & RockConcerts

Average customer review: 2.5 star rating (2.3 Stars)

Number of reviews: 80



2.0 star rating from Providence, Rhode Island


I've seen Elvis Costello more times than I can remember since the 70's, starting at Rhode Island College, and traveling back and forth to venues in every decade since. I've seen him play angry (even though he isn't any more..) I've seen him play drunk, not feeling well from illness, and everything in between. This performance, in my opinion was a moody, VooDooish , Halloweenie kinda vibe and very difficult to get into. Something more than acoustics was in play here. At times he could barely warble a sentence, other times he sounded like he did in his 20's. I get it...We're much older now. It doesn't excuse poor, sound adjustments, rambling songs just wandering into who knows where, and vilifying great songs and turning them into throw away's I've never accepted the" tired of playing them" excuse. With a catalog as large and varied as the band has that doesn't cut it. He was very engaging, the extra guitar was great but It was the first time I ever left a Costello show before it was over.

2.0 star rating Joey from Boston


I have seen Elvis many times and last night's show was the most disappointing by far. My first time at Providence Performing Arts, I was wowed by the beauty of the place. But the sound system was awful. Over 1/2 the concert was just one loud bass thud with the vocals often inaudible. I don't know whether it was because of the sound or monitors but it was the least energetic I have ever seen him. His voice was often pitchy and his timing was consistently behind the band's playing. I felt he was just going through the motions with a few exceptions....King of America and I Want You come to mind. And the poor guy must be so bored playing Pumping it Up, Watching the Detectives, and Peace Loving and Understanding as his encore (I think it was every other time I've seen him, too). I can't help but wonder if he takes it easy in smaller cities so he can rock harder in bigger ones. Such a mediocre way to experience a beautiful concert hall. Is the sound there always that bad?

2.0 star rating Eugeria from Providence, Rhode Island


Band tight, great set list, terrible, and I mean terrible, job projecting Elvis's voice. Completely muddy, unintelligible and buried by the band. Very disappointing concert.

2.0 star rating Tracy from San Francisco, California


The sound was awful, really horrible, so bad tried moving about the theatre & couldn’t find anywhere that wasn’t cringe worthy. People complained & walked out. There was no energy even when he played his old time hits. It felt unrehearsed, his tone was awful, the bass was deafening & not necessarily because of volume. The rhythms were off. ….. no depth, his voice was mostly off, total lack of energy. What a sad performance. A waste of time & energy. I’m a long time fan & I’ve seen his live performances in the past ….. I walked out after an hour of what felt like an assault on my ears.

2.0 star rating Mike C. from Washington, District of Columbia


Let me start by saying I think Elvis C. is a great lyricist and musician. Hence, I gave two stars instead of one. I saw him last night at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA. Not sure if he was having an off night (which I hope was the case) but he was out time (with the band) for most of the show and wasn't in key for most of the songs. It just sounded really bad. So bad, in fact, I left after about forty minutes. So, I suppose its possible that he got better and I missed it. I have only ever walked out of one other concert in my life (and that was more because of rainy weather than performance). I've been to hundreds of concerts over the last four decades. Last night was the worst live performance I have ever experienced. Still love him but will not pay to see him live again. On a positive note, his opening act, Nick Lowe, was fantastic. Mike C.

2.0 star rating Mike from Easton, Pennsylvania


I have been a fan of EC since the "My Aim Is True" Album. Unfortunately, acoustics in Wind Creek events center were terrible. Line of site to stage is poor as well as the venue doesn't slope toward stage. Music was very distorted with sound bouncing off metal ceiling and cement walls creating echo effect making vocals and music difficult to hear clearly. I had been to two other concerts there( side and front sections) and sound was almost as bad and only a little better in the center section. I dont know if accoustics were throwing off band timing as some of the instruments seemed off time with others for several songs. Vocals were off a bit as well- maybe acousitics? Show started about 20-30 min late and they played for just about 90 min. One complaint regarding multiple artists concerts I have attended in past couple of years is the song selections. I can only speak for myself, but I dont overpay for show tickets to hear more obscure B side songs( that were never popular for a reason) than the popular songs even if they may have been played at the show just prior to mine.

2.0 star rating P Lee from Vancouver, British Columbia


The opening act of Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets was tight and enjoyable. The same could not be said of the main attraction, Elvis Costello and the Imposters. The last time I saw Elvis at the same venue, he was on tour with Steve Nieve and brought the house down with a superb, passionate performance. Tonight was sloppy, his best known songs deconstructed and rebuilt in a Frankenstein mode - it was jarring and disjointed. The band never found its groove and Elvis’ voice was frequently off key. It was so unenjoyable that we left early. I am a huge EC fan, and found it dispiriting and boring.

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