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Elvis Costello Reviews

Indie & RockConcerts

Average customer review: 2.5 star rating (2.3 Stars)

Number of reviews: 78



2.0 star rating Travis from Vancouver, British Columbia


Elvis gets none.

2.0 star rating KCha from Vancouver, British Columbia


I was expecting “We’re All Going On A Summer Holiday” tour to be a fun concert especially with Los Straitjacket (& Nick Lowe) opening it. The sound crew seems to have been ones on holidays because the audio was awful. The vocals started too hot. Nick Lowe was good but when he left and let Los Straitjacket play a few songs on their own that ending up being the best music of the night. Their set was tight and energetic. Wish we heard more of them. After a long switch over, Elvis and crew came on. I say crew because we saw a lot of strange stage craft - roadies bringing out unwanted chairs mid song and lights not switching on time. Audio mix was awful again with feedback and vocals disappearing. Elvis was charming sharing stories of his life and collaborations. His band was amazing and some of the song (re)arrangements were interesting but the setlist was not inspiring and it just didn't feel ready. I think Elvis actually cut it short and ended it early to avoid blowing his voice.

2.0 star rating Shemar from Vancouver, British Columbia


First, I should note that I love EC. His catalog is full of amazing music. But like every artist who was willing to take risks, there are experiments that just shouldn’t find their way onto a tour’s setlist unless, as another reviewer pointed out, there is a warning for the buyer. Most fans do not come to a live show to hear underwhelming and under rehearsed renditions of the back end of an artist’s discography. This was the tour opener, granted. However, it seemed like the band was still rehearsing arrangements. Personally, I love it when artists take the biggest hits and deconstruct them in a creative way. But deconstructing the middle and back of the catalog? Why? I get that he doesn’t want to do, what he called, a golden oldies set. BUT, there is a reason some songs stand out and stand the test of time for an artist. Because they are the artist’s best stuff!! Prince, a prolific songwriter as well, understood this well. If you combine poor song selection with poor sound that was too hot in the upper midrange frequencies with EC having some intonation issues with his stellar voice that makes for an unsatisfactory experience. Sorry I could not be more positive this time.

2.0 star rating Simon from Vancouver, British Columbia


This was my first EC concert although I've admired him for decades. I thought the show was ambitious, varied and uneven. Nick Lowe and Steve Nieve were the big highlights for me. I loved how Steve wandered from station to station providing exceptional colour to the songs. The evening had a first-night feel, lumpy in spots, mix was generally okay despite thin vocals, too much kik drum and several missed cues; lighting was extremely disjointed and distracting. I loved how Elvis said ‘let there be no light…’ after an especially crappy lighting set. Who are these people and why doesn't EC demand better? I waited in vain for ‘Alison’, surely Charlie Sexton could pull off the guitar if EC can't. Pals from Hardly Strictly say Elvis opened that show with it. His passion is undeniable, I frequently found his erratic pitch centre shocking. I guess that’s his style, but it still surprised me.

2.0 star rating Carl Mealha from Los Angeles, California


I am a huge Elvis Costello fan and have been so since Alison. I was at the Greek Theater last night and witnessed something that apparently a lot of people didn't. Elvis was atrocious. He is one of the most talented and evocative singers ever but last night he couldn't a single note and seemed to be always trying to catch up to the music. It was a train wreck. The Imposters were stellar and were the only saving grace. The addition of Charlie Sexton to handle the lead guitar chores was a big plus. But their efforts were undermined by Elvis' inability to sing on key and in time. I love Elvis but the emperor has no clothes.

2.0 star rating Sean from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Very disappointing. We left half way in. First hour was more obscure songs with interjections of not very funny banter. He was a bit arrogant too. Someone after 7 or 8 tunes yelled “Pump It Up” and he starts ridiculing the guy and told him to fuck off - someone who likely paid $250 for a floor seat. Costello seemed to forget his good fortune of having 3,500 ppl still willing to come to see him because they fell in love with his early songs. He hasn’t learned what most other aging touring acts learned long ago, be grateful your old music still sells tickets and give your audience what they came for. Nick Lowe was the opener. Also uninspiring. His band had masks on which was just silly and took away from the performance.

1.0 star rating James Martin from Vancouver, British Columbia


This is the 3rd time I've seen Elvis C and I have to say, I was very disappointed. I now read from other reviews that he was battling a cold, which explains some of the poor quality vocals and sound. We left after song 5 and cut our losses. I'm going to leave my memory of the last 2 concerts and try to erase this one. I appreciated the early night, so every cloud has a silver linning.

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