Elvis Costello (Paramount Theater, Oakland)

In the fashionable nightclubs and finer precincts
Man uses words to dress up his vile instincts
Ever since we said it
He went and took the credit
It’s been headed this way since the world began
When a vicious creature took the jump from Monkey to Man

– Monkey to Man (The Delivery Man)

Elvis. The Paramount. It doesn’t get much better than that. The other time I saw Elvis was at the Greek Theater, and it was touted as a greatest hits tour, so I knew almost every song. This was definitely an album tour as the first 5-6 songs were off newer albums, none of which I had heard. Sporting trademark black plastic framed glasses and silver reflective shoes, he then pulled out a couple of classics with “Oliver’s Army” and “I Don’t Want to go to Chelsea.” The band played for two hours with essentially no stops. Only twice did Elvis really make any sort of statement, and the time between songs ranged from zero, as in the transition into “Watching the Detectives,” to 5 seconds as he’d run to pick up the next guitar from the crew. They sent us home with “Peace, Love, and Understanding” and “The Scarlet Tide,” which was uplifting for me in these politically inane times. There was no encore, but none was necessary. Great show.

1. Blue Chair
2. Uncomplicated
3. Clown Strike
4. King Horse
5. Country Darkness
6. Bedlam
7. Needle Time
8. Blame It On Cain
9. Either Side Of The Same Town
10. (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea
11. Clubland
12. Our Little Angel
13. Suit Of Lights
14. Kinder Murder
15. In The Darkest Place
16. When I Was Cruel No. 2
17. Watching The Detectives
18. The Delivery Man
19. Monkey To Man
20. Hidden Charms
21. Mystery Dance
22. Why Don’t You Love Me (Like You Used To Do)
23. There’s A Story In Your Voice
24. Pump It Up
25. Hurry Down Doomsday
26. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love& Understanding?
27. The Scarlet Tide

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