Last Night

Elvis Costello - The Wiltern - 4/17/12

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Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 8:30 AM
click to enlarge DANIEL KOHN
  • Daniel Kohn

Elvis Costello

The Wiltern


Better than...a show with a standard set list

For the past year, Elvis Costello has been challenging himself and fans with his Spectacular Spinning Songbook Tour. With his extensive catalog that includes over 30 studio albums, multiple live albums and appearances on many tribute albums, the London native has more than enough material to put to the test both his diehard fans and talented backing band, The Imposters.

Costello brings a wheel -- think Wheel of Fortune -- which features the names of everything from classics to covers. The singer will pluck a lucky fan from the audience to spin the wheel and whichever song the arrow ends up on, that's the one that will be played.

click to enlarge The wheel - DANIEL KOHN
  • Daniel Kohn
  • The wheel

After getting the crowd going with "Pump It Up" and a few other tunes, Costello turned The Wiltern into his own bizarre fun house, casually inviting fans on-stage to spin the wheel, which determined the play-as-you-go set list.

The show's concept kept the audience on their toes, despite a number of them having seen this act at the same venue only a year earlier. Highlights from the wheel included covers of Chuck Berry's "No Particular Place To Go," the Nina Simone/Animals' track "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," and originals like "Accidents Will Happen" and "Riot Act."

Every night the wheel has a different mix of songs. Fans who spun it could kick back with either an adult beverage in the seated area on-stage, or could dance in a small cage on the far side. Many of the ladies who were plucked from the sold-out crowd did the latter.

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