Solo Show Proves Costello’s Aim is Still True
Steeped in history, Tulsa’s Cain’s Ballroom is known as the “Home of Bob Wills.” From 1935-42, Wills and his Texas Playboys regularly broadcast their Western swing from this stage out across the country on AM radio’s KVOO. March 6, 2015, was the 110th anniversary of Wills’ birth, and who better to provide the music on this momentous occasion than the perennially cool Elvis Costello. First playing the Cain’s in ’78, he’s returned many times since. Judging from his shouts out to the state, the venue and Wills himself, Costello seemed happy to be back once again.
Taking the stage in a dark suit, white hat and trademark geek-chic spectacles, Costello is undiminished by the years. The capacity crowd of adoring fans, which ran the gamut from hippie to hipster, let out a roar and took a collective step forward. “Glad to see you. I’m surprised at this crowd. It was empty two hours ago,” Costello said with an amused grin before launching into “(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes”, stepping away from the microphone to let his willing choir of 1300 joyfully sing out the chorus. Delivering the first of almost 30 career-spanning songs with an infectious energy and powerful voice, Costello set the tone for the night, a solo musician captivating the packed house as well as any band ever did.
Accompanied only by his guitar and loop pedal, Costello served up one crowd-pleasing song after another, finishing with a rousing version of “Watching the Detectives” before tossing his guitar pick into the audience on his way to the piano for a soulful rendition of “I Can’t Stand Up for Falling Down”.
Talented sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell from opener Larkin Poe joined him for the second half of the show. Costello ended the night with a gorgeous version of “Alison”, “Everyday I Write the Book” and (What’s So Funny ‘bout) Peace, Love and Understanding”. Promising to return, he blew a kiss to the crowd and exited the stage to deafening shouts and applause. For great live photos of the Cain’s show, visit Kevin Pyle Photography.
Press Photo credit: Andy Gotts.