Steve at Telluride #17: I Think Somebody Better Put Out the Big Light
Elvis Costello just wrapped up his set. He’s touring with a pantheon of great players–Jerry Douglas on dobro, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Jim Lauderdale on harmony vocals. It was simply a kick to see him so close. ELVIS COSTELLO! I’ve been amped up to see him; I mean, trying to pick my favorite Elvis Costello song is like trying to isolate a favorite pint of blood in my veins. Tonight, he gave us nice versions of “Blame It on Cain” and “Red Shoes” alongside several classic country covers–Hag’s “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” and George Jones’s “The Race is On.” Elvis scratched the most itches with a sweet run through “Friend of the Devil”–a moment of communal grinning and shuffling. But he scored a knock-out punch with “What’s So Funny…,” by which time we’d edged pretty close, just in time for an Emmylou walk-on.
Coming up next to close an amazing day: Railroad Earth. To nick a line from Whodini: The freaks come out at night. The festival really changes at night—it gets younger and edgier and tarp space becomes more of a free-for-all. The stage lights add an element of beauty and mysticism and strangeness. Plus, it’s colder than hell—you look around and it’s the fleece-ing of America. Everyone dances, if nothing else, just to stay warm. Well, the Railroad Earth kids are out in full force, and it’s going to be delirium in Town Park late into the night. We’ll see how long I last—‘sbeen a long day. I’ll give you a full report in the morning. Good night from Telluride.