Elvis Costello at the BoA Pavilion

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Last night, Sally and I saw Elvis Costello with Allen Toussaint at the Bank of America Pavilion (which was once called Haborlights). On this tour supporting his River in Reverse album, Elvis reworked many of his classics with a smoking New Orlean’s horn section. The 2 1/2 hour show (no opening act and two encores) opened with a thundering version of “What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding.” Elvis played several of his standards throughout the evening, including “Chelsea,” “Watching the Detectives,” “Pump it up,” “Poison Rose,” “Clubland,” and “Alison” — which was particularly noteworth as it was arranged for horns. However, the real fun was had when Toussaint played his classic bluesy rock.

Really, this was one of the better shows I’ve seen. Almost no pretention and nearly all performance. The light show was minimal and there were no stage theatrics. Elvis did take a few (well deserved) swipes at President Dubya, but that was OK with most of the crowd.

You can read the Boston Globe’s review or listen to a brief interview with Elvis. I definitely need to pick up his new album.

One member of the crowd who nearly stole the spotlight from the main stage was a bald gentleman in a white T-shirt that bore lettering colored like the American Flag. He was very highly animated at the start of the show, intensely thrusting his fingers in a peace sign at the stage in a “throwing the goat” sort of way.
Most of the time, these gestures were entirely inappropriate for the mellow songs of the evening and people around us began to openly mock this attendee by thrusting peace symbols in unison.

Boston: a town of mockery and hate.