Sunday, May 21, 2006

elvis costello & friends, trump taj mahal, 05/19/06

Friday night was the Elvis Costello concert at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. It was completely worth the $100+ and 5-or-so hours spent driving there and back. I wouldn't say it was the most fun concert I've ever been to but it was definitely the coolest. Elvis Costello, Death Cab for Cutie, Fiona Apple, Billie Joe Armstrong; all of them singing Elvis' songs, and Elvis singing their songs, and everyone doing duets, it was fucking AMAZING. The whole thing was being produced for a VH1 Decades Rock Live tv special. Unfortunately it won't be played on normal VH1, just VH1 Classic, but thanks to digital cable I get VH1 Classic so I'll be able to watch it when it airs (in July, I think.)

The weird thing was how many Green Day fans were there. It wasn't his show, so Lord knows why so many people were willing to spend $50+ to come see BJA sing like, 3 songs. There were all these 14-year-old girls running around in Green Day shirts; it was kind of disturbing.

The show started a little after 9 pm when a few of the producers came out and explained that the show would be on tv and then said they needed an audience reaction shot and tried to get everyone screaming and yelling. The women was all, "Pretend I'm a famous songwriter! Yeah!" Well, there were four famous songwriters backstage who everyone was waiting for so I don't see why they didn't just trot one of them out; I guess everyone needs a little ego boost.

So finally Elvis came out with Death Cab for Cutie, who also happen to be my favorite band, basically. They started off with "Accidents May Happen," then DCFC did "The New Year" solo. Then some chairs and microphones were set up closer to the audience and Elvis & Ben Gibbard did 2 acoustic songs, "I Will Follow You Into the Dark" and "The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes". That was one of the highlights definitely. I LOVE "IWFYITD" and seeing not only Ben but ELVIS perform it? Crazy. DCFC also did "Crooked Teeth" and "Kinder Murder" and I think that was it for them.

The problem with this first section of the show was that it was really obvious they were doing the concert for a taping. There were pauses between songs that were just long enough so that they kind of killed the energy. After DCFC's set there was a 20-minute break that was annoying, but at least it gave me a chance to use the bathroom.

The Imposters were the band for the rest of the show, and Fiona Apple was next. I'm not a big fan of her but her voice is fantastic and the absolute best song of the entire show was her singing "I Want You." I mean...whoa. That song is so intense in the first place and she did it beautifully. If VH1 cuts out part of the concert and they don't include that song, I will FREAK. OUT. They also did "Shabby Doll" and "Tymps (The Sick in the Head Song)" and one or two others I didn't recognize. She was a little awkward to watch, she kept flailing her arms around, but I guess that's because she's normally playing a piano, not just standing there singing.

Then Elvis & the Imposters did a few songs - "Man Out of Time," "When I Was Cruel," "Clubland." They were excellent of course. And then: Billie Joe Armstrong. The guy got more applause than Elvis even did. It was crazy. And I do like Green Day, but I think BJA was by far the least talented musician performing that night. He opened with "No Action" but I guess he messed up a verse because after a few other songs they did it again. But together he & Elvis did "Wake Me Up When September Ends," "Alison," "Good Riddance," "Radio Radio," "Basket Case," and "Pump It Up." The best was "Alison." Partly because it's one of my favorites, partly because they had the audience sing the chorus and I love it when that happens at concerts.

Finally everyone came out on stage and they did the Beatles' "You Really Got a Hold On Me" and then "(What's So Funny Bout) Peace Love and Understanding." I KNEW they'd do that last one together; when I saw Springsteen/REM/Bright Eyes they all did that one at the end. I guess it's the big everybody-sing-together song.

Overall it was really a once-in-a-lifetime thing and SO awesome. I don't think BJA is that great but he definitely brought the energy up and everyone was up and dancing once he came out so I can't really fault him. Like I said, everything was totally worth the price.


At 1:11 PM, Blogger Vinti Singh said...

sounds like you had a good time. my favorite elvis cover ever is wynona ryder doing "burning love."

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