Edmond Chibeau looks at performance and theatre from the avant-garde communication perspective

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Location: Mansfield, Connecticut, United States

Friday, November 22, 2013

New Wave Rocks Jorgensen

Elvis Costello
Jorgensen Auditorium
21 November 2013
by Edmond Chibeau

 Of flailing arms and the bad man, he sings!  New Wave rocker, more than a decade deep in a New Century, makes the words sing.  He writes the history of desire with a poet’s soul, chooses just the right word, then crushes it between his teeth.

 Tone is not a simple matter of frequency.  Tone is that elusive vibe that keeps us listening even when we aren’t sure what we are listening to.
Elvis Costello sings the song he is singing, not the one we are listening to. 

The fingerprints on his reputation are all his own.

The music has a narrative and the words have melody.  He translates his synesthesia so that we can partake of that transformation with him.  He helps us taste the bitter sound of love gone cold.  Communicates in living color the aural disaster inside him and makes us feel it.  He says the theme for the evening is, “Love… betrayal, deceit and shame.”

 He’s a bad man with a bad attitude and he makes good performance.
They say all you need it three chords and an attitude.  He keeps the attitude but he doesn’t stop at three chords.

Two hours and fifteen minutes.  One performer. No intermission.The show started strong and got better and better.  His aim is true.

The stage set is spare.  There were always 5 guitars behind him on stage, but they were often switched out with the help of two roadie/stage managers. There was also an electric keyboard but that wasn’t used until the encores.  How many encores?  I lost count but at least half an hour’s worth.
 Six down-lights on the cyclorama, and two signs: an “On Air” sign mid-stage right, and a lighted arrow pointing to the wing mid-stage left. Two large video screens mounted to the left and right that were fed by three cameras.  Nothing special by way of sets and lights.  This show is one performer alone on stage, or it is nothing at all.  Elvis Costello played a wide range of songs and styles and kept us rocking throughout.

 If you want to know the name of the songs he sings, or the cords he uses, check his website.  It’s all there.  If you want to know how his music feels then you’ve got to press your chest against his sound, let it vibrate against your sternum.  He’s on tour, go listen.

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