Elvis Costello wrapped his NYC residency with The Imposters (pics, setlist, video)
Elvis Costello wrapped up his 10-show "100 Songs And More" residency at NYC's Gramercy Theatre run on Wednesday night. As the previous show featured his band The Imposters for half the night, it was no real surprise that this closer was a full-on Imposters show and Elvis, Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher were also augmented by guitar great Charlie Sexton. It was a tremendous finish, as they played a blistering three-hour, 29-song set that only let up due to a brief medical emergency in the audience (the fan was okay).
This group's performance was perhaps meant as a final rehearsal of sorts before they hit the road starting Thursday night in Bethlehem, PA. They played a good chunk of Costello's 2022 LP, The Boy Named If, hitting eight of the 13 from that album.
The feel of the room was different from other nights of the residency as the band was fully present and plugged in right from the start. Most of the fans on the floor stood, eager to match the energetic output of the music. Gone were the simpler arrangements of Costello on vocals with Nieve backing him on piano and perhaps a guitar. On Wednesday, the band was ready to rock, and they did, hitting a lot of greatest hits, including "Radio, Radio," a terrific slower version of "Everyday I Write the Book," as well as "Watching the Detectives," "(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea," "Clubland," and "Pump It Up." They played two of the songs that were promised on Night 9 but didn't make the setlist ("Deep Dark Truthful Mirror" and "Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 4") and repeated "Alison," which had been already played on Night 1, but Elvis admitted would sound better with Charlie Sexton on lead guitar duty.
The one song that was a constant each night of the run was "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding," which some audience members took as a sign to leave a little early, like during the bottom of the 9th inning at a baseball game. But those who stayed to the end of that song which usually closed each night were rewarded, as the band jumped right into the true final song of the evening and run, a smouldering version of "I Want You" that incorporated pieces of The Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," Burt Bacharach's "Say a LIttle Prayer," and Ray Charles' "Believe to My Soul."
The Imposters sailed past the curfew of 11 PM, going another 20 minutes and finishing to thunderous applause. At one point, Costello joked, "We have no more songs! We’ve run out of songs!" But that, of course, was untrue. It felt like they could have played another hour and fans would have stayed and soaked it all in.
Check out photos from Night 10, along with the setlist and a few fan-shot videos, below.
SETLIST: Elvis Costello & The Imposters @ Gramercy Theatre 2/22/2023
American Gangster Time
Hetty O'Hara Confidential
Either Side of the Same Town
The Death of Magic Thinking
New Lace Sleeves
The Boy Named If
Everyday I Write the Book
Watching the Detectives
Couldn't Call It Unexpected No. 4
Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
The Man You Love to Hate
Mistook Me For a Friend
(I Don't Want to Go to) Chelsea
What if I Can't Give You Anything but Love?
Man Out of Time
Pump It Up
(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding
I Want You (with “I Want You (She’s So Heavy),” “Say A Little Prayer” and "Believe to My Soul")