Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Pretty self-explanatory
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docinwestchester
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Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby docinwestchester » Wed May 25, 2011 3:17 pm

I posted a little note about how great the Revolver tour was on the Bruce Springsteen fan website (http://www.backstreets.com/btx) "Loose Ends" section, which is for non-Bruce related general discussion. I got this response:

I saw the show in Chicago. It was fine but left me with some odd feelings. First off, and most important, the show seemed to be rigged. I saw the same show many years ago and, at that time, all of Costello's songs were up on that wheel--ALL OF THEM. This time around? Only 40 songs on that wheel. Second, a couple of times, Elvis stopped the wheel on a song he wanted to play. Third, check the other setlists. Many of them are fairly identical. The tour's setlists aren't nearly as "random" as you'd like them to be. Fourth, there were plenty of seats available (I actually got in for $10.00). It made me kinda sad to see how few people actually care anymore. I guess the 55 year-olds just didn't want to come out for that show.

On the plus side, yes, the show rocked. It was also a lot of fun, what with the wheel and all. Not nearly as "random" as I wanted it to be but still fun.


Obviously no real reason to argue with this guy, he's clueless, but it makes you wonder if this is the norm and we're a bunch of freaks.

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verbal gymnastics
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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed May 25, 2011 3:37 pm

There are some fair points made though.

Granted, we see Elvis in a different way to other people.

But the poster has a fair point. Many of the same songs were played every night and many of the spins were rigged.

It seems odd in a way because Elvis and the band are well capable of genuine spontaneity.

But many under 55s will not have seen the shows before and will have left happy.
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And No Coffee Table
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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby And No Coffee Table » Wed May 25, 2011 4:19 pm

verbal gymnastics wrote:Many of the same songs were played every night


There were four songs played every night: "I Hope You're Happy Now," "Mystery Dance," "Pump It Up," and "Peace, Love and Understanding."

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... olver_Tour

macguffinman
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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby macguffinman » Wed May 25, 2011 4:23 pm

Also, there were 40 songs on the wheel 25 years ago as well. Not ALL of them.

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docinwestchester
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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby docinwestchester » Wed May 25, 2011 9:42 pm

What's strange to me is that someone could leave that brilliant show in Chicago thinking he or she was cheated because it wasn't a truly random setlist, thereby ruining the overall experience for him or her. Jeez, the wheel is a prop, it's part of a routine. It gets the fans on the stage where they get to hang with Elvis. It gets EC in the mood to do his emcee shtick. It's an element of fun and a side of him that we don't get to see much of during the standard concert format. Just go with it and enjoy, fer gods sake!

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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby bronxapostle » Wed May 25, 2011 10:07 pm

exactly DOC...it's a SHOW! with a REAL showman!; an ENTERTAINER! be entertained!!!!! sheesh...

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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby SoulForHire » Thu May 26, 2011 1:22 am

I was stunned when people were saying the Vegas show was "lame" just because the Wheel was not there. He just KILLED it that night and the lack of the Wheel added to the energy because there were no pauses for Wheel spins.

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Jeremy Dylan
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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby Jeremy Dylan » Thu May 26, 2011 1:25 am

Yes, I find it rather odd that the overriding enjoyment factor some people is the presence of a large novelty prop.

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watercamp
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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby watercamp » Thu May 26, 2011 6:25 am

I've lived with the "Them or Us" attitude since Mystery Dance was in competition with You Should Be Dancing.

Back then I would say to anyone that would listen, "Let's talk in 30 years!", well...where are The Bee Gees today?

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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu May 26, 2011 7:10 am

At the end of the day it is entertainment.

Yes Elvis could have decided to play some completely different songs.
Yes Elvis could have played the song that the wheel landed on to the letter (and even play the song in a different arrangement like Detectives in 1986) or solo

But it's entertainment and seeing Elvis as the showman, as the man who cheats the sheepskin because he wants to, as the guy who gets the audience involved in a once in a lifetime opportunity is all part of the whole experience.

Most people will only have seen the show once and will have gone home happy.
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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby sulky lad » Thu May 26, 2011 12:39 pm

Perhaps part of the problem is that everyone has their own agenda when they go to a gig and we all have our "perfect" setlist in our heads and hope that the songs of our choice will get played. However the best shows I've seen EC play have been ones where he's defied expectations and followed his own whimsy on that particular evening. Given that up until after ATUB in particular, most tours were undertaken to "promote the product" we've all been fantastically spoiled by an artist who wasn't content to play promotional tours consisting of 80% of the newest album and the rest as greatest hits. I remember so clearly VGs face when he turned to me in Oxford last year as EC started "Point Of no Return". No-one could have possibly predicted that he'd do that obscure B-side and yet he pulled it from wide outfield as a one off. I've got to the point where I'd rather not anticipate what any show might consist of because Elvis knows way better than me what is appropriate for that evening and how he feels. The Spinning Songbook is only a prop or an aide-de memoire at worst and if it means it liberates EC to sing and play what he wants, then it's fine by me !

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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby alexv » Thu May 26, 2011 2:32 pm

I was at the Monday Beacon show, and I was a little disappointed, and it had something to do with what this guy is getting at. It was a great show, and I had a great time, and my sense that something was off is really as I think about it all about how I as a long time fan, and long time EC concert goer feel about his song selection. To put it bluntly I prefer to see him do songs I have not seen him do over and over again in some two decades of concert-going.

At the Beacon show I was a little surprised in particular at the number of pre-87 songs he threw in. By my count, he played 33 songs, 10 of which were covers (I'm including the snippets). Of his 23 originals, 14 were ‘82 and before; 5 were KOA/BC from ‘86-7. We got 2 songs from the mid’ 90s (Cany and Grown Up) and then Turpentine and Josephine from the ‘00s.

That’s four songs from the post BAC period!! As a long-time fan who prefers early EC I’m fine with him doing the early stuff. But I was frankly disappointed that he played so much of his old repertoire, and that he settled for the well-known songs at that. The Wheel would have allowed him to do some unexpected, or underperformed early songs. But as the Hoover Factory/WTD vote showed, he was playing the “hits”.

It’s somewhat disapopointing to me that a performer (my favorite performer) who insists, with almost every public utterance, that he should not be judged based on the past, or chastised for experimenting, should treat his NYC fan base, a fan base he visits with regularity and is familiar with his well-known songs, to a Spinning Wheel show (an idea based on the pleasures to be had from randomness) where it’s all about Alison, PIP, WTD, RR, PLU etc.

But anyway, that’s just old-fan kvetching. It was a great show. As others have pointed out, he's not just recycling those well-known songs. He doesn't exactly go Dylan on them, but they do sound fresh and new. My daughter, who's only been to two EC shows, loved it. Her favourite bit was the Josephine solo version. Really showed the man’s talent.

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verbal gymnastics
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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby verbal gymnastics » Thu May 26, 2011 2:51 pm

All valid points.

For these kind of shows - which I gather were quite expensive - he's going to have to cater for the casual fan and these fans may be inclined to go and buy his greatest hits or whatever following the show. Or even check out other albums.

Other fans such as many on this board will be dumbstruck at him doing songs like Earthbound (just like sulky lad said about Point Of No Return last year. Sulky can add King of Confidence to that as well).

But this gives Elvis an opportunity to please all manner of people.

There was certainly an interesting mix in the eras chosen but with over 500 of his own songs at his disposal and more covers as well, putting 40 songs on the wheel is going to be difficult.

Personally I want to see an Obscurities Tour!

I
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Re: Sometimes I Forget That Not Everyone Is An Elvis Fan

Postby Jack of All Parades » Thu May 26, 2011 5:14 pm

I am inclined, like Alexv, to give some credence to the poster who responded on the other site. After all, he did not state he had a horrible time at the show he saw but was simply expressing some disappointment relating to the way the show was constructed, something I share along with him after witnessing the Boston show a week ago.

That Friday night as I walked down Newbury St to get fresh air following the show, I kept mulling over in my head my feelings about what I had just seen and heard. I was definitely entertained and I continue to admire the man's showmanship and stamina. But I felt curiously underwhelmed and even unimpressed with the show in its totality. Perhaps a great part of this feeling stems from the fact that I am an old geezer who has seen just about every tour since 1978. There is little new under the sun for me with this artist. I had hoped for more 'obscure' song selections both on the wheel and in the set list. That was not to be. Out of a set list of some 20 tunes only 2 were composed post 1985. That was disappointing. The promised allure of the wheel with its random song selection was almost nonexistent as the wheel really only was spun 5 times that evening and two were the same song and other spins were manipulated by the artist. The old war horse songs have been played consistently in prior band tours and even the playful medley additions to several of them have now been done innumerable times going back over past tours. For an artist who prides himself on not doing the same thing twice and who has been known to scold his audience for not being willing to follow him on his more esoteric musical excursions it is disappointing to me to constantly hear the same old war horses band tour after band tour. This is the problem of being an old long standing fan.

Now that is not to say he was not inventive. I enjoyed the interplay with his brother's band and it brought new life to two old songs. I could have done without Peter Wolf but I did get to hear "Cry One More Time". The Wedding Proposal, as for McGuffin, has grown to irk me. It ate up precious time, took away from possible music and interrupted the flow of the show. As it was we had only about 20 songs for the entire performance. The wheel itself was more of a distraction rather than an enhancement as it truly offered few real 'obscurities' or underperformed songs from his catalog. As I said earlier I had a good time but in the afterglow I was left with a feeling of some disappointment. My expectations were too high I suppose. I am with VG- a genuine tour of 'Obscurities' would be much desired by me. I also should probably learn to hold out in the future for a tour that supports one of those more obscure side projects he is want to do from time to time and avoid a future 'greatest hits' lounge tour like this one is turning out to be. Love the man's energy and the tight group of musicians he has put together around himself but just wish that energy had been directed over a broader smattering of his material and not the over familiar war horses that we we were treated to that evening.
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