niagara falls

Pretty self-explanatory
idiot cousin
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niagara falls

Postby idiot cousin » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:43 pm

here is one that slipped past the radar.. july 7 & 8th... niagara falls
just went on sale around an hour ago.. for my eastern canadian friends

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BlueChair
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Postby BlueChair » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:58 pm

Who does Elvis think he is, The Rolling Stones??? $127.87!?!?! There's no way I'm paying $250+ so Red and I can see Elvis for the third time.

Strange that he would play a casino and charge that kind of sum, cause usually casino shows are cheaper.

It almost seems like a hoax, but it is on Ticketmaster's website and the venue website.
This morning you've got time for a hot, home-cooked breakfast! Delicious and piping hot in only 3 microwave minutes.

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:18 pm

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/10003 ... majorcatid


Elvis Costello
The Avalon Ballroom At Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, Niagara Falls, ON
Fri, Jul 7, 2006 08:30 PM

http://www.ticketmaster.com/event/10003 ... orcatid=60


Elvis Costello
The Avalon Ballroom At Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort, Niagara Falls, ON
Sat, Jul 8, 2006 08:30 PM

FLOOR SEATING
CA $106.46 - CA $127.87

MEZZANINE SEATING-LEVEL ONE
CA $106.46

BALCONY SEATING
CA $85.07

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SweetPear
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Postby SweetPear » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:50 am

Blue,
I'm so sad to hear that you won't be seeing Elvis! But I don't blame you one bit, the ticket prices are insane. I'm so embarrassed to even say how much we spent for the tickets to the Decades of Rock thing. Add the ridiculous "handling fee" and it's a crime.
It's just sad cause we know how much you wanna go!

:(
I'm not angry anymore....

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verbal gymnastics
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Postby verbal gymnastics » Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:36 am

Can't we chip in and buy it as an early wedding present? I would happily do so. I'd want to give you both more than a card.
international laughing stock...

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SweetPear
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Postby SweetPear » Fri Mar 31, 2006 8:36 pm

Hey, cool idea!
I'm not angry anymore....

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migdd
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Postby migdd » Fri Mar 31, 2006 9:18 pm

I'm in! How do we figure the logistics of sending Blue and Red off to a complimentary EC show at the honeymoon capital of the world??! Does this site accept Paypal? Can the Spookys help us arrange this venture?

Of course, we would expect a full report (of the concert, at least) upon the lovebirds' return!!

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Boy With A Problem
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Postby Boy With A Problem » Sat Apr 01, 2006 5:02 am

Should be easy enough - VG buys the tickets and has them sent to Blue/Red and we each give him £2 when we see him. :)
Everyone just needs to fuckin’ relax. Smoke more weed, the world is ending.

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Extreme Honey
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Postby Extreme Honey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:17 pm

Lol can someone buy me something too?? Prett please?? :cry:
Preacher was a talkin' there's a sermon he gave,
He said every man's conscience is vile and depraved,
You cannot depend on it to be your guide
When it's you who must keep it satisfied

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verbal gymnastics
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Postby verbal gymnastics » Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:30 am

Boy With A Problem wrote:Should be easy enough - VG buys the tickets and has them sent to Blue/Red and we each give him £2 when we see him. :)


:lol:

I can see an ever so slight flaw in this plan...

I'm pleased that some people think this is a good idea. This was a genuine offer (this offer is unrepeatable) and I've Pm'd Blue to see if this can be progressed.

And EH - when you've earned your stripes then we can think about it :)
international laughing stock...

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BlueChair
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Postby BlueChair » Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:47 pm

Sorry I haven't replied this yet. Red and I are currently in Los Angeles visiting her brother.

We're extremely flattered that several of you have considered pitching in to send us to the Elvis show, but our not wanting to pay the $ has more to do with principle and prioritizing our spending than an inability to afford it. Besides, I've seen Elvis three times and Red has seen him twice. And I'm sure we will see him again!

In any case, I'm seeing Solomon Burke on the Saturday night, so that only leaves Friday - and both Red and I work that day, so the logistics may be complicated anyhow.

So rather than pitch in to get us Elvis tickets, how about a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society? We will both be doing the Relay for Life here in Toronto again this summer, and if you'd like to donate go here:

https://secureccs.ca/eventmodule.aspx?l ... 567a2ce177

Again, thanks so much for the thought. We're both truly touched.
This morning you've got time for a hot, home-cooked breakfast! Delicious and piping hot in only 3 microwave minutes.

Turquoise Pajamas Pt Deux
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Postby Turquoise Pajamas Pt Deux » Thu May 18, 2006 1:29 am

I am going to this show even though it is some 500 miles away. He's playing 2 shows within an hour and a half which I can't go to due to work. The nerve of him playing shows locally during the work week! Where does this rank me in terms of being an overzealous EC fan? :D

nomar5
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Postby nomar5 » Sun May 28, 2006 12:20 pm

Hello EC fans - I have an extra pair of tickets for this show - SATURDAY JULY 8 at the Avalon Ballroom Fallsview Niagara Casino - great 3rd row on the floor tickets - sec 1 row C - if anyone is interested or looking for tickets please let me know - (face value for tickets - I'm not looking to make any $...) - this is a really great, intimate venue, plush seating, excellent acoustics - kind of "VEGASY" - I saw Chris Isaak there last year and was impressed with the set up... THANKS!

seanborntorun@verizon.net

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:26 pm

Some people attending the shows this weekend may be especially sympathetic to Elvis' comments on 'Junior' -


http://www.niagarafallsreporter.com/13heroes.html

Image

THIRTEEN FROM THE NIAGARA FRONTIER; THEY DIED AS HEROES, NOT AS NUMBERS

ANALYSIS By Mike Hudson

On June 15, White House Press Secretary and former FOX News anchor Tony Snow was asked about President George W. Bush's reaction to the fact that the 2,500th American soldier had been killed in Iraq.

"It's a number," he said.

But for 13 grieving families on the Niagara Frontier, and thousands of others across the country, Snow's "number" is something much more personal. It's a son or a daughter, a husband, wife, father or mother who died on a faraway battlefield for reasons even the people who sent them there have difficulty explaining.

Staff Sgt. Aram Bass, 25, a standout basketball player at Niagara Catholic High School, had already served a hitch in the Marine Corps before enlisting in the Army. He told his wife, Breanne Sterner-Bass, that the training he'd received as a Marine would be helpful to those already serving in Iraq.

Serving with the 101st Airborne Division, he participated in the heavy fighting around Baghdad that continues to this day. But he still found time to call his young wife several times a week.

Bass was killed in Baghdad on Nov. 23, 2005. Breanne Sterner-Bass got the news the night before Thanksgiving. While officials first said he died while helping wounded comrades after an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated, they changed their story a couple of weeks later, saying he was the victim of friendly fire.

Another victim of friendly fire was 26-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Eric Orlowski of Buffalo, who was killed on March 22, 2003. Orlowski left behind a young daughter, his parents and four siblings.

Nobody in the Buffalo Fire Department thought of Staff Sgt. Christopher Dill as a number. A reservist who served in Operation Desert Storm in the early 1990s, the 32-year-old Dill was a firefighter who had a passion for helping people.

In Iraq, he was assigned to help train the newly formed Iraqi army, sometimes leading the indigenous soldiers in combat. In 2004, he received the Bronze Star for valor while leading a mission in Fallujah.

He died of gunshot wounds on April 4, 2005, after his unit came under attack in a place called Balad Ruz, leaving behind his wife, Dawn, his parents and two sisters.

Flags flew at half-staff at firehouses across the Niagara Frontier.

Sgt. Cari Anne Gasiewicz, 28, had a talent for languages. After joining the Army out of college, she was sent to Korea as a military intelligence analyst. In her spare time, she taught English to Korean orphans.

The Cheektowaga native then learned Arabic and was sent to Iraq.

Gasiewicz called her parents, Paul and Kathleen, as often as possible, her father said.

"She made it a point to contact us like Sunday mornings," Paul Gasiewicz said. "She would contact us and see how we were doing and tell us how she was doing. Just to hear her voice was real nice."

When Cari told her mother she might not make it home in time for Christmas, Kathleen Gasiewicz told her not to worry.

"We were going to keep up the tree and all the decorations for her," she said. "And the family was going to get together and celebrate when she came home in January."

But rather than flying out of Baghdad, the young woman with a gift for languages volunteered to drive a truck down to Kuwait. On Dec. 4, 2004, an IED exploded in the roadway, killing her instantly.

"She's always made us proud of everything she's ever done," her mother said. "She packed a lot into 28 years, a lot more than some people put in a lifetime."

The son of Haitian immigrants, Spec. Jeff LeBrun grew up in Buffalo but left college to join the Army following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, D.C. While serving with the 10th Mountain Division, he was killed by an IED in Baghdad on New Years' Day, 2005.

"He was a really, really sweet young man," his mother, Daniela LeBrun, told a reporter. "I am lost now."

Spc. Brian K. Baker, 27, of West Seneca, had been married just 13 months and was the expectant father of twin girls when he was killed by a car bomb on Nov. 7, 2004.

Amy Roach Baker said her husband told her he was filled with a warm feeling when she told him she was pregnant.

"I hope they look like him because I need to see him every day," she said. "I just wish I could feel that right now. I feel so empty."

Then there was Pfc. Charles Bush Jr. of Buffalo, a happy-go-lucky Army cook who fell victim to an IED while manning the door gun of a lightly armored Humvee.

Or Spc. Michael Williams who, at 44, re-enlisted in the National Guard following Sept. 11.

Two years later, on Oct. 17, 2003, the Buffalo native also fell victim to a roadside bomb.

A co-worker remembered him fondly.

"He always had the biggest smile on his face you ever saw," he said.

Sgt. David McKeever, 25, of Buffalo, was on patrol in Baghdad when a rocket-propelled grenade hit his vehicle on April 5, 2004. He left behind his parents, a wife and young son.

Pvt. David Evans Jr. of Buffalo was just 18 when a munitions dump he was guarding accidentally exploded, killing him, on May 25, 2003. He told friends before shipping out he had a feeling he might not see them again. He never did see his infant son, who was born shortly after Evans was deployed to Iraq.

Neither did Army Spec. Jacob Pfister. His wife was expecting their first child when he and several comrades were killed by a suicide bomber on the airport road just outside of Baghdad on April 19, 2005. He was 27.

National Guard Pfc. Benjamin Schuster, 21, a Grand Island native, was killed in a firefight near Ramadi on Feb. 25.

And Marine Pfc. Tamario Demetrice Burkett, 21, of Buffalo, died in a firefight near Nasaiyha on March 23, 2003. He was the oldest of seven children and was known to his family and friends as a poet and artist.

Speaking on behalf of the Bush administration, Tony Snow characterized each of these human tragedies as nothing more than numbers. Perhaps that attitude is why two-thirds of the American public now support withdrawal from Iraq in less than a year, and fewer than a third think it was a good idea to go in the first place.

Since Snow made his heartless comment, 32 more brave Americans have been killed. On this July 4 celebration of the birth of our country, let's all take a moment to think about the plight of our troops there and the sacrifices they're making.

And about the political futures of those who put them in harm's way.

Niagara Falls Reporter http://www.niagarafallsreporter.com July 3 2006

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Toy Soldier-Scaremonger
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Postby Toy Soldier-Scaremonger » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:13 pm

I have never in my life looked forward to a concert as much as this one. I grew up in NF as a kid between '78 and '96 and in those eighteen years, not one person in that great town listened to more EC than me! Even though I was only eight years old when This Years Model came out. It is beyond my belief that Elvis would play there and two nights of all things!! :D Sorry to hear that my old friends Blue and Red won't be going but I think I'll take you up on the wonderful gesture in contributing to the Canadian Cancer Fund since I lost my mother to cancer just before when i was cruel came out. I do have floor seats for both shows and hopefully I can recoup some of the funds at the Casino! Elvis if you're reading this, please do episode of blonde either Friday or Saturday now that you've got a kickass horn section anchored by Sammie on trombone. We never got to hear the song in Toronto in '02, '03, or '04!
I can't remember being any younger.

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Postby johnfoyle » Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:28 pm

http://www.buffalonews.com/editorial/20 ... 034715.asp

Image
Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News
Elvis Costello performed with Louisiana soul (sic) Friday night in Niagara Falls, Ont.




CONCERT REVIEW

Elvis Costello and the Imposters
Friday night in Avalon Ballroom, Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. Another show at 8:30 tonight.

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. - There are ways to acknowledge tragedy, to shine a light on suffering, that seem forced and, at their worst, opportunistic. Then there is the musical marriage of English pop maestro/renaissance man Elvis Costello and legendary New Orleans soul/r&b composer, arranger and pianist Allen Toussaint. That relationship crystallized around their post-Katrina celebration of N'Awlins soul, "The River in Reverse," and the subsequent concert tour supporting the album, which brought Costello, Toussaint, and their musical collaborators to the Avalon Ballroom for the first of two nights on Friday.

There is nothing contrived about the pair's work mining the deep musical history of New Orleans on "The River in Reverse," and that is doubly so of the way Costello and Toussaint, with the former's Imposters and the latter's Crescent City Horns in tow, translated that material in the concert setting.

It was fiery, fun, funky and fueled by a reverence for Louisiana soul that was never too heavy-handed or overtly studied. It was also a celebration of the indomitability of the human spirit and the bodies of work of two remarkable songwriters from remarkably different cultures who found much common ground.

Costello's name is the better-known one outside of New Orleans, but in many ways, Friday's show was all about the brand of soul Toussaint has been perfecting for decades. Aside from the set opener, Costello's revered take on Nick Lowe's "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?" - which appropriately set up the concert's subtle underpinning theme of hope amid despair - the concert consisted of Costello and the Imposters (Steve Nieve, Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher) coming to Toussaint's table. They accorded themselves amazingly well in that endeavor.


Toussaint penned new arrangements and horn parts for several Costello classics, notably the poetic, piano-led masterpiece from Costello's late-'80s tour de force "Spike," "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror," which was simply (and snarlingly) sublime. "Poisoned Rose," another impeccable ballad, this time from the "King of America" album, was also given a fresh arrangement, courtesy of Toussaint, who wrapped Costello's eloquent vocal and acoustic guitar in tasteful horn harmonies.

Costello the singer pushed himself to considerable heights when singing Toussaint's tunes. "Nearer to You" found him reaching for - and hitting, dead-on - high notes, blending jazzlike phrasing with old-school gospel, and it was pretty much mind-blowing. "On Your Way Down" was French Quarter soul of the highest degree, and Costello really wrung the sponge of every drop of emotion, while the band - particularly Toussaint guitarist Anthony "AB" Brown, who was so deep in the pocket, it's a wonder he ever found his way out again - swung with agility and grace. "Tears, Tears and More Tears" was another corker, sung with complete, full-throated commitment by Costello, and bolstered by vigorous kicks from the horns. Toussaint took the lead vocal on his own barn-burner, "A Certain Girl," which brought the audience to its feet. Another Toussaint spotlight, "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?" tied the man's street-savvy funk to the evening's recurring references to class and race warfare, which was wrapped beneath the post-Katrina New Orleans umbrella most ably and passionately by Costello, as he intoned the title song of "The River in Reverse," which was the evening's highest high point.

New Orleans might have been abandoned by those whose job it was to help it, as Costello (like so many other high-profile rock composers and musicians, from Bruce Springsteen to Dr. John) has suggested, but its greatest gift to our country - the music that we call our own and offer to the world - is clearly alive and well. Costello, Toussaint and their collaborators offered us a glorious evening celebrating that fact.


e-mail: jmiers@buffnews.com

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Postby Toy Soldier-Scaremonger » Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:19 pm

Simply put, the two best performances I've ever seen in my life. Thanks for coming to the Honeymoon Capital for the first time Elvis and bringing along the brilliant Crescent City Horns! Wonderful to hear his Elvis' very own horn arrangements to episode of blonde on Friday along with AT's horn arrangement to Tears Before Bedtime. Night two brought Dave Bartholomew's That's How You Got Killed Before and a stunning version of That Day Is Done.
I can't remember being any younger.

Turquoise Pajamas Pt Deux
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Postby Turquoise Pajamas Pt Deux » Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:31 am

Toy Soldier-Scaremonger wrote:Simply put, the two best performances I've ever seen in my life. Thanks for coming to the Honeymoon Capital for the first time Elvis and bringing along the brilliant Crescent City Horns! Wonderful to hear his Elvis' very own horn arrangements to episode of blonde on Friday along with AT's horn arrangement to Tears Before Bedtime. Night two brought Dave Bartholomew's That's How You Got Killed Before and a stunning version of That Day Is Done.


Stay tuned. You'll get to live Night Two again. :-) Unfortunately I didn't get to Niagara in time for Night One...

Edit: Stay tuned no mas. It's here:
http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-deta ... ?id=103156

martinfoyle
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Postby martinfoyle » Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:19 am

Here's American Tune from this recording

http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?a ... 6C5C0D0268

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:50 am

http://www.elviscostello.info/wiki/inde ... 2006-07-08

Concert 2006-07-08


* Niagara Falls, ON, Fallsview Casino Resort


01. (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?
02. Monkey To Man
03. On Your Way Down
04. A Certain Girl
05. Clown Strike
06. Tears, Tears And More Tears
07. (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea
08. Poisoned Rose
09. Broken Promise Land
10. Freedom For The Stallion
11. The River In Reverse
12. Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further?
13. Nearer To You
14. Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
15. Get Out Of My Life, Woman
16. Watching The Detectives
17. I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
18. High Fidelity
19. Pump It Up
20. Yes We Can Can
21. Shoo-Ra
22. Slippin' And Slidin'
23. That Day Is Done
24. Big Chief Variations
Encore 1
25. Ascension Day
26. American Tune
27. Wonder Woman
28. International Echo
29. Alison / Tracks Of My Tears
30. Clubland
31. That's How You Got Killed Before
32. The Sharpest Thorn

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:25 pm

http://thewhatdoiknowgrit.blogspot.com/ ... i-got.html

posted by James Curran

Monday, July 10, 2006

ELVIS STILL ROCKS


24 years later, I got to see Elvis Costello live once more on Saturday night.

The man has incredible energy. He rocked the house for just under 3 hours without taking a break. He said - and I believe him - he could play all night.

He's quite dedicated to the City of New Orleans and the pain its inhabitants are still suffering in that great town. Many of the new songs are dedicated to the City and its people.

He was accompanied by the ageless wonder Allain Truaint and the magic of the Kansas City Horns. ( huh???- J.F.)

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BlueChair
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Postby BlueChair » Mon Jul 10, 2006 1:58 pm

hahah
This morning you've got time for a hot, home-cooked breakfast! Delicious and piping hot in only 3 microwave minutes.

johnfoyle
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Postby johnfoyle » Mon Jul 10, 2006 3:08 pm

From listserv -

Nothing like having Elvis play my birthday party with 1,490 of my
closest
strangers!

American Tune was definitely a standout both nights. When he mentioned
"Walking on thin Ice" I yelled "play it" (both nights) to which I think
he
replied "We don't know it" or something to that effect. And we were all
amused by the Yoko chortle which came from the balcony.

Better audience and energy on Saturday, people couldn't give tickets
away
for the show Friday. The Hilton had 2 for 1 tix coupons on the counter
upon showing your room keycard at the venue.

July 8: This is from the stage setlist and memory:

Peace, Love And Understanding?
Monkey To Man
On Your Way Down
Certain Girl
Clownstrike
Tears, Tears, & More Tears
Chelsea
Poisoned Rose
Broken Promise Land
Freedom For The Stallion
River In Reverse
Who's Gonna Help Brother
Nearer To You
Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
Get Out Of My Life
***Dust listed not played***
Watching The Detectives
I Can't Stand Up
High Fidelity
Pump It Up
Yes We Can Can
Shoo-Rah! Shoo-Rah!
***Fortune Teller listed not played***
Slippin' And Slidin'
That Day Is Done

---Encore
Big Chief Variations
Ascension Day
American Tune
Wonder Woman
International Echo
Alison
Clubland
***Six Fingered Man listed not played***
That's How You Got Killed
***Slippin' And Slidin' listed here but played earlier***
The Sharpest Thorn

=======================================
July 7: This is from the stage setlist and memory:

Peace, Love And Understanding?
Monkey To Man
On Your Way Down
Certain Girl
Clownstrike
Tears, Tears, & More Tears
Tears Before Bedtime
Poisoned Rose
Broken Promise Land
Freedom For The Stallion
River In Reverse
Who's Gonna Help Brother
Nearer To You
Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
???Brickyard Blues??? on setlist but not sure if it was played.
Bedlam
Watching The Detectives
Episode of Blonde
Pump It Up
---Encore
Big Chief Variations
Ascension Day
American Tune
Wonder Woman
International Echo
Alison
Clubland
The Greatest Love
Get Out of my Life Woman
Yes We Can
Slippin' And Slidin'
Chelsea
High Fidelity
The Sharpest Thorn

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Postby martinfoyle » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:36 am

http://www.niagarafallsreview.ca/webapp/sitepages/

By JOHN LAW
Review Staff Writer

NIAGARA FALLS - It's hard to believe something as terrible as Hurricane
Katrina can give us something as great as what we saw at the Avalon Ballroom
this weekend.
There are a lot of ways to describe the three-hour classic Elvis Costello
and Allen Toussaint put on Friday night (and repeated Saturday), but
'stirring' fits the bill best. Nearly a year after the flood, it wasn't just
a tribute to New Orleans' spirit, it was a celebration of great music.
It's certainly on the short list of greatest concerts at the two-year-old
Avalon, which rarely sees a work-out like this. Where most casino shows are
ending after 90 minutes, Costello and Toussaint were still warming up. The
encore alone was nearly an hour.
Longtime Costello fans knew this was special. After The Big Easy was
devastated, Costello rekindled his partnership with New Orleans R&B great
Toussaint for a series of benefit shows last year. It led to the superb new
album The River In Reverse, and the subsequent tour is something to savour.
In addition to Costello singing several Toussaint gems like Freedom For the
Stallion and Nearer To You, his own songs get punchy new
arrangements. Even if you've heard Pump It Up a thousand times, hearing it
with a genuine New Orleans horn section is spectacular.
The night started like a typical Elvis Costello show - he sauntered out in
his black duds, strapped on the guitar and ripped into a terrific (What's So
Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? But when pianist Toussaint and
his Crescent City Horns arrived, it became a completely different show. The
Avalon started hopping to a funky Monkey to Man, followed by the slow-burn
groove of On Your Way Down off the new album.
In-between those soulful surprises, Costello mixed it up with the casino
crowd.
"I can see a few naked people," he cracked. "I figure they lost their shirts
already."
Later, he thanked them for letting him play so long: "Just look at it as
time you're not losing money."
But it was also a show of big mood swings, as Costello reminded everyone it
was "a bad-tempered lady named Katrina" and "a nincompoop named
incompetence" which reunited him with Toussaint. Costello's anger on songs
like Broken Promise Land and The River in Reverse was amplified live.
The Bush-bashing was kept to a minimum, however (which is somewhat
surprising - you'd think Costello would cut loose in the safe confines of
Canada). The only presidential ribbing was when he pointed to his "only
prop" - a George Bush action figure he named 'Junior.'
"I think that's actual size."
Costello could have understandably packed it in after two hours. Instead, he
returned for an encore which started acoustically, peaked with Little
Richard's jubilant Slippin' and Slidin', and ended with with the sweet,
soulful Costello/Toussaint anthem The Sharpest Horn.
"Allen's written 450,000 songs, and I've written 350,000," he said down the
stretch. "I'm catching up with him."
He could have played them all Friday. Which Elvis is The King again?

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Postby johnfoyle » Tue Jul 11, 2006 2:31 pm

http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/colu ... d760a96c55




Niagara casino has stage presence
Understated concert venue an excellent place to catch a show


Jacob Richler, National Post

Published: Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Heading home from Niagara Falls, riding on an extremely pleasant lunch on the terrace of the Charles Inn in Niagara-on-the Lake, I got a phone call from an old friend wondering where we might meet for a post-football-match pint. When I told him that I was out of town and had missed the match, he seemed surprised. And when I explained where I had been, he seemed shocked.

''Niagara Falls?'' he said. ''Is that still there then?''

Actually, this relic of '50s tourism has been enjoying something of a revival of late. And while the big Hilton, the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort and the new Wolfgang Puck Cafe are the most conspicuous evidence of this, what I have been most interested are the deals that have almost happened.

For example, a close friend who owns a nifty boutique hotel in Manhattan rang me last year to see what I thought about opening something similar there. And more than one top Toronto chef has asked me the same thing -- whether the time has come to give the place a run.

Go and have a look and you will probably conclude as I do: maybe soon, but not quite yet. The town is seriously shabby at the outskirts and even in the tourism centre near the Falls proper and the casino where all the new investment has been pouring in, its wide underburdened streets, thinly populated sidewalks, and all those old neon signs flashing and beckoning with the peculiar promise of all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets conspire to lend the place the eerie feel of an old, forgotten film set. But then, it works for Cuba -- and there is something oddly compelling about a quick dose of the past here, too.

Of course the casino proper and its surrounding hotel -- the Fallsview Casino Resort -- is very much all mod-cons, an attitude announced by the most peculiar and noisiest twisted-metal-cum-water fountain lobby installation I have ever witnessed or even dared to imagine. There is no doubt some sort of interesting message intended by the sculpture -- and for me, anyway, as I sized the thing up early Saturday evening it went like so: ''Hurry past.''

Not to the casino, mind you. But to front desk check-in and our room and a quick change and onwards to the Avalon Ballroom, a brilliantly executed 1,500-seat concert venue crammed into this Vegas-inspired casino extravaganza along with the thousands of slot machines and noisy rugs and odd sculptures and other essentials of the Vegas school of style. And just half-an-hour later -- at 8:30 -- Elvis Costello was due to take the stage with Allen Toussaint and his band from New Orleans.

The venue is understated, the sound quality excellent. Costello himself looks precisely as prematurely middle-aged as he always did, although he now wears the look more convincingly due to a newly installed paunch. Meanwhile those new pounds and the passing years seem to have helped him acquire a deeper raspiness that mixes extremely well with his recent new bluesy direction.

For Costello classics aside, the show was largely composed of songs about the damage wrought by Hurricane Katrina taken from his collaboration with Toussaint called The River in Reverse, a record I had not yet known that I needed to own. It was a splendid show, and I think I will head back up there for Loretta Lynn whilst avoiding Film Festival parties on the weekend of Sept. 8 or 9. (look to http://www.fallsviewcasinoresort.com for the full ballroom schedule.)

One word of warning, though, should you head out here to catch a show: eat first. The all-you-can-eat buffet routine begins here at breakfast, and apparently they fade fast. Come 11:30 Saturday night the restaurants are virtually all closed.


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