Tonight I saw Elvis. Costello, that is. I was given last-minute free tickets to a taping of Spectacle, Elvis Costello’s musicians showcase/talk show for the Sundance Channel (which you know would never produce a typical “talk show”). I grabbed my Virgin Records friend and we hopped the 3 train up to the Apollo Theater to catch Elvis with special guests, Jakob Dylan (the Wallfowers; son of Bob), Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kiley) and She & Him (Zooey Deschanel and Matt Ward). For the Spectacle back up band, the most amazing father/daughter drummers: Pete and Tennessee Thomas.
From our front row seats, we caught close up views of some very awesome guitar playing. Each performer sang a song on which Elvis played guitar and then sat down for a chat with Costello, who not only asked insightful questions, but did all the research on each performer and their background on his own — no show researcher, quite impressive! What also struck me was how sensitive and eloquently Costello spoke of and asked about each artist’s style and relationship to music and shared some of his own stories. No matter how young or “green” the artist, Elvis treated each with equal respect and even told them how listening to their music inspired him. Always cool to see someone that truly loves what they do and even more, loves to share it with others.
By far the best part of the evening was having all of the guests on stage singing “(What’s so Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?” Best last-minute event I’ve attended in a long time!
And, on the way out, I got to rub the legendary Apollo tree stump, which all performers, from Ella Fitzgerald to today, rub for luck before they perform.