Monday, April 14, 2014

Elvis Costello and the Attractions, The Rubinoos, Cleveland, Ohio March 20, 1979

I was at the Cleveland Agora for this particular show. The Rubinoos opened the show with their perfect so-cal sunshine. They covered Beatles, Eric Carmen, and Tommy James. And their originals were terrific. Great power-pop, and they were a very tight unit. A great overlooked band for any Raspberries fan.

Costello and the Attractions were the most well-managed chaos I've ever seen. Spitfire songs pouring out for an hour at 3 minutes each. No chatting, no introductions, just in your face rock & roll, full steam ahead. Their latest was Armed Forces, so they did some of that and plenty from This Year's Model as well. And Alison of course. They were also an extremely tight band. And loud. I don't remember all the songs, but I remember loving all the songs. The period from 77-79 was very fertile ground for Costello, he was writing so well. The Attractions were blazing hot. I went with a musician friend of mine, and for us the double bill was Valhalla.

Anyone into a hobby or pastime tends to develop those dreaded best-of lists that simultaneously clutter and tidy-up the world of discourse. Anyone into music has a few shows, or maybe even a lot of them, that were magical nights when music, performance, history, attitude, timing, astrology, love, a sound guy that can still hear, harmonies and chiming guitars all came together at the just perfect moment. Top Ten Live Shows ever.

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