Sunday, April 05, 2009

Costello’s Spectacle

Because my friends think Elvis Costello is a musical genius, I watched his latest talk show venture, “Spectacle.” His guest for his lead-in show was Elton John, and from Costello’s connection with the music industry, I expected some in-depth questions about Elton and his life.

Elvis chose to take a different route, discussing early musical influences accompanied with rare clips of said musicians. Personally, I never heard of any of these performers, most reaching prominence in the late 60’s and early 70’s. I found the information interesting, but because of the timeline disconnect, not every engaging.

What I did find fascinating, and utterly hilarious were Costello and Elton. The stage was set up with a live band in the background, a grand piano for Elton to play off to the side and two sitting chairs at center stage. Whoever thought of armless chairs should get some kind of award. It gave the viewer the special treat of two old farts, guts evident beneath their thousand dollar suit coats, sitting with legs spread as though ready to give birth. Imagine grandpa in the park feeding the pigeons and you get the idea.

Costello was the best. Dressed all in black with his, (I'm guessing) trademark bolo tie, AND LIME GREEN SOCKS WITH BROWN SHOES. Normally, I wouldn’t be drawn to these things, except for the man’s constant fidgeting as he listened to Elton speak. His thumbs twiddled and his feet shuffled. He spent a good part of the show with his ankles bent so he sat sole to sole like a gorilla. Eventually this evolved into one foot atop the other, slowly scuffing the hell out of his new shoes. Not that Elvis was disinterested, but I got the distinct feeling he needed to go pee, very, very, very bad.

On the other side, years of sitting on a piano bench served Elton well. He did not fidget much at all, but he and Elvis were both obviously in dire need of somewhere to rest their arms. Eventually, Elton simply draped his arm over the back of the chair.

Spectacle is advertised as an intimate and relaxed interview/musical show. Intimate, perhaps, but a bit too relaxed.



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