After being faced with the possibility that the first night of Summerfest '06 wouldn't happen due to the power outage, it was spectacular just to see Elvis Costello on stage. Classy and soulful as ever, Costello went on to perform for an hour and a half in front of a sea of diehard Summerfest fans on Thursday night.
Opening with "What's So Funny 'Bout (Peace, Love and Understanding)," it seemed like the show was on its way to being a collection of old favorites, but Costello, who was dressed in a black suit and black glasses, apparently isn't one for nostalgia -- even though he has 25 albums under his belt and easily could have slid in that direction.
Instead, Costello offered a high-energy performance that was overflowing with reverence for the New Orleans sound and the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. With New Orleans R&B legend Allen Toussaint and the Crescent City Horns on stage with him, Costello played numerous cuts from his new record, "The River In Reverse," including "Broken Promise Land," a sing-a-long version of "Who's Gonna Help Brother Get Further" and "The Sharpest Thorn."
Worth noting was the absolutely fantastic performance by trombone player "Big" Sam Williams. Costello's obvious excitement to be playing with Williams -- as well as the rest of the horn section -- was down-right cute.
Those fans hoping for classics weren't disappointed, either. No, he didn't bust into "Veronica," but aside from the beloved opening tune, he gave up "Clubland" and "I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down."
The only thing wrong with Costello's Summerfest set was that it was entirely too short. His recent gig at Green Bay's Oneida Casino Pavilion Nights went well over 21/2 hours.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.