Elvis Costello got some people to dance on stage last night at the Beacon Theater who ordinarily don’t shake their moneymakers in public. But his wife, jazz great Diana Krall, and producer extraordinaire T. Bone Burnett got in the mood like crazy, doing the frug and other dances with a Sixties style gogo dancer in a cage–provided by Steve van Zandt‘s manager wife, Maureen. The Beacon was pretty much of a party as Elvis, sporting a top hat and cane, recreated his famous 1986 spinning wheel on stage–sort of like Regis and Kelly’s vacation wheel but slotted with names of Costello’s songs and other hits. “Contestants” get to spin the wheel and Costello’s band has to play whatever song comes up. Of course, Costello himself has some control of the wheel and inserts songs he’s got slated to play.
But the whole thing makes for an incredibly entertaining evening. For the second of three nights at the Beacon, Costello pulled out all the stops, mixing hits like “Alison” and “Watching the Detectives” with cool rarities for fans like “Clowntime is Over,” “Lipstick Vogue”–with the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner, and the Nick Lowe/Dave Edmunds hit “Heart of the City.” Costello performed three songs from his 1985 album, “Blood and Chocolate”–“I Hope You’re Happy Now,” “I Want You,” “Uncomplicated,” plus “So Like Candy,” a rousing version of the Rolling Stone’s “Out of Time.” He was also joined on stage for a couple of numbers with his (much younger) half brother, Ronan MacManus, an accomplished Irish musician who supplied quite lovely vocals on “American Without Tears.”
Tonight, Elvis is back for a third night at the Beacon. And it’s a big music night in NYC. Bernard Fowler, the great background singer for the Rolling Stones, is doing a one off show at The Highline Ballroom down on West 16th St. His band includes Ronnie Drayton on guitar (Nona Hendryx), Keith LeBlanc on drums (Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel), Andy Hess on bass (Black Crowes, Greg Allman, Bo Diddley.) The last time Bernard played a New York show, Keith Richards was front and center. You never know who’s going to show up at a Fowler gig. Tickets are $15.