Elvis Costello in Chicago

There is newish trend of artists from the 1970’s and 1980’s going on tour to play classic albums in concert (see U2’s Joshua Tree tour).  It’s not a huge surprise that Elvis Costello has joined that club, but what is somewhat surprising is the album he picked: 1982’s Imperial Bedroom.  It’s not an obvious choice to base a tour on as it doesn’t have any of Costello’s biggest hits

So why did he pick it?

Costello never comes out and truly explains the choice.  

One unsaid reason for picking the album might be that the theme of the album, which Costello described as “romantic melancholy,” remind Costello of the times we are living in. Without getting overly political, Costello did crack “Every song we thought of singing tonight sounded like a satirical routine: ‘Waiting for the End of the World,’ ‘American Gangster Time,’ ‘Brilliant Mistake’ — and this one,” then playing “Accidents Will Happen.”  A not so subtle statement about the election last year.  

After the show, it became obvious why Costello picked Imperial Bedroom.  Fans have been coming to see him for close to 40 years, some have seen him over 20 times and name their kids after him.  They want to see and experience every part of Costello’s genius, not just the hits.  And the fact is that Imperial Bedroom is one of Costello’s best and most beloved records.

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