Genius at Its Best

Elvis won’t enter the building.


Photo by James O'Mara

Elvis Costello first started as a new wave artist in the ’70s London pub scene, but he has never been one to let any one label define him. A master storyteller through song with a razor-sharp wit and an outspoken political edge, he has always been at the top of his game, even when experimenting with new styles and genres.

His first three albums, all wildly different, appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, plus his 1982 album Imperial Bedroom. The versatile singer-songwriter visits Berkeley on his Imperial Bedroom tour—named for that 1982 album. Imperial Bedroom is sometimes considered Costello’s best album, and Costello himself thought it his most optimistic album, even with its ’60s folk- and outlaw-country-inspired twisted love ballads about once-fresh love worn down by the passage of time. But don’t expect just to hear just the old favorites. Costello doesn’t roll like that.

June 3, 8 p.m. $96-$849, Hearst Greek Theatre, 2001 Gayley Road, Berkeley,


Published online on May 30, 2017 at 8:00 a.m.

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