Elvis Costello Plans to Play 200 Songs Over 10 Nights
Elvis Costello revealed plans to play a 10-night residency in New York City, with each show featuring 10 different songs.
The concerts are scheduled for the Gramercy Theater in February 2023, with the first half of the set the same each night. But the second half of each show will change.
He explained the idea on the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where he also reunited with Allan Mayes, his colleague in his first-ever band Rusty, to deliver the group's debut TV performances. You can see them below.
“I’m gonna play a 10-night stand in New York City next February,” Costello told Fallon. “But here’s the thing … I’m going to print a list of 10 songs a night that’s gonna give you a clue to what that night’s gonna be like. And the other 10 songs that I might play are a secret.
“You’ll never hear the same song twice. It’s gonna be 200 songs over 10 nights.” He said a “special price” would be available for those who wanted to attend every show. “You can get a completely different price if you don’t wanna come at all!”
Watch Rusty Perform 'Surrender to the Rhythm' on 'The Tonight Show'
Costello and Mayes recently released their first Rusty album, The Resurrection of Rust, to mark their 50th anniversary. Costello showed Fallon a school notebook owned by Mayes, in which he recorded every show and song they played. He pointed out that the cover featured the words “Rusty’s gigs 1971 – ” with no end date included.
“We would play everywhere in Liverpool where they would let us, and a few places where they wouldn’t let us,” Costello recalled. “We played the Catholic girls’ school, Mary Help of Christians – known locally as ‘Mary Feed the Pigeons’ – and we were paid only in furtive glances and unfulfilled promises. … The ledger says we were paid absolutely nil, and that was between two of us!”
Watch Rusty Perform 'Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere' and 'Dance Dance Dance' on 'The Tonight Show'
He added that Mayes had called to remind him when the anniversary was approaching: “He said … ‘It’s been 50 years since we started playing together. Do you wanna make a cassette?’ I said, ‘No. Let’s make the record we would have made if they’d let us when we were 17.’”
With assistance from members of the Impostors, Rusty performed Brinsley Schwarz’s “Surrender to the Rhythm” and Neil Young’s “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere” and “Dance Dance Dance.”
Watch Elvis Costello Discuss His New York Residency