Yes, the EC songbook contains some of the best songs ever written, but Costello is an underrated live performer. I’ve seen the no-duh Rock Hall inductee multiple times over the past three decades and I somehow manage to forget what a force he is on the concert stage, so I’ve ended up leaving each time surprised again that I’d just seen one of the best Rock shows I’ll ever see.
Backed by his amazing band The Imposters (featuring longtime co-conspirators Steve Nieve on keyboards and Pete Thomas on drums), Costello can still pump it up on his crucial early hits, while also delivering emotionally heavy classics like “I Want You” as if the incident that inspired the song happened yesterday. He is also impossibly charming, his banter often worthy of its own stand-up set. Costello’s current tour is titled “Just Trust,” which — as explained in a cheeky press statement — is the “answer to the musical questions: ‘Will they play my favourite song?,’ or, ‘Are they going to frighten the horses with a lot of excellent songs that are rarely performed?,’ not to mention, ‘Can I expect the hits of yesteryear and those of tomorrow?’ ”
Seriously — if you have ever considered yourself a fan of Elvis but are somehow on the fence about going to see him at his local tour stop, get your ass off of that fence and into a seat.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday. $43-$103. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org