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Costello, Imposters Aren’t Dead Yet

Black-suited with metallic boots and tinted shades, the legendary Elvis Costello strutted into Chicago Wednesday evening (May 9), engaging the crowd with occasional snarls, a flick of the brow, and his signature wide-legged stance. He and his band, the Impostors, whirled through a boisterous, dual encore set, which featured classics such as “Clubland” and the seductively drummed “The Beat.”

The Imposters — drummer Pete Thomas, keyboardist/pianist Steve Nieve, and bassist Davy Faragher — sustained their intense stamina throughout the entire 31-track evening, while Costello’s ragingly skilled guitar playing was a culmination of emotional build-up. Climaxing with a “Watching the Detectives”/”Let Him Dangle” medley of saturated reggae beats and blues-y grit, it was “Radio Radio” that had fans of all ages punk-swaggering and moshing.

A second reprise also rendered the middle-aged audience completely uninhibited with “Pump It Up.” Elvis Costello & the Imposters’ performance championed the new wave, punky sound stumbled upon in 1977 with My Aim is True and solidified with 1979’s This Year’s Model, once more reaffirming what Costello established 30 years ago: Angst is an art form. ANDREA HART / PHOTOS BY DIANA RICHTER

We asked: Why is Elvis Costello so timeless?