Elvis Costello and the Imposters will embark on a U.S. tour this August, joined on most of the dates by Nick Lowe, Costello’s original late ’70s/early ’80s producer and, of course, the man who knows the answer to the question “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding.”
Costello and Lowe last shared a touring bill in 1989. Lowe will appear on 11 of the 15 initially announced dates, backed by Los Straitjackets, the all-instrumental band that has joined him on other recordings and live shows in recent years. At two of the concerts, the opening act will be Nicole Atkins, who sings a featured vocal part on Costello’s new album, “The Boy Named If.”
Although only 15 shows appear in the initial itinerary, a release about the tour promised “more dates to be announced.” The initial lineup of gigs is primarily concentrated on the east and west coasts with a sprinkling of Western-state dates in between. It begins Aug. 6 in Ohio at Huber Heights’ Rose Music Center at the Heights and moves on to venues including Toronto’s Massey Hall, Virginia’s Wolf Trap and New York City’s Rooftop at Pier 17.
Out west, the greater Los Angeles area will get a chance at two shows — at the Grove in Anaheim and the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza — and the tour will also visit Denver, Salt Lake City and Paso Robles before concluding in Las Vegas at the Theater at Virgin Hotels on Sept. 3.
Tickets go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. local time, with more ticketing information available at elviscostello.com.
Guitarist Charlie Sexton was announced as part of the touring lineup and seems to be at least a semi-permanent addition to Costello’s band, the Attractions. He initially joined up so Costello could have an extra instrumentalist on board when keyboard player Steve Nieve was unable to make the initial dates on a U.S. tour last year due to international COVID travel restrictions, but then he stuck around even after Nieve was in the house. Besides Nieve, the Imposters include another member of Costello’s original backing band the Attractions, drummer Pete Thomas, and a 21st century conscriptee, bassist Davey Faragher,
Lowe produced Costello’s initial five-album run that lasted from 1977’s “My Aim Is True” through 1981’s “Trust,” returning for 1986’s “Blood and Chocolate.” He also played bass on half of the 1994 album “Brutal Youth.” He is the writer of Costello’s 1979 anthem (and traditional final encore song) “Peace, Love and Understanding,” originally recorded in 1974 with Lowe’s pre-solo-career band Brinsley Schwarz, so the odds of an encore duet at these shows would seem high.
“The Boy Named If,” released in early January, has been Costello’s most widely acclaimed and embraced album of this century, in no small part due to its return to a rocking full-band sound that sometimes recalls the eras of “This Year’s Model” or “Imperial Bedroom,” after detours into other stylistic diversions like the Grammy-winning “Look Now.”
The initial itinerary: