In his startling negative review of Elvis Costello's recent Rosemont appearance, critic Rick Mosher tries to come off as the authority on the talented performer [August 23]. However, by concentrating on giving us a blow-by-blow rundown of Costello's career, Mosher fails to capture the real spirit of the show. Mr. Mosher, people were not sitting on the edge of their seats when Costello played his first two numbers, they were standing and cheering with intense euphoria. Were you too busy taking notes or trying to come up with a thesis for your review to notice? We sat down after a while because Elvis and the Attractions switched gears and played some mellow tunes. Besides, the Rosemont is a classy joint where one sits in expensive assigned seats when an artist plays. However, you may have noticed that every time Elvis played a hard-rocking tune like "Pump It Up," the crowd stood right back up and reveled in his glorious energy. Please note that even after the slower numbers, the audience still applauded like mad, and Costello and the Attractions were begged by the crowd to play two encores.
What bothers me is not the fact that you call the crowd "rabidly forgiving" (actually Rick, did you ever think that the audience reacted with such enthusiasm because the show was damn good?), or that you dare to pan the miraculous Imperial Bedroom, or even that you compare Elvis to Mandy Patinkin (I mean, really, Rick, is there no end to your cuteness?). It's the fact that for all your extensive coverage of Costello the man, Costello the supposed failed artist, you still don't get some of his song titles right. A minor example is you call "The Beat" "On the Beat," but a more criminal error is you mention the King of America's title track twice. What's wrong with this you ask? There is no title track on the album. The song you are referring to is called "Brilliant Mistake." Please in the future concentrate on the performance you are reviewing, spare us the history lesson and the not-so-brilliant mistakes.
B. Christopher Wilson
Rick Mosher replies:
Guess I'm not as forgiving a fan as I might be. But you got me on the song titles. Thanks for the corrections.