October 22, 2002

Elvis Costello to play Mandel Hall

Hopefully it will be the real thing when Elvis Costello and the Impostors come to campus for the last show of their American tour on Saturday, November 9 at 8:00 P.M. The Major Activites Board (MAB) worked out a long-awaited contract with the group last Friday afternoon for a performance at Mandel Hall.

Tickets go on sale Monday, October 28, and will be $12 for students of the University (with Chicago ID) and $20 for faculty, staff, and lab school students.

"I think people are anxiously awaiting the show," said Donour Sizemore, Chairperson of the Major Activities Board. "Lots of people have been very excited."

MAB worked out final details with Elvis Costello's agents last Friday afternoon, posting details about the show on their website. Sizemore noted that the contract took so long to settle because the group had to alter the end of their tour to return to Chicago.

"The last show was supposed to be in Atlanta on the 8th. What we're doing is adding another show on to that," Sizemore said. "It was just a long process," he said, referring to the length of the contract negotiations.

MAB anticipated having the group early in their selection process, narrowing the list of potential performers to only a few affordable acts that students had expressed interest in that would be on tour at the time of the concert.

"We settled really early. There was no major option," Sizemore said. ""We got a list at the beginning of the summer."

Choosing Elvis Costello has been largely popular.

"We kind of felt it out," he said. "We thought this was going to be a popular show."

Students who are aware of Elvis Costello and know his music are enthusiastically anticipating his appearance on campus.

"I'm really excited, but I'm stage-managing a production for UT that weekend. I'm very disappointed. I would love to be there," said Jack Tamburi, a second-year in the College, who noted that many of his friends would be going to the concert.

The decision was definitely not a result of any strong preference by MAB board members. "I don't think we have any Elvis fans on MAB," Sizemore said.

Prices for MAB shows have historically fluctuated, and this quarter's show seems to be slightly lower than usual. Advance tickets to last year's Summer Breeze performance cost students $15 and faculty, staff, and lab school students $25. MAB chose to set their price for this show at one third of group's recent performance at the Chicago Theater.

"I think that's a very reasonable price," Sizemore said.

MAB looks at their budget for the year, the price of the act, and the anticipated attendance at the performance to determine the price of a concert, Sizemore said.

Elvis Costello and the Impostors are on tour in the United States to promote their latest album, Cruel Smile, released on October 1. The album is a compilation of B-sides, radio tracks, and performances of songs from the band's previous album, When I Was Cruel, which was released in April 2002. That album was Costello's first in seven years.

"I've been singing so many ballads with other people recently that I was in the mood again for a rowdy rhythm record," Costello said in a press release for the release of the When I was Cruel Album."It's definitely a rock album. It's not as hard as his early stuff," Sizemore said of the album, noting that he was not a very ardent follower of Costello. "I think it will be a very good show. I'm excited about seeing him here."