While most people were waiting for the end of the world yesterday, we stumbled upon this absolutely essential vintage Elvis Costello concert footage—and yes, he does perform his own "Waiting For The End Of The World." Costello and the Attractions performed live at WDR Studio-L in Cologne on June 15th, 1978, rolling through a blistering 13 song set for Rockpalast television. Watch it in full below, and don't be worried about any invisible shivers running down your spine.
The set is mostly a mix of tunes from his first two perfect records, My Aim Is True and This Year's Girl, including knockout versions of "(I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea," "Lipstick Vogue" and "You Belong To Me." But the highlight is an early version of one of Costello's most shamefully overlooked early masterpieces, "Two Little Hitlers," from the then-forthcoming Armed Forces. Although it has a few lyrical changes, the tune encapsulates Costello's vision for that album, which combined complex lyrics dealing with "emotional fascism" in both public and private lives with Abba-inspired, keyboard-drenched music: "Two little Hitlers will fight it out until/One little Hitler does the other one's will."
Check out the setlist (and times of the songs) below:
- 00:00 Mystery Dance
- 02:26 Waiting For The End Of The World
- 06:24 Lip Service
- 09:02 Two Little Hitlers
- 12:13 The Beat
- 15:40 Night Rally
- 19:00 This Year's Girl
- 22:21 No Action
- 24:22 (I Don't Want To Go To) Chelsea
- 28:27 Lipstick Vogue
- 33:17 Watching The Detectives
- 39:27 Pump It Up
- 42:29 You Belong To Me