Costello and the Dead may sound like a weird pairing, but they have some history; Costello and Jerry Garcia sang country songs together at a 1989 show in Mill Valley, California. Last night, Costello easily adapted to the band's loose sensibilities. He delivered an uplifting "Friend of the Devil" and then turned into a balladeer on a 13-minute jam of 1973’s "Ship of Fools," which shifted into the boozy sing-along "It Must Have Been the Roses," with Larry Campbell adding soaring fiddle – and then seamlessly moved back to "Ship of Fools." Costello covered the two songs acoustically on 2000’s Stolen Roses tribute disc, but hearing him belt over Lesh and Weir’s wall of-sound sounded otherworldly. Costello capped the set duetting with wife Diana Krall on a gorgeous "Ripple."
Doubtless the Deadhead Nation will have tapes available, but if you can't wait, Costello included a 12-minute video excerpt. But this does raise the question. Is there anyone left who Elvis Costello hasn't played with?
Incidentally, if you've never read the joint interview with Costello and Garcia, now's as good a time as any.