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Costello pumps up Paramount's first show

Elvis Costello plays The Paramount Theater in Huntington.

Elvis Costello plays The Paramount Theater in Huntington. (Sept. 30, 2011) Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Elvis Costello and The Imposters christened the Paramount Theater in Huntington Friday night with a raucous set of rock and even a memorable surprise ending.

"This is a night of history," said original MTV VJ Mark Goodman, who warmed up the crowd, which included Billy Joel and Huntington Town officials.

And Costello was up to the challenge with his 100-minute sold-out show -- part of his "Revolver" tour, where he puts 40 or so of his songs on a giant wheel and has audience members spin it to determine what song comes next. That kind of spontaneity, to go from the rollicking new wave of "Pump It Up" to the prog-rock spaciness of "I Want You," helped the night feel even more special.

There was a little extra zing in the way he ripped through the first six songs without pause, ending with a thunderous version of "Radio, Radio." He revved up the usually lilting "Everyday I Write the Book" with cool funk guitar riffs.

However, the show ended on an abrupt note, as Costello, perhaps upset by all the talking during the lovely "A Slow Drag with Josephine," walked away from the mic mid-song. He returned to the mic to finish the song, but then left the stage and didn't return, though he promised to close the show with songs from "King of America."

While some in the crowd may have slipped up, the Paramount itself performed well on its opening night, with great sound to match the great building. Co-owner Brian Doyle told the crowd it was the first of many nights of music in Huntington. "We are going to book everyone," he said. "They're all coming."

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