The king is dead; long live the king! Lost in all the hype surrounding the silver anniversary of Elvis' death is the fact that the other Elvis (Costello) is celebrating his 25th birthday. It was also 1977 when Declan McManus changed his name and made it safe for a million angry, wordy, nerdy songsmiths to follow in his wake. It's a relatively quick return to the Paramount stage for the always-engaging Costello; he played a blistering set there in early May, supporting When I Was Cruel. He's backed again by the Imposters (basically the fabled Attractions, minus bassist Bruce Thomas). Paramount Theatre, 467-5510. Sun., Sept. 22.
The King will thrill his subjects, Sept. 22.
How does it feel? As Bob Dylan's media profile nears its highest level perhaps since his mid-'60s heyday (thanks to a forthcoming autobiography and a much-anticipated feature film role), his Never Ending Tour continues unabated. Currently boasting what many critics are calling his best band ever—especially with the recent addition of legendary drummer Jim Keltner—Se�Bob will, as always, go through a massive and storied songbook in his inimitable, nasal style. Here's hoping Dylan's Seattle show features his new hirsute cowboy look, which makes him appear a cross between Hopalong Cassidy and a Hassidic rabbi—like a rolling gal avanim. KeyArena, 1-800-927-2770. Fri., Oct. 4.
Let him roll it. Granted, Paul McCartney's 9/11 rallying cry single, "Freedom," was a calculated and insufferable piece of dross. Still, it's hard to deny the greatness of Sir Paul in the bigger scheme of things. Sure, he recently replaced his tuneless, deceased wife Linda with an unbelievably icy one-legged ex-model. But dammit, he's Macca—he can do what he wants. McCartney's spring tour won near-unanimous raves, as the shows found him again fronting a small, tight combo and generally sounding better than he has in years. Especially touching was a subtle tribute to late Beatle mate George Harrison when he played a halting solo version of "Something" on ukulele. Tacoma Dome, 253-572-3663. Sat., Oct. 19.
Papa's got a brand-new enema bag. Sure he's pushing 70 and not quite the performer he once was, but who else in the history of entertainment can claim as many nicknames as James Brown? A partial list: His Bad Self, Mr. Dynamite, Soul Brother No. 1, the Sex Machine, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Mr. Excitement, the Ruler of R&B, the Godfather of Soul, King of the One-Nighters, the Minister of the New New Super-Heavy Funk, the Forefather of Hip-Hop, and Mr. Please Please Please. Whew! For the love of Bobby Byrd, be sure to get on the good foot with the many-monikered legend as he takes the Paramount stage for a special pre- Halloween bash—complete with "Super Bad Costume Contest." Paramount Theatre, 467-5510. Fri., Oct. 25.
Got live if you want it. The Rolling Stones, back for more? Shit, every time Mick 'n' Keef trundle out their overpriced road show, we end up shelling out hard-earned money, thinking this will be the final chance to hear the boys start it up. But alas, they keep turning up in American arenas like a bad penny. At least this time they don't have another new, mediocre album to push. The band's forthcoming tour will be a pure nostalgia-fest celebrating the Stones' 40th anniversary—an event being observed with the 40 Licks hits collection and a much-needed remastering of their early ABKCO catalog. So will this be the last time? With Mick's solo career in the tank and the seemingly ageless Keith willing to go on forever, we're guessing not. Tacoma Dome, 253-572-3663. Wed., Nov. 6.