The sold-out crowd sings 'Happy Birthday' to drummer's son
Elbow wrapped up their US tour in Los Angeles on Friday night (May 9), wowing a sold-out crowd of adoring fans at the Avalon.
The Mancunian quintet kicked off their 90-minute set with four band members playing trumpets on the opening strains of ‘Starlings’, the first track off their new album ‘The Seldom Seen Kid’.
They soon launched into the rousing ‘Leaders Of The Free World’, the politically charged title track from their 2005 album.
“We’re ending a great tour across American,” frontman Guy Garvey told the crowd. “It’s great to see you – you’re all looking very sunkissed,” he added.
The evening boasted some elaborate light displays, including a sparkling mirror ball that dropped from the ceiling during the track ‘Mirrorball’, and the crescendo of ‘The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver’ that bathed the audience in bright blue lights.
Toward the end of their set, Garvey thanked everyone in his crew from the sound engineer to the tour bus driver. He also asked the audience to participate in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to drummer Richard Jupp’s son, which he videotaped to send home.
“This is the best job in the world but it has its drawbacks, like Richard having to be away for his son Dylan’s birthday,” Garvey said.
The audience also participated in singing the chorus to ‘One Day Like This’, as well as Burt Bacharach’s ‘What The World Needs Now’ to bring the band back for an encore.
“This song is dedicated to your beautiful country – thank you for having us,” Garvey said before playing their penultimate track, ‘Grace Under Pressure’.
The band treated the crowd to one final number, ‘Scattered Black And Whites’, during which Garvey stepped down into the audience to shake people’s hands before saying goodbye.
“This tour has been amazing – we’ve had such a great time on the road,” Garvey told NME.COM during soundcheck.
In addition to their touring duties, Garvey said that the band found time to throw a barbeque at a trailer park and go white-water rafting in Oregon.
He also admitted that “beer o’clock has been coming earlier and earlier each day.”
“I love touring but each time I go away I come back with a new appreciation of Manchester,” he said.
‘The Bones Of You’
‘Leaders Of The Free World’
‘Grounds For Divorce’
‘The Loneliness Of A Tower Crane Driver’
‘One Day Like This’
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‘Grace Under Pressure’
‘Scattered Blacks And Whites’
–By our Los Angeles staff.