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Props to Steve Nieve


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I saw Elvis Costello and the Imposters this weekend at the Milwaukee Summerfest. Great show overall. It reminded me what a great rock and roll keyboardist Steve Nieve is.

 

I love Elvis but this was a festival show so he played a LOT of his old standards (Watching the Detectives, Red Shoes, Alison, Radio, Radio, Pump It Up.) I'm sure he has played these songs thousands of times, but one of the main things that keeps them fresh is the spontaneity of Steve. He's all over the place...changing from piano to organ to synth at seemingly random places. Inventive little fills, stylistic shifts. Quite different than the reserved, canned performances I see with keyboardists in other rock bands.

 

I think he is really under-apprciated. Any other fans out there?

 

Sam

 

Nord Stage 3 88, Korg Kronos 2 61, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S1, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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You said it well and I agree 100%. He is a player with significant chops that doesn't have to show them off all the time. He plays what's right for the song and is ineveitably musical.
Fender Rhodes (x4) / Wurlitzer 200A / NE3 61 / Motif XS6 / Korg SV-1 73
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He's killer...and he could do that gig with a Hohner Pianet all nite long and KILL IT.

 

Very true. I remember thinking that there was nothing special about the synth timbre's he used...but the lines were so playful.

 

One thing I forgot to mention was that he took quite a few turns on Theremin. My normal reaction to the appearance of the Theremin is "oh god no....please don't" But he actually did some interesting things with it..musical and with enough theatricality to keep the crowd entertained.

 

Sam

 

Nord Stage 3 88, Korg Kronos 2 61, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S1, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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A few years back I saw Elvis and Nieve as a duo at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas (HEY! I SAW ELVIS IN VEGAS!) and they were both incredible. He played a Kurzweil 88 key something-or-other and an acoustic grand. Elvis played a plugged-in acoustic and they played a lot of the older stuff.
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A monster, and the fact he is really the one constant in almost all of Elvis' live shows over the years says it all.

 

Like (to me) Greg Hawkes of the Cars, a totally underrated player

who comes up with great tasty hooks and lines. Steve is a much more rounded player of course, and I've heard him on bootlegs where he is only playing acoustic piano and he slays.

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I saw them three years ago in Athens, with the great Allen Toussaint. Great use of organ and a very nice combi of piano and organ between Toussaint and Nieve in New Orleans tunes. Nieve played piano on two duets with Costello, very tasteful and very inventive player indeed.
Be grateful for what you've got - a Nord, a laptop and two hands
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I'm not sure, but I might have started a thread with this exact title a couple of years ago. Long time fan of Elvis, Steve, and both the Attractions and Imposters.

A friend of mine did a series of gigs opening for Elvis and reports that Steve is particularly cool.

 

Moog The One, VV 64 EP, Wurlies 200A 140 7300, Forte 7, Mojo 61, OB-6, Prophet 6, Polaris, Hammond A100, Farfisa VIP, ,Young Chang 6', Voyager, E7 Clav, Midiboard, Linnstrument, Seaboard
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Forgot to add:

Props to Elvis for letting Steve go nuts on the tunes.

Moog The One, VV 64 EP, Wurlies 200A 140 7300, Forte 7, Mojo 61, OB-6, Prophet 6, Polaris, Hammond A100, Farfisa VIP, ,Young Chang 6', Voyager, E7 Clav, Midiboard, Linnstrument, Seaboard
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I totally agree ......musicians often have different motives and reasons for being in bands....Mr. Nieve is truly doing what he was born to do.

 

His approach to each piece of music, and his choice of instrument is always inspired. Many musicians, of course, are great...and if their musical contribution were pictured as a tree, there would be some with a few branches & leaves......Nieve's musical tree is thick with branches and leaves....new ones sprouting with each performance!

 

:thu:

 

 

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Yeah big fan here. I particularly like how he still plays the vox connie. Did he have that one out?

 

Not this time. The crowd was huge (Summerfest is a bit nuts;something like 15 stages for 11 days for 12 hours per day)...so I wasn't close enough to the stage to actually read the labels on keyboard. He had:

 

- Hammond

- Some sort of digital piano (I'm guessing Yamaha)

- Theremin

- Two small synths (One might have been a Novation of some sort)

 

He used one of the synths for the VOX sounds....don't know if it was hooked to a soft synth or not.

Nord Stage 3 88, Korg Kronos 2 61, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S1, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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Forgot to add:

Props to Elvis for letting Steve go nuts on the tunes.

 

Yeah, I should have pointed that out also. It seems like a no-brainer but I think we all see artists with huge egos that wouldn't let someone like Steve loose. It may also have something to do with Elvis' modest guitar skills, although that didn't stop him from doing some overly extended "soloing" the other night. I use quotes because it was more in the category of playing with feedback....NOT the highlight of the show :-)

Nord Stage 3 88, Korg Kronos 2 61, Moog Sub 37, Yamaha U1 Upright, Casio CT-S1, Spacestation V.3, QSC K10.2

www.stickmanor.com

There's a thin white line between fear and fury - Stickman

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