His indoor fireworks now include bluegrass: Still touring in support of last year's Secret, Profane and Sugarcane, which garnered his highest chart position in 29 years, Elvis Costello has softened his New Wave nip into a folkier temperament. He hits the opulent United Palace Theatre (which, as you already know, is this town's finest temple to pub rock) with three acclaimed acoustic string musicians: Jerry Douglas on dobro, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, and Mike Compton on mandolin. On last year's road odyssey, the touring troupe did fair duty to Sugarcane's gangly country solemnity, and threw in some Junior Parker, Velvet Underground, and Grateful Dead covers at that. Say what you will, but when he was cruel, he was never so engaging.
Fri., April 23, 8 p.m., 2010