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Friday, January 16, 2015

Elvis Costello, Lars Ulrich, Phil Lesh, Boz Scaggs, and Yo-Yo Ma Played Michael Tilson Thomas' Birthday Party Last Night

Posted By on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 11:54 AM

click to enlarge Drew Zingg, Karl Sevaride, Elvis Costello, Phil Lesh, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lars Ulrich, and Boz Scaggs. - © MOANALANI JEFFREY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • © Moanalani Jeffrey Photography
  • Drew Zingg, Karl Sevaride, Elvis Costello, Phil Lesh, Michael Tilson Thomas, Lars Ulrich, and Boz Scaggs.
In the current issue of SF Weekly, we brought you an interview with Elvis Costello, who will join the San Francisco Symphony starting tonight for a three-performance run of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier's Tale) at Davies Symphony Hall. In it, we noted there were also plans for a blow-out 70th birthday celebration for Symphony Director Michael Tilson Thomas, with a Jan. 15 performance hinting at "special guests" that would likely include Costello. 

Well, it doesn't get much more special this: Via KQED, we have word that a supergroup consisting of Costello, Metallica's Lars Ulrich, the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh, and blues-rock giant Boz Scaggs took the stage at Davies last night to play the Beatles' "Birthday." Meanwhile, legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma made the standard "please turn off your cell phones" over the Symphony's PA, and at another point attendees were treated to a special recorded message from Pres. Obama, recognizing Tilson Thomas for his work. 
click to enlarge © MOANALANI JEFFREY PHOTOGRAPHY
  • © Moanalani Jeffrey Photography
We thought our 30th birthday party was pretty cool, but this really puts it to shame. A sold-out crowd of more than 2,700 included folks like Gov. Jerry Brown; a special pre-performance dinner backstage was put together by a lady named Alice Waters. Nice friends you got there, MTT.

Be sure to check out the full conversation with Costello; there are still tickets for this weekend's performances as well. 

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About The Author

Emma Silvers

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Emma Silvers is SF Weekly's former Music Editor.

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