I’ve been a huge fan of Elton John’s music for as long as I can remember. As a teenager, I started to listen to his music with more focus when I was trying to improve my piano playing skills….what a teacher! I also recorded on VHS his performance at the Sydney Entertainment Centre with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra back in the 1980s…please Elton release this amazing concert on DVD. Several years ago I saw Billy Joel and he perform together at the MCG but last night was the first time I saw Elton John as a solo act.
The show started beautifully with Funeral for a Friend and Love Lies Bleeding from the brilliant Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album. Backed by his amazing band Elton then played a plethora of his hits which blended really well from one song to another. Elton included some relatively new songs in the set and even though his new stuff gets radio airplay, the newer songs show that he and Bernie Taupin haven’t lost their touch for writing great songs.
While many people consider Elton John to be a great singer songwriter, I think a lot of people underestimate his piano playing abilities (for the record he is classically trained). He is such a versatile player. In songs such as Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word he show that he can easily play in a classical style but in songs such as Bennie and the Jets he can play in a blues style especially when jamming with his band. Other songs such as Crocodile Rock (great singing by the audience on this one too), The Bitch Is Back and Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) showed that he knows how to rock.
Elton’s voice sounded amazing and his delivery of his ballads was excellent….simply inspiring!
One of the nice parts of the night was when Elton took the time (about 5 or minutes) to sign his autograph for the people in the first few rows who offered him items to sign. I’ve never seen this before at a gig and I thought it was a really nice gesture on his part. Several times during the concert Elton thanked the audience for his “…great life…” and he seemed really humbled by the adulation he received from his fans.
During the encore, he performed a fantastic version of I’m Still Standing and then he performed arguably one of his best songs Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me. He then ended his concert with the song that started his brilliant career, Your Song.
Overall, I loved every minute of this show. Even though Elton John is one of the most successful songwriters of all time, his musicianship during the show was the highlight for me.
Elton John’s Official website
1. Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding
2. Bennie and the Jets
3. Philadelphia Freedom
4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
5. Tiny Dancer
6. I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
7. Take Me to the Pilot
8. I Want Love
9. Someone Saved My Life Tonight
10. Postcards from Richard Nixon
12. Candle in the Wind
13. Blues Never Fade Away
14. The Bridge
15. The Captain and the Kid
16. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
17. Rocket Man
20. Crocodile Rock
21. The Bitch Is Back
22. Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
23. I’m Still Standing
24. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
25. Your Song
By STEVE YANKO
About the Author
Steve Yanko is a Music Teacher, Musician, Song Writer & Consultant who loves working in the world of music.
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