Elton John may have packed up his feather boas, garish costumes and ornate spectacles, but even at age 52 he serves up a performance that's truly unparalleled! His wild antics have calmed, but his music is as powerful as ever! He's not so outrageous, but his sound is contagious!
Elton took the stage at the Target Center at 8:02 p.m. and played and sang without a break for nearly three hours. His opening number, "Your Song" set the stage for an unforgettable evening. Elton and his piano held the attention of thousands for the entire time-- an exhausting, difficult feat for any performer. His vocals were strong as ever, though he opted out of the old falsetto phrases, which the audience didn't mind taking over for him in the least! Yah, there were grandparents, teenagers, computer nerds, hippies and bikers all standing up together singing, "la....la-la-la-la-la..." enjoying the heck out themselves with "Crocodile Rock!"
Elton pulled a variety of ballads from his extensive repertoire and silenced the crowd with familiar hits such as, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me," "Candle in the Wind," "Tiny Dancer" and "Daniel." He also roused the audience with his exciting keyboard antics on "Take Me to the Pilot," "Burn Down the Mission," and "Honky Cat." Hey, this guy was "Andy Baileying" it to the max on "Honky Cat," and it was a blast!
Elton's instrumental tunes may have served as a break for his voice, but his playing was down-right delightful! He played parts of "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word," which has a classical feel, then made some nice transitions to a more jazz-style of playing, then a rhythm and blues sound, then back to a classical mode again while singing his old "please let's not fight again" song, "Tonight."
Ah, maybe folks miss the old outrageous showman, Elton John...but his music has staying power that doesn't require garish costumes and wild antics. Elton's tribute to friend John Lennon, "Empty Garden" and his story-tellin' somber ballad, "Ticking" (lyrics by B. Taupin) struck an emotional chord with folks, as did "Candle in the Wind." Elton John can still rock & rouseand audience with his music, then suddenly quiet the crowd with one short phrase of his next powerful ballad. Elton John gave a performance that was worth every penny of that $50 ticket!
This review is copyright © 1999 by Lisa Gault, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.