Monday, September 01, 2014

Seeing Elton for the second time (Tupelo concert, March 19, 2014)

[Five months later, I've managed to finish my thoughts on seeing Elton John in concert again … ]

It was a weeknight and a work day, and I really wasn't feeling up for it. We arrived to the packed venue later than we should have and eased into our seats barely 15 minutes before Elton John took the stage. What followed was an Elton '70s fest, as you'd expect with this tour focusing on the anniversary of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Although the '70s is not my forte, I was surprised by how many of the songs I couldn't identify. I was born in the '70s but grew up in the '80s, so I'm drawn more to Elton's later body of work, which barely gets a tip of the hat in the legend's current tour. I'd rather hear "I Don't Wanna Go on With You Like That" or "This Train Don't Stop There Anymore" than "Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" — so sue me. The highlight for me was his defiant early '80s anthem "I'm Still Standing." The only thing that would have been better would have been Elton breaking out "Too Low for Zero" with an extended keyboard solo in that wonderfully synthy bridge.

The songs:

Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding // Had no idea what this was, but the lengthy instrumental bit made for a nice moody opening.

Bennie and the Jets

Candle in the Wind // You’d think Elton and piano alone on this one, but the band joined in.

Grey Seal

Levon // My first real exposure to this song was when Bon Jovi massacred it on the 1991 Two Rooms tribute, and thus I can’t muster much enthusiasm for it.

Tiny Dancer

Holiday Inn // John talked about this one being inspired by touring small towns that all looked rather the same.

Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters

Believe // One of only two nods to the 90s. Certainly a better choice than those Lion King songs.

Philadelphia Freedom

Roy Rogers

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road // Inspired me to put this song in my current playlist, cause this boy's too young to sing the bluuuuuuuueeeees.

Rocket Man

Hey Ahab

I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues // Without the harmonica, sadly, but glad it made the set.

The One // This was the single instance when the band left the stage, putting the focus solely on John and the piano.

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Sad Songs (Say So Much) // An 80s gem that perked me up.

All the Girls Love Alice

Home Again // The only nod to anything post-2000.

Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me // Yep, I learned this one via the George Michael duet.

I'm Still Standing

The Bitch Is Back

Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock 'n Roll)

Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting


Your Song

Crocodile Rock // What, no "Healing Hands"?

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