Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Wednesday night’s alright for fighting

FOR a man who will celebrate his 70th birthday next year, Elton John has lost none of his blockbusting talent

FOR a man who will celebrate his 70th birthday next year, Elton John has lost none of his blockbusting talent.

The king of the power ballad blew away the 7,000-strong crowd with his vintage 90-minute performance on the floating stage — and he made it look so easy.

With a CV stretching back to 1969 and comprising nine number ones, the hits weren’t in short supply, but John still knows how to work an audience.

Opening with The Bitch is Back, within the first 10 minutes he had clambered on top of his piano and aimed a few air punches at the crowd. This was a man still at the top of his game and he knew it.

Ably assisted by a wonderful backing band, including long-time guitarist partner Davey Johnstone, John blew through his extensive back catalogue during the 90-minute set — keeping the audience on their feet from the very start.

Dressed in a classic Elton outfit of a sequin-adorned jacket and bright red shoes, complete with the now-iconic tinted glasses and dangly earring, the superstar showed off his piano skills with a series of breathtakingly fast solos.

But what makes Elton a true great is that voice. Still as powerful and flawless as in his heyday of the Seventies and Eighties, he didn’t hit a wrong note all night.

Among all the sequins, flashing lights and showmanship, it is still the vocals that set Elton apart.

The crowd played their part, joining in with each and every song and screaming in approval every time he reached the end. Screams of “We want more!” twice greeted Elton as he approached the end of the set, and each time he obliged them — first with Candle in the Wind then with Crocodile Rock. It was thrilling to be there.

But how do you end a gig littered with so many classics? That’s easy when you’re Elton: a medley of his hits from The Lion KingThe Circle of Life and Can You Feel the Love Tonight — sent the audience on their way home with no doubt that they had just watched a master at work.

Review: Jamie Presland

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