Ok, so to say the least, this isn't a concert for everyone here at GMC
However even if you don't like the "Rocket Man" you at least have to admit he's one talented songwritter and a very powerful figure in the music world. This concert, to me, was a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Elton as he should be seen, with just him and a piano. Thats right, no glits, no glamour just a brilliant musician and his instrument singing some of the most greatest and memorable songs written. And for him to come to Atlantic Canada and play in such small venues like, Halifax's Metro Center, Harbour Station in Moncton, NB and in of all places St. John's, NL where capacity for all these places is just around the 10,000 person mark was just amazing in itself. So I wasn't passing up the opportunity. OK on to the review....
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Location: St. John's, NL Canada @ Mile One Centre
Date: October 3, 2008
Set List (I can't remember the exact order for all, but these are the songs played):
Your Song, Sixty Years On, The Greatest Discovery, Ticking, Border Song, The Boy in the Red Shoes, Daniel, Honky Cat, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, Nikita, I Need You to Turn To, Philadelphia Freedom, Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer, Roy Rogers, Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word, Candle in the Wind, I Guess that's Why they Call it the Blues, Carla/Etude, Take Me to the Pilot. Levon, Bennie and the Jets, Someone Saved my Life Tonight, Sacrifice, Crocodile Rock
Encore: I'm Still Standing, Don't let the Sun go Down on Me
Duration: 2 h 45 mins
Ok well there was a bit of glitz, I mean it was Elton John However it wasn't flamnouant or over the top by any means. There was no opening act, there was just a small stage with a black grand piano (Yamaha if anyone is interested) He entered to an orchestra track with a simple white spotlight. No crazy outfit, but his jacket had a really wild design reading "Music Power" and even his glasses were subdued except for the E.J. encrested with diamonds on the lenses. And he didn't waste anytime at all before jumping into "Your Song" and let me say it was just amazing to hear that sung live. I was seated in row JJ on the floor (36 rows back) but I had a great view and with the screens you got some great close ups of Mr. John and they even had a "Key Cam" so you could see him play. But by the end of the show I was right up front... just not close enough for an autograph unfortunatly.
As you can see by the set list he played a lot of favourites as well as some lesser known tracks. However he kept things interesting by doing extended versions of some songs with elaborate solos like his opening to "Take Me to the Pilot" I so didn't know what song he was going to play, as he started with an instrumental that could have led into any one of his many hits. It lasted about 5 mins before going into the song and was just brilliant. He makes playing the piano look so effortless. But my favourite of the night was most definitely "Rocket Man" from the opening note I bawled my eyes out. To hear that song live was just unbelievable. It's my favourite by him and means a lot to me. Candle in the Wind was another that pretty much brought the house down. It was the original version, which I don't like as much as Diana's but he doesn't play that version anymore. No lighters, but 10,000 cell phones give off a lot of light... pics didn't turn out of that but it was amazing to see. And well I've never heard a reaction for ONE single note like when he played the "dun" to start Bennie and the Jets... simply fantastic. I dance with some guy from my row to that one... no idea who he was but he was a good dancer Concerts just bring folks together don't they
All in all 25 songs were played and 25 standing ovations were given... for me I stood for most of the concert singing, at the top of my lungs, annoying the folks behind me probably but hey I payed just like them and I was gonna enjoy myself . He "ended" the show with a brilliant version of "Crocodile Rock". (not my video... I was up front by this time and dancing so video was not on my mind LOL!!!) When he stopped playing and got up from the piano in the middle so the audience could have the "stage" it was so perfectly timed... just awesome and very fun. He signed autographs for about 15 mins and then left but came back for an encore. Both songs brought the house down and well it was two more standing ovations.
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This was a most enjoyable concert and even though it was a bit more mellow then most would like, just to hear the piano played so masterfully was worth the price. He played none stop, only breaking to take bows and and a drink of water. There was very little chit chat, only brief explainations to some of the more obscure songs. The sound was so crisp and clear. Elton may not have the falseto range he once did but he sounded brilliant. I actually think he sounds much better with the deeper range. Elton is certainly a master and his fingers worked a whole lot of magic on those keys Friday night. At times I could just feel the bass keys in my chest. I never thought I'd leave with my ears ringing from just a lonley ole piano. Only disappointmet was he never played Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting... but I got over that pretty darn quick
Overall Rating: 10... I still can't believe I saw him.
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Note: for those who have me on Facebook, I have more photos and a great video of "rocket man" on my profile. For some reason I couldn't upload here but I'll try again later.