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Gonzales Weekly Citizen - Gonzales, LA
  • The Farr Side: Elton John still has it

  • Elton John, who turns 65 on Sunday, proved last week he can still rock — Crocodile style.

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  • Elton John, who turns 65 on Sunday, proved last week  he can still rock — Crocodile style.
    John’s historic performance March 21 at Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo, Mich., made for a terrific night for those lucky enough to score tickets, myself included. He dazzled an eager crowd for three hours, performing a slew of hits, including many of those from the era that launched the Rocket Man.
    Being the people-watcher that I am, this audience had it all. John’s music transcends time, so it was not uncommon to see grandparents, their kids, and even their kids’ kids. Judging by the reception, they all enjoyed themselves. It was the perfect show to share with my mom, too. She thoroughly enjoyed John’s trip down memory lane.
    John opened the show with the rockin’ “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” followed by “Bennie and the Jets” from his classic “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album.
    He sounded every bit as good as the two other times I saw him live. The audience’s noise level escalated after the opening number, and only got louder as the night progressed.
    I was touched by how gracious he was with the Wings audience. He seemed genuinely happy to be there and perform for his fans, often acknowledging all sides of the audience including those seated behind the stage.
    John’s career spans five decades now, but most of this set list featured tracks that helped create a soundtrack of the ’70s.
    From “Captain Fantastic” he performed “Philadelphia Freedom” and “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” while from “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player” we heard “Daniel” and “Crocodile Rock.”
    He also tapped into the “Honky Chateau” album with “Honky Cat” and “Rocket Man” and the album “Madman Across The Water” for “Tiny Dancer” “Levon,” “Holiday Inn,” and of course, the massive title track.
    “The Bitch Is Back” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” from “Caribou” were awesome, as were other tracks from “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” like “Candle in The Wind,” “Grey Seal,” “Harmony” and “All The Girls Love Alice.”
    It’s hard to pick just one or two tracks that defined the night for me, but “Rocket Man” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” just blew me away. It was like I just forgot about everything outside the building for a moment and was there to be healed or something — it sounded so good to me.  That’s the power of great music. I can’t be alone in my thinking, either, as several concert-goers got out of their seats to dance in the aisles to “Crocodile Rock.”
    John performed a few ’80s hits including the power-anthem “I’m Still Standing,” “I Guess It’s Why they Call It The Blues” and “Sad Songs,” as well as a few newer tracks like “Monkey Suit” and “Hey Ahab” from his album “The Union” with his “idol,” Leon Russell.  
    Page 2 of 2 - I found it appropriate that he closed the show with an encore performance of “Your Song,” which started his 40-plus year career in the music business.
    I have to say, Elton, your songs have truly became our songs and we thank you kindly for the memories they’ve given us.  
    Elton John will perform next at War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Ind., on April 21.
    David T. Farr is a Sturgis, Mich., Journal correspondent. Email him at farrboy@hotmail.com. You can also find The Farr Side on Facebook.
     

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