Sunday, March 31, 2013

Elton John - Live at Toyota Center in Houston, 3/28/13

Elton John is one of those acts that I just had to see while he is still touring and going strong. His catalog is the definition of classic piano-based rock, his songs have weaved their way into the fabric of American music, and he still receives rave reviews for his live show despite his ripe age of 66. Elton's Thursday night show in Houston was the only Texas date to be announced, so I didn't think twice about the 340-mile round-trip drive to the show on a weeknight. It was completely worth every penny and ounce of exhaustion.

The 'Madman Across the Water' hit the stage ten minutes after 8pm, and he barely stopped for a drink of water until he finished impressing Houston after nearly three hours of non-stop hits. Elton's voice has grown deeper over the years, and he's not quite as visually dynamic as you might see in some of his television performances from the 70s. None of this matters.

In fact, the argument could be made that Elton's current vocals are stronger and better suited to his songs than ever before. His nimble piano playing demonstrated that he's not slowing down or letting his age get the best of him (at least 25% of the shots on the big screens were close-ups of Elton's fingers), and his flawless band and four female backup singers provided further support in the energy department.

The Houston crowd showed Elton a lot of love in between songs, but I've never been to an arena concert where I felt the majority of the crowd was as uninterested in having a good time as at this show. There's something seriously wrong when Elton John and his band are jamming out to 'Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting' and only one out of every ten people on the arena floor is standing up and/or singing along. Chalk it up to aging boomers perhaps, but seriously, do they not have enough energy to stand up for more than an hour? I honestly felt bad for Elton. He deserves so much more from his fans.

  1. The Bitch Is Back
  2. Bennie and the Jets
  3. Grey Seal
  4. Levon
  5. Tiny Dancer
  6. Holiday Inn
  7. Believe
  8. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
  9. Philadelphia Freedom
  10. Candle in the Wind
  11. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  12. Rocket Man 
  13. Hey Ahab
  14. I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
  15. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
  16. Take Me to the Pilot
  17. All The Young Girls Love Alice
  18. Sad Songs (Say So Much)
  19. Daniel
  20. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
  21. The One
  22. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
  23. I'm Still Standing
  24. Crocodile Rock
  25. Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

  26. Your Song

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