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Elton John & Band
Cuyahoga Falls  (USA)
- Blossom Music Center  8/09/2011

Blossom Music Center 2011

Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting

I’m Still Standing


Madman Across the Water

Holiday Inn

Tiny Dancer

Philadelphia Freedom

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Someone Saved My Life Tonight

Rocket Man

I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues

Hey Ahab

Gone to Shiloh

Monkey Suit

Honky Cat



Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Take Me to the Pilot

Bennie and the Jets

The Bitch Is Back

Crocodile Rock


Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me

la band:

Bob Birch - basso
Davey Johnstone - chitarre e cori
Nigel Olsson - batteria e cori
John Mahon - percussioni e cori
Kim Bullard - tastiere
Luka Sulic - violoncello
Stjephan Hauser - violoncello
Tata Vega - cori
Lisa Stone - cori
Rose Stone - cori
Jane Whiterspoon - cori

da www.cleveland.com

Elton John offsets predictability with professionalism during hit-stacked concert at Blossom Music Center

di John Soeder

You might expect Sir Elton John to stick with tried-and-true hits in concert.

And you would be right. For the most part.

Surprises were hard to come by when this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer essentially reiterated the bullet points on his résumé Thursday night in front of 14,000-plus fans at Blossom Music Center. What the show lacked in terms of imagination, though, it made up for with sheer professionalism.

It was a chilly evening, with patches of fog hanging in the damp air.

“We’re going to warm you up,” John, 64, promised early on.

Resplendent in a lavishly decorated long coat, the ivory-tickling superstar briefly pumped up the crowd before settling in behind his piano and getting down to business with “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.”

Halfway through his 2˝-hour performance, John put the hit parade on hold long enough for three well-received selections from his latest album, “The Union,” a collaboration with mentor Leon Russell. The best of the bunch was “Gone to Shiloh,” a Civil War-inspired ballad with a haunting melody and drums that evoked distant cannon fire.

John also threw a couple of curve balls to the tune of “Holiday Inn” and “Hercules,” lesser-known numbers from his deep catalog.

Yet the emphasis was squarely on popular blasts from the past. The vast majority could be traced back to John’s 1970s heyday, including “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” “Bennie and the Jets” and the show-closing “Your Song.”

For a seasoned pro like John, the trick is playing the same old songs instead of letting them play you.

He was up to the challenge. Instead of merely going through the motions for, say, “Rocket Man,” he sent the song into orbit with a bluesy extended coda, kneading the piano keys like a masseuse.

By the time he belted out “The Bitch Is Back” toward the end of the night, John was clearly enjoying himself. He wagged a finger in the air. He stood on his bench and struck a Napoleonic pose, with one foot atop his piano. And he got back down in his usual manner -- with a dramatic handstand.

His voice was strong from start to finish, especially during “Tiny Dancer,” which John delivered with a smile and eyebrows arched above his tinted glasses.

True, he generally avoided high notes, but percussionist and backing singer John Mahon (a Canton native) capably picked up the slack. John returned the favor with a shout-out in the middle of “Crocodile Rock,” when he sang: “I remember when rock was young / Me and Mahon had so much fun. . . .”

John’s polished band also included longtime associates Nigel Olsson on drums and Davey Johnstone on guitar, mandolin and banjo, as well as Rose Stone of Sly & the Family Stone and daughter Lisa Stone on backing vocals.

Cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser of the fun duo 2Cellos sat in with John, too, after winning over the audience with a short but sweet set of their own. Their classical-crossover covers of material by the likes of Michael Jackson and Nirvana rocked harder than Mantovani ever did.

da westfaironline.com

Crowd wowed by Elton John

di Kathy Kahn

The “Rocket Man” took 17,000 fans on what was probably the wildest ride Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has experienced in its six years of existence.

Elton John’s three-hour show on Saturday evening Sept. 3 brought out fans of all ages — from teens who were hopping to “Crocodile Rock” to older fans who sang along with the legendary performer’s many number-one hits. John sang his full repertoire of his platinum catalog of music. Despite four decades of singing, travelling the world and pushing himself to the limit, the pilot was still in control of his performance – and his audience was captivated.

John’s performance kept the fans on their feet for most of the show. Although security may have started out tight, it soon loosened up as fans – and Bethel employees – gravitated to the stage, swaying in unison and cheering as John’s fingers deftly played the piano without missing a beat. His band, which included his original drummer, Nigel Olsson, and such backup singers as Rose Stone of Sly and the Family Stone helped maximize the energy of the man and his music.

Dressed in an elegant full-length tuxedo with a fuchsia shirt to match the lettering on his jacket — the singer’s wild costumes and outrageous hats and sunglasses being a fashionista statement he’s apparently outgrown – John sang with a rich baritone voice that didn’t falter.

His concert was an amazing end of summer treat, one many hope is a promise of more to come from Alan Gerry’s multimillion dollar concert venue next season.