Elton John ended the show with the song Circle Of Life from the very successful Lion King, a phrase that perfectly represents the show.
Forty years on from Elton’s double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which is central to the fabulous body of work he released in the 70’s, to the horrible music of the 80’s, to the re-evaluation of himself as an artist and getting back with his bard Bernie Taupin in the 90’s, to Sir Elton John the ambassador of Aids, Gay Pride, husband, father and guru to artists suffering addictions, he is back on stage with his band here in Milan now in 2014, having come full circle, still with that enigmatic smile, that twinkle in his eye.
Elton is raring to perform, you can sense it, holding fort on stage, never leaving his piano except to milk his applause from the very appreciative Milanesi crowd. Leading a five piece band with original members from the GYBR album, Davey Johnstone on guitar, Nigel Olsson on drums (the late Dee Murray on bass replaced by Matt Bissonette) it’s a pleasure to appraise what a wonderful musician he is, his Yamaha piano a ‘collant’ for the band as they skillfully tackle ballads, boogie, rock’n’roll, blues licks etc that make up the really great set list. Obviously starting off with side one of the GYBR album is magnificent (especially for me, it being. along with Thin Lizzy’s Jailbreak, the first album I ever bought).
Love Lies Bleeding, Bennie & the Jets, Candle in the Wind; Wow!
The rest of the set is brilliant, as part of his circle of life, Elton has been able to assess what is good and what is not in his vast repertoire. His voice is true, and even if more baritone than the years of youth, it’s stronger than McCartney’s, for example. Like Bowie, he reinterprets each and every song, rephrasing lines, not just singing them so that certain songs one may consider twee at times like Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word are given weight and significance.
He plays 2 songs solo, The One, dedicated to Gianni Versace and Your Song dedicated obviously to every soul on the planet.
Elton said he has never felt happier, more at ease on stage than now and it’s easy to believe him. There are no more costume changes, dazzling glasses and crasy hats, drug fuelled emotional scenes etc. It’s all about the music and it’s up there with the very best.
Elton John Set List Milan December 4, 2014
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
Bennie and the Jets (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
Candle in the Wind (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
All the Girls Love Alice (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
Levon (from Mandman Across the Water, 1971)
Tiny Dancer (from Mandman Across the Water, 1971)
Believe (from Made in England, 1995)
Daniel (from Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, 1973)
Philadelphia Freedom (from Elton John’s Greatest Hits, Volume 2, 1977)
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time) (from Honky Chateau, 1972)
Hey Ahab (from The Union, 2010)
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues (from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
The One (from The One, 1992)
Your Song (from Elton John, 1970)
Burn Down the Mission (from Tumbleweed Connection, 1970)
Sad Songs (Say So Much) (from Breaking Hearts, 1984)
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word (from Blue Moves, 1976)
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (from Caribou, 1974)
The Bitch Is Back (from Caribou, 1974)
I’m Still Standing (from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘n Roll) (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
Crocodile Rock (from Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player, 1973)
Circle of Life / Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (from The Lion King, 1994)
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