Elton John said goodbye last night to Minnesota one last time with show number 201 0f the tour. He reminisced about all the different times that he had played in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area. The first time being in 1970 at the Guthrie Theater in downtown Minneapolis. That is one hell run!
For any of you reading this that are into heavier rock or metal, the bands you support owe something to Elton John. You don’t have to look any further than his 1973 release, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Specifically, the song that most of you know, “Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting”. The hooks, melody, and hard driving guitar parts became a signature sound for him through the 70s.
For Elton John fans, it was a true walk down memory lane. It was so wonderful to see so many of the musicians that have played with him for 50 years back with him for this tour. The most notable names are, Davey Johnstone who is responsible for all those incredible guitar parts through the years, Nigel Olson on drums, Ray Cooper on percussion and Mike Bissonette on bass. Unfortunately, original bass player Dee Murray had passed on several years ago. But it was nice to see them give him a tip of the hat.
It was a bittersweet show for me in that I have such a love of his music and there was never going to be enough time to play all the songs that I love. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a performer at his level with all his hits trying to pick a set list. I think they did an exceptional job covering his 50 plus year career. He went as far back as “Take Me to the Pilot”, all the way up to his latest hit, “Cold Heart”. Proving yet again he can stay relevant in an ever-changing musical landscape.
To my surprise and pleasure, he played one really deep track, “Have Mercy on the Criminal” from his Don’t Shoot Me, I’m Only the Piano Player album. That for me made the whole trip worth it. Not to mention the whole band is incredible, as they always are. For those of you that are still curious about seeing him before he’s done, I recommend that you take the time to go. You will hear all the hits including, “Candle in the Wind”, “Rocketman”, “Crocodile Rock”, “I’m Still Standing”, “Bitch is Back”, “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me”, and the closer, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. It was an incredible performance by an incredible man.