Rocket Man Elton John proves he's not old hat
by: Cameron Adams From: Herald Sun December 07, 2011 9:48AM
Elton John in Concert at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne. Picture: Tim Carrafa Herald Sun
ELTON John has an almost forensic knowledge of new music. He employs someone to buy him every new album released each week - what a great job. To still have such passion after years in the business for music is inspiring.
But Elton realises not everyone shares his habit for discovering new music. So his concerts have as many hits shoehorned in as humanly possible.
No one is going home from an Elton John concert saying they didn’t hear Your Song, Rocket Man, Candle in the Wind or even Crocodile Rock.
Even at last night's sold-out Rod Laver Arena show, when Elton drops older album tracks like Holiday Inn or the lengthy Madman Across the Water, he's got a Tiny Dancer, I'm Still Standing or Goodbye Yellow Brick Road in reserve from one of the most-loved back catalogues in rock.
Of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road he notes "this song has an exceptionally good chorus even if I do say so myself." He's right.
Elton John rocks Melbourne
Elton John rocks Melbourne
Herald Sun, 1 hour ago
Rocket Man Elton John is on fire
Courier Mail, 5 days ago
REVIEW: The Rocket Man is on fire
Courier Mail, 5 days ago
Cello fellows on Elton's yellow brick road
Courier Mail, 6 days ago
Night for Elton and the fans
The Daily Telegraph, 6 days ago
For those interested in more than just lovingly served nostalgia, there’s a three-song selection from his acclaimed recent album The Union with Leon Russell.
Those who rudely used the back-to-back new songs as a chance to go to the bar or toilet should have crossed their legs – it was one of the show's best moments, his band clearly enjoying some new musical blood.
With audio in concerts an issue this week, it must be said Elton and his excellent band sounded crystal clear.
Young Croatian You Tube discoveries Two Cellos have joined his band - and as Elton notes have "lowered the average age of the band by 30 years".
And what other artist could bust out Sad Songs (Say So Much), Daniel, Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me, Take me to the Pilot, Bennie and the Jets and The Bitch is Back - not just in the one concert but all in a row.
Sure, you could probably name 10 Elton songs you’d rather hear than Crocodile Rock, but Elton’s always been a professional people pleaser, which makes a change from self-indulgent rock stars dodging the hits or lazy ones doing short sets.
Elton plays Rod Laver Arena again tonight - get there by 7.50pm to see Two Cellos reinvent U2, Nirvana and AC/DC and give classical music an injection of grunt and grunge.
Elton and David plan their son's first birthday
Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish will not be lavishing their son Zachary with gifts when he turns one.
David said they plan to give him one "significant" present. "I've got a couple of ideas," he added.
The toddler was born to a surrogate on Christmas Day.
So the multi-millionaire couple will be hosting a joint event to mark both occasions.
Rocket Man Elton John is on fire at Brisbane concert
SING STAR: Elton John performing at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre last night.
PICTURE: Marc Robertson Source: The Courier-Mail
THE past decade has been good for Elton John. He's found personal happiness, delivered his best recorded work since the '70s and his concerts show he still has the on-stage stamina to match the huge catalogue of hits.
His show at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre last night was proof that at 64 he's still not about to take it easy even when the going is tough.
Elton announced early in the night that he was suffering bronchitis but you would never have known from his performance. He played for close to three hours, and while his voice was getting a little husky talking between songs, he seemed to hit every note and was singing as well as ever.
As other greats The Rolling Stones and David Bowie have amply demonstrated in this venue, there is a reason they are still around and it's not all about nostalgia. It's because they are mighty good at it.
The night begins with John's discovery 2 Cellos, the young Croatian cellists who attack pop hits like Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal and Nirvana's Teen Spirit with relish.
Cello fellows on Elton's yellow brick road
Elton John signs devoted fan's back
They remain on stage as John and his band join them and begin in top gear with Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting). From there it's a massive set of John's best, including a thrilling four-song slice of his 1971 album Madman Across the Water. Levon, Madman, Holiday Inn and Tiny Dancer weren't hits but they certainly have proven to be among his most durable songs, enhanced here by nea- perfect stage sound and the added depth from 2 Cellos on those timeless string parts.
Much is written about John the entertainer but perhaps more should be said about his sheer musicality, whether it's adding a superb jazz piano solo to Madman or extending Rocket Man out to a 10-minute extravaganza that had the capacity crowd leaping to their feet in appreciation.
Guitarist Davey Johnstone and drummer Nigel Olsson, his bandmates for much of the 40-year journey, are still with him and sounding great, as are the rest of the band. The four women on backing vocals also pump up the gospel fire which is at the heart of so much of his music and songs like Take Me to the Pilot.
John has played the Entertainment Centre perhaps more than any other artist but I don't think I've ever heard him play with such force as he did last night, an amazing feat given his ill health.
All this and Your Song for an encore. People don't have 40-year careers by letting down their fans and Elton certainly didn't at the performance.
Elton John, Brisbane Entertainment Centre, November 30, setlist:
Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)
I'm Still Standing
Madman Across the Water
Goodbye Yellowbrick Road
Candle In The Wind
That's why They Call it the Blues
Gone to Shiloh
Sad Songs Say So Much
Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me
Ready for Love
Bennie and the Jets
The Bitch is Back
by: Noel Mengel From: The Courier-Mail December 01, 2011 12:00AM
Cello fellows on Elton's yellow brick road
by: Tristan Swanwick From: The Courier-Mail November 30, 2011 12:00AM
Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser are touring with Elton John. Source: Supplied
The 24-year-old music students achieved fame after they posted a self-made music video of them performing a classical version of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal online.
The long-time friends were shocked when the video went viral, received millions of views and garnering the attention of international giant Sony, which signed them to a record deal.
It also garnered the attention of a moderately successful showman named Elton John, who invited them to join him on his world tour, including a show in Queensland tonight.
Now known as 2Cellos, the pair released a debut self-titled album full of unique spins on hits by Guns N' Roses, U2, Coldplay and Kings of Leon.
"We grew up with Michael Jackson, U2 and Nirvana," Sulic said.
"The melody and structure of their songs really inspired us to arrange them for 2Cellos."
A further allocation of tickets for tonight's show at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre go on sale today after several unfilled seats were found.
Flamboyance fades but showman still packs a punch
December 7, 2011
Rating: 30 out of 5 stars
Rod Laver Arena, December 6
★ ★ ★
LEGEND has it that in 1975, one in every 50 albums sold was an Elton John record. In the intervening decades the legendary singer-songwriter has accrued more than 30 albums, so last night's soldout Rod Laver Arena show was never going to be short on big hits.
John, in his 60s, and less flamboyantly attired than he once was (as could possibly be said for much of his audience), launched straight into it with the 1973 hit Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) and his 1980s track I'm Still Standing, before a bracket from his 1971 album Madman Across The Water, including an epic version of Levon with cellos and a rousing Tiny Dancer.
John didn't seem to be suffering the bronchitis he had at last week's Brisbane show, but still urged the 12,000-strong crowd to sing along with Yellow Brick Road, and seemed to be singing in a lower register in the hit-laden, if sluggish, set.
Alongside a smattering of new material, he played '70s and '80s hits including Rocket Man, Honey Cat, I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues and Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me.
But it wasn't just John and his band who have aged - it was a polished, but sedate show enjoyed by an audience happy to forsake dancing in the aisles for the occasional air punch.
Ryan White's Fight for AIDS Awareness
Ryan White should have turned 40 today. But he died at age 18, after a too-short and tumultuous life in which he battled HIV and the prejudice that surrounded it – as well as the somewhat unwelcome place in the spotlight his condition thrust upon him.
When White was infected with HIV from a contaminated blood treatment in 1984, AIDS was still a new disease, not widely understood and carrying great stigma. He found himself shunned by classmates and their parents – when he was finally allowed to return to school, that is. After a prolonged absence due to his illness, White was denied re-admission to school, forcing his family into a months-long legal battle with the school board. As he discussed his story with interviewers and local coverage yielded to national attention, White became a poster boy for AIDS awareness. Celebrities rallied to his cause and he became friends with luminaries from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Michael Jackson to Elton John.
When Ryan White died in 1990, those celebrities continued to support his family, turning out for the funeral – Michael Jackson was there, as well as Phil Donahue, Barbara Bush, and 1500 others. Elton John performed a special tribute to the boy who touched his heart.
Since 1990, we've made great strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS – just last week, researchers announced new advances in controlling the spread of the virus. And we understand the disease better, allowing those who live with it to lead a more normal life than Ryan White did, with less stigma and prejudice. We still have a ways to go, but we can thank Ryan White for all he did to help raise awareness and promote understanding.
Written by Linnea Crowther
Elton John Plays A Night Of Music History For Melbourne
by PAUL CASHMERE on DECEMBER 7, 2011
Elton John, Davey Johnstone, Nigel Olsson - Photo By Ros O'Gorman
An Elton John show is not so much as a walk, more of a jog through music history. With a career spanning more than 40 years there is so many songs to get through.
The Elton John shows reflects his passage of time through arguably the most creative years of Rock Music ever.
I’d forgotten how good a song like ‘Take Me To The Pilot’ was. The same can be said for the complexity of the title track from ‘Madman Across The Water’. Elton performed an epic extended version.
‘Madman Across The Water’ was one of two of his feature albums last night. On the last tour he showcased the ‘Elton John’ (1970) album and on this tour four songs from Madman including the title track, ‘Levon’, ‘Tiny Dancer’ and ‘Holiday Inn’ were brought to life. Elton said Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics for ‘Holiday Inn’ on their first USA tour. It is about staying in cheap hotels where all the rooms looked the same.
The other featured album was the recent and grossing overlooked ‘The Union’ with Leon Russell. It is one of my favourite albums of the past year but was ignored by most of the media. He performed ‘Hey Ahab’, ‘Gone To Shiloh’ and ‘Monkey Suit’. If you missed this album, please go back and discover it. It will be worth it.
‘Rocket Man’ was given the improve treatment. It is no wonder the song has evolved since we first heard it on ‘Honky Chateau’ album in 1972. It is his third most played song. He has played it live 738 times. The jazzed up version of the Elton classic went for maybe 10 minutes. (For the record, the two most played songs ahead of it are ‘Your Song’ (805 times) and ‘Bennie and the Jets’ (739 times).
Elton’s band featured long-term drummer (since 1969) Nigel Olsson and guitarist and the band’s musical director (since 1971) Davey Johnstone. On backing vocals, it was also wonderful to hear Rose Stone from Sly & The Family Stone.
New to the band were Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser from 2Cellos who opened the set with classical interpretations of pop and rock songs from Michael Jackson, U2, Nirvana and AC/DC. Then Elton and the band comes of stage for their 2 3/4 half hour set. Be warned, be early. The action starts at 7:50pm after support from Eran James.
The setlist from Rod Laver Arena for Tuesday, December 6, 2011 was:
With Or Without You
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Highway To Hell
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
I’m Still Standing (from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
Levon (from Madman Across The Water, 1971)
Madman Across The Water (from Madman Across The Water, 1971)
Holiday Inn (from Madman Across The Water, 1971)
Tiny Dancer (from Madman Across The Water, 1971)
Philadelphia Freedom (single, 1975)
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
Candle In The Wind (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
Rocket Man (from Honky Chateau, 1972)
I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues (from Too Low For Zero, 1983)
Hey Ahab (from The Union with Leon Russell, 2010)
Gone To Shiloh (from The Union with Leon Russell, 2010)
Monkey Suit (from The Union with Leon Russell, 2010)
Sacrifice (from Sleeping With The Past, 1989)
Honky Cat (from Honky Chateau, 1972)
Sad Songs (Say So Much) (from Breaking Hearts, 1984)
Daniel (from Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player, 1973)
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word (from Blue Moves, 1976)
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (from Caribou, 1974)
Take Me To The Pilot Your Song (from Elton John, 1970)
Bennie and the Jets (from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, 1973)
The Bitch Is Back (from Caribou, 1974)
Crocodile Rock (from Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player, 1973)
Your Song (from Elton John, 1970)
Elton & David plan son's birthday
Press Association – Mon, Dec 5, 2011
Sir Elton John and partner David Furnish are planning a family gathering to mark their son's first birthday - but they will not be lavishing the youngster with gifts.
David said they will instead focus on one "significant" present to mark the milestone for Zachary.
The youngster - who was born by surrogate - will turn one on Christmas Day so the multi-millionaire couple will be hosting a joint event to mark both occasions.
David said: "We're going to roll the two together and bring all the families together and have a wonderful celebration, so I'm so excited about that.
David was speaking as he attended a Los Angeles charity event for the Trevor Project, which provides help to young members of the gay and lesbian community.
He said they would hold back on swamping the youngster with gifts.
"I think particularly for his birthday I want there to be one significant present to mark each birthday in a memorable and meaningful way," he said.
"I've got a couple of ideas."
REVIEW: Elton John Concert At Melbourne's Rod Laver Arenahttp://www.take40.com/news/27685/review:-elton-john-concert-at-melbourne's-rod-laver-arena
07 Dezembro 2011
When a legend of the music industry comes to town there is a reason they will sell out every ticket in a venue over and over. Whether they still have it or don't the hits keep people flocking in and the bucket list will always give a fair chunk of people a reason to go. The fear for these events is does the performer still have what it takes? Sir Elton John has it, and then some.
Starting the main performance with the latest members of the band, the duo 2 Cellos the young musical prodigies took the classical instruments to the rock age performing renditions of Michael Jackson, U2, Nirvana and AC/DC. From this point the rest of the band joined in and they began.
Kicking of the near 3 hour set with Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) Elton didn't spend time revving up the crowd he walked on stage and slammed his hands on the keys.
See all the photos from Elton John's Melbourne concert here!
Vocally while he doesn't hit the high notes of yester year he has a vocal range that still holds of the best and as the hits rolled on he captivated and full house. As the voice will always loose out to age his work on the piano is a sight to behold. If anything Elton has continues to unrivaled on the ebony and ivory soloing through each song and receiving applause from the wowed crowd.
As the tour is called 'Greatest Hits Tour' you can gather what that entails but certainly Elton has injected something a little different for both himself and the diehard fans. Playing 3 tracks from his album with Leon Russell The Union, Elton show the depth to his work and that whether you know the songs or not he will still hold you captive. The album best represented track wise was Madman Across The Water from which Tiny Dancer, Levon, Holiday Inn and the title track were played and at points it felt like being transported back to 1971 as Elton performed with his original drummer Nigel Olsson and his guitarist since that album Davey Johnstone.
If have every got shiver from listening to music it is supposedly you body releasing endorphins through enjoyment. As Elton hit the first note for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road I started getting the shiver and at that point I knew I was watching someone who may not be performing for a lot longer and it may be the only time I get to see him.
If you would like a guaranteed way of getting people up and dancing in the isles then close out your music set with Bennie and the Jets, The Bitch Is Back and Crocodile Rock.
Growing up listening to Elton John this music is engrained in my music education and a great discovery is find that Elton can belt out these songs like he always has and nothing is holding him back. He can still sit at his piano, spotlight on and make you feel like he is singing straight to you.
A fitting goodbye was the encore Your Song as it created a cheerful atmosphere and kept people humming as they left the stadium. No one leaving the performance could feel cheated after a hit laden set from a man who at the age of 64 still sounds like he did in the 90's and to use a horrible play on a couple of classics, Elton John is definitely still standing and the sun won't be going down any time soon.
Débora Machado & Robson Vianna
" Making friends for the world to see !!! "
terça-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2011
Postado por Robson Vianna às 20:03