Sir Elton John performed one of his final two US shows of the year at the Mohegan Sun Arena Friday night before a sold-out crowd. The 3-hour performance garnished a total of 25 songs primarily made up of his greatest hits.
A standing ovation welcomed Elton John to the stage as the keyboard intro to "Funeral For A Friend" overtook the audience. Dressed in a conservative black coat (with musical notes) and tails, he seemed ready to begin his rock concerto. The hits started right-away with "The Bitch Is Back", before drawing the next three songs from his 1971 album "Madman Across The Water". He performed fan favorites, "Tiny Dancer" and "Levon", but it was the title song that showcased Elton John piano playing with a solo that pushed the song over the ten minute mark. Throughout the night, Elton John made it a point to thank the audience for their overwhelming support. "Believe", from his 1995 Made In England album, was the newest song performed that evening before he dove back in time with a performance of "Take Me To The Pilot". "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Daniel" were both well-received before an epic version of his 1972 hit "Rocket Man" overtook the audience. The hits kept coming with performances of "Honky Cat", "Sacrifice", and "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me". The rare gem of the evening came in the form of the song "All The Girls Love Alice" from his 1973 album "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road".
Elton John proceeded to slow the tempo down with "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Words" and a solo version of "Candle In the Wind". A small crowd had rushed the stage as the band played the opening chords to "Bennie And The Jets". "Sad Songs", "Philadelphia Freedom", "I'm Still Standing" brought the remainder of the audience to their feet to dance to these popular hits. The energy level was raised to the max with the closing songs, "Crocodile Rock" and "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)".
With everyone still on their feet, Elton John returned to the stage to sign about two dozen autographs before taking a seat at his piano for a cover of The Who's "Pinball Wizard". He finished the evening off with one of his earliest hits from 1970, "Your Song". As the clock struck 11, Elton John left the stage to a much deserved standing ovation.
While the high notes are no longer reachable, his voice seemed as strong as ever and his piano playing and backing band is second to none. While expectations (and ticket prices) were high, no one was looking for a refund. I'm sure that every audience member felt they hit the jackpot with his performance that evening. Upcoming shows at Mohegan Sun features the legendary Neil Diamond, Tim McGraw's only New England appearance and Kenny Rogers' Christmas Show.