Keven’s Concert Review: ELTON JOHN – Live in Lethbridge April 24, 2012

One of the worlds most renowned musicians took to the stage in Canada at the Lethbridge Enmax Center April 24th in what was an onslaught of non-stop legendary hits. Elton John turned out nearly 30 of his most well-known tracks to a sold out crowd of thousands in what was an epic concert that will forever be etched in my memory.

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Elton John is only playing three Western Canadian dates and he chose to avoid all of the major cities in order to turn the smaller venues into ticket magnets of mass proportions. Despite playing the smaller venues, Elton John sold out everywhere he went, drawing hordes of people from across Canada and in some cases the world. I’d overheard people travelled from Britain to see the show. The singer owned the stage as it was just him and his piano. What blew my mind was how loud the show was considering I’ve seen Metallica multiple times and yet this lone man armed only with keys, still shook the arena.

There was little time for talk between tracks, as John played a staggering 27 songs during his two and a half hour set. He only stopped occasionally to chat amidst the frenzy of his back catalog, at one point even telling an audience member who was booing to “f*** off” if it was because of his referring to former US President George Bush as “an a**hole”. It was funny and drew tons of cheers from the lively crowd. When John first took the stage he also addressed the unusual location for his show saying, “I’m glad to be here in Lethbridge…. I never thought I’d ever be saying that!”

I will say that I’m not the biggest Elton John fan, but I do hold a few of his songs to high regard, especially ‘Rocketman’, which I consider to be one of the best songs ever written. When John played what seemed like an extended 15 minute piano solo-laden version of ‘Rocketman’ I was transported to another dimension. It was astounding. John is to the piano as Jimi Hendrix was to the guitar. It wouldn’t be difficult to argue Elton John as one of the top ten music performers of all time, and it’s probably closer to top five. Watching him play these solos was indescribable. There is no one else on the planet that can do what he does.

Even though I only recognized half of what John performed because I’m a casual fan, each and every song was phenomenal. Before John took to the stage for a legendary encore of ‘Circle of Life/ Can You Feel the Love Tonight’, he had the entire Enmax center on their feet and singing along to ‘Crocodile Rock’. This was a once in a lifetime event; to see one of the world’s greatest performers in all his glory. I will never forget Elton John. Especially that ridiculous extended version of ‘Rocketman’. What the hell was that? It was musical mastery and it probably took me an hour to pick my brain up off the floor.

5 Stars

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Setlist

1. The One
2. Sixty Years On
3. Border Song
4. The Greatest Discovery
5. Your Song
6. Ballad of the Boy in the Red Shoes
7. Levon
8. Tiny Dancer
9. Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
10. I'm Still Standing
11. Daniel
12. Rocket Man
13. I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
14. Someone Saved My Life Tonight
15. Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)
16. Tonight
17. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
18. Philadelphia Freedom
19. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
20. Nikita
21. Take Me to the Pilot
22. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
23. Candle in the Wind
24. Honky Cat
25. Bennie and the Jets
26. Crocodile Rock
27. Circle of Life (including Can You Feel the Love Tonight)