2 November 2018
Schottenstein Center; Columbus, OH
This is a much bigger show than I’m used to attending and I know that a lot of other publications have done reviews so I wasn’t sure if it would be worthwhile for me to do one. But I’m a man goddammit! My opinions matter! Plus, I may have some interesting insights you can’t get anywhere else… I doubt it, but it might happen.
First off, I paid a bit too much for the tickets. But to see a living legend like Elton John that’s to be expected. I tried to think of another artist I would pay that kind of money for, but couldn’t think of any. The nice thing was the seats were much better than expected. I didn’t realize how awesome they really were until we sat down and Elton* took the stage only a few moments later.
Second, his voice doesn’t sound like it did in the seventies. But do I really have to type that? No one’s voice can tour the world for 50 years and stay the same. Elton does a great job keeping the songs sounding strong with his cords in the condition they’re in. Most songs still sound great, and a few sound even better; Something about the older voice lends a few tunes more authority and authenticity. The only one I didn’t care for was “Tiny Dancer.” That song is missing something without those high notes (and there was no steel guitar!).
I was really surprised to find how much I enjoyed the songs he did solo. I’m not familiar with “Border Song,” but thought it was great and I missed the great guitar lick in “Candle in the Wind,” but it was still an awesome performance.
One of my mom’s favorites has always been “Indian Sunset” and I was surprised to find it on the setlist. I wasn’t looking forward to it as I’ve heard it more than enough for a lifetime, but I enjoyed the live version with just piano, voice and Ray Cooper ‘s percussion much more than the album version.
It also really says a lot that I’d be interested in going again when he comes back around next year. If I check up on the setlists and find he’s ditched something like “Sad Songs (Say So Much)” and/or “Believe” for “Madman Across the Water” or “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” I’d definitely be interested. I can only imagine how many other songs could take the place of “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,” but then where would the wardrobe change take place?
My biggest bitch about the show was that there was no mosh pit. It was Friday, but when you end the show with “Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting” you have to expect some craziness. Of course, I’ve never seen ushers dancing in the aisle like they were for that tune!
Courtesy of Setlist FM
Bennie and the Jets
All the Girls Love Alice
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
Border Song (Elton solo)
Indian Sunset (Elton and Ray Cooper only)
Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
Take Me to the Pilot
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Candle in the Wind (Elton solo)
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
Burn Down the Mission
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
The Bitch Is Back
I’m Still Standing
Crocodile Rock (One of the best moments was when he looked at all of us confused because we weren’t singing the “Laaaaa Lalala la Laaaaa” part.)
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
*AP Style says I should refer to him by his last name, but that just seems really weird when his last name is ‘John.’