Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on May 2nd 2010 4:00PM by Jillian Mapes
Elton John's most recent string of tour dates focused primarily on arenas and stadiums in smaller American cities, such as Youngstown's Covelli Centre. The tour featured the famed English pianist with full band in tow, playing his biggest hits to crowds hovering around 7,000, a modest amount for a performer of John's notoriety. Not only were there no opening acts, but on Saturday, John and band kicked off their set one minute early, starting with the song 'Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,' the opener off 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,' before ripping into 24 others and a brief encore.
Despite Elton's initial punctuality, he and his band had no qualms about taking their time, transforming several hits into improvisational jam sessions, most notably 'Levon' and 'Rocket Man.' The performances were interspersed with Elton's generous thanking and gesturing to the crowd.
John also chose to play a new song, 'You're Never Too Old,' which he introduced it by asking his fans not to "run for the exits." The song premiered at a March 2010 show and will be featured on Elton's October release, which finds him working with legend Leon Russell, producer T-Bone Burnett, Neil Young and others.
John's new song was not the only surprise in store for Ohio fans Saturday night. After truly raucous renditions of 'Benny and the Jets,' 'The Bitch Is Back' -- with the word "Bitch" flashing on a jumbotron behind the stage -- and several other top hits, Elton and company left the stage. But the singer, clad in a black coat featuring jewels and an embroidery of his own likeness, returned several minutes later. He signed nearly 25 autographs for fans crowded around the stage before playing 'Your Song,' followed by 'Circle Of Life' from Disney's 'The Lion King.'
Elton let the crowd know that he does not often perform 'Circle Of Life' live. The pianist even seemed a bit emotional before playing the song, saying that working on 'The Lion King' soundtrack "changed the direction of [his] career" because he "got the opportunity to do more than just make records and tour." Fans certainly left the Covelli Centre feeling "the love tonight" rather than having any inkling of Elton's so-called diva image.
Elton John on AOL Music