When Elton played Salt Lake City’s E Center on Tuesday, he wasted no time getting into the hits.
However, observed the Deseret News, he also wanted the audience to hear some new creations from his album Captain & the Kid, which, incidentally, was released the day of the E Center show. So the band played a string of new songs from this sequel to 1975’s Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy.
The new disc is a sort of memoir about the entertainer first coming to the United States in 1970. As he played the song Postcards from Richard Nixon, the structure and style gave fans a shot of nostalgia because it sounds like a vintage EJ song.
The moving Tinderbox is about the songster’s relationship with Bernie Taupin. Blues Never Fade Away deals with death and The Bridge is an anthemic ballad about hope. Old ’67 is about success, while the album’s title track lifts the same music licks as the title track of Captain Fantastic & the Brown Dirt Cowboy.
Still, fans wanted the hits, and Philadelphia Freedom, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Believe and Tiny Dancer sounded as fresh as they did when they first hit the airwaves in the ’70s.
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues, Take Me to the Pilot, Someone Saved My Life Tonight and Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters added to the already lush set list.
From there Elton and his ensemble pulled out all the stops. Rocket Man, Daniel, Levon, Crocodile Rock and The Bitch Is Back caused the audience to rush the stage for Saturday’s Night’s (Alright For Fighting).
Just before the encore, Elton emerged and slapped a few high fives for those crowding the front rows. He also autographed baseball caps and ticket stubs before sitting down with Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me and Your Song.
The reviewer concluded that the headliner’s voice is still as strong as it was 37 years ago. ”And the man can still make his piano sing.”
Even so, the writer was grateful ”he shied away from the overplayed Lion King songs.”