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Live Review/Gallery – Elton John at the Tax Slayer Center

| November 13, 2017

Elton John (photo by Andy Argyrakis)

Elton John
TaxSlayer Center, Moline
Friday, November 10, 2017

Nearly every season in Elton John’s illustrious career is filled with some sort of milestone, but perhaps more than any in recent memory, the last year prompted several reasons to celebrate. For starters, the international superstar released his 30th studio album Wonderful Crazy Night (the first to feature his longtime band in a decade), marked 50 years of collaborating with primary songwriting partner Bernie Taupin and released the brand new box set Diamonds in honor of turning 70.

Not only did the newly re-named TaxSlayer Center in Moline score the “Rocket Man” surrounding all the festivities, but his only Illinois concert this year just so happened to fall on the exact release date of that very retrospective collection. Between that timing and the roar of a sold out house in general, John appeared extra enthusiastic in a sparkling blue Captain Fantastic coat as he cheekily entered to “The Bitch Is Back,” outstretching his arms with a few waves before promptly banging away on the keys.

It set the tone for over two hours of memories past and present, which bounced right into “Bennie And The Jets” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” with the headliner and his five backers sounding like the precise unit that comes with over 4,000 performances in over 80 countries. Nonetheless, John made sure to make his moments with Moline as personal as possible, both remarking how glad he was to be back and hinting that this could be the beginning of a long goodbye, which was soaked in by an extremely appreciative audience who’d likely been coming since his iWireless Center visits and possibly even the days when the building went by The MARK of the Quad Cities.

Yet the entertainer brought along a couple newer tunes that hadn’t previously been heard, including the positive pop of “Looking Up,” followed by the smooth and soulful “A Good Heart,” each suggesting John is maintaining the knack for his craft. He also made sure to keep longtime listeners on their toes, touching on 2001’s call for unity “I Want Love” all the way back to 1973’s unburied treasure “Have Mercy On The Criminal.”

Of course, John made sure to cover all the main prizes as well, oozing sentiment and prompting sing-a-longs throughout the ballads “Daniel,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time),” “Your Song” and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (dedicated ever so appropriately to the late George Michael). And he rocked almost as frequently, plowing through the patriotic “Philadelphia Freedom,” the extended boogie jam “Levon” and the defiant “I’m Still Standing” with the latter’s lyrics “don’t you know I’m still standing/ better than I ever did/ looking like a true survivor/ feeling like a little kid” perfectly summing up why he keeps connecting with listeners from all walks of life anywhere on earth.

-Review and photos by Andy Argyrakis


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Category: IE Photo Gallery, Live Reviews

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