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Sir Elton set the Butterfles free in MSG.

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On the eve of a big trip to Russia for a series of shows, Sir Elton played the second of two three hour extravaganzas last night at Madison Square Garden. He filled the stadium with sounds of everlasting melodic tunes. He completely sold out.
As a nod to its upcoming 40th anniversary release, Sir Elton played quite a bit of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” Look at it from my perspective. Thirty nine years later the songs not only stand up but stand out, sounding fresher than ever. From the opening of “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” to the rocking “All the Young Girls Love Alice” that album is more alive than anything we heard in 2013.
Elton is not jumping from one set to another in gigantic platform shoes or wearing a series of outrageous outfits. He runs the band and the stage from his piano, stage right, wearing one glittering coat with his initials embroidered along the back. The show emphasizes his musicianship now– At 66, Elton doesn’t have to do anything except be an artist.
“Holiday Inn,” about his early touring days. The big set pieces– “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”– are like mini operas now with gorgeous melodies and crescendo’s. “Levon,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Rocket Man” are performed economically to get the most punch from Bernie Taupin’s lyrics. “The One,” a hit from the late 80s, shows the depth of the John/Taupin catalog. In a three hour show, No one wanted it to end.


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