"Pop music has the power to transform and elevate, much like Elton himself, who has a insatiable passion for music and performing."
It really says something when the venue hosting the unstoppable Elton John has had a shorter life-span than the artist himself. The 68-year-old performer performed for the 46th and final time at the monolithic ‘Entertainment Centre’ before an appreciative crowd of devotees.
Foy Vance (whom we would never mistake for Vance Joy) charmed the crowd early with his Irish banter and laid-back singer-songwriter tunes. The artist has been riding a wave of support with Ed Sheeran and Elton but his music became background noise for the anticipation of the main act.
The opening instrumental warmed us up straight into Bennie & The Jets and the tear-jerking Candle In The Wind. Vocal cords were stretched with crowd favourites Tiny Dancer and Rocket Man and the inclusion of some lesser-known tracks such as All The Girls Love Alice and Levon would have pleased the hardcore fans.
Artists of similar age have seen their voices wane over the years, but Elton’s voice rarely wavers, and we’re talking about a two-and-a-half hour gig at the end of a national tour and years of consistently playing 100 shows a year.
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The band, anchored by Nigel Olsson and Davey Johnstone, were as precise as ‘Captain Fantastic’ himself, and all chipped in with vocals throughout the night but knew when to step back as Elton assumed the spotlight for piano solos.
The younger fans (they do exist!) may have been disappointed not to hear any cartoon-related tunes, but the older crowd were all about hearing the classics and the main act finishing trio of I’m Still Standing, Your Sister Can’t Twist and Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting made them all forget about the arthritis.
Elton gesticulated for people to get up and even the nosebleeds obeyed, standing and dancing as Crocodile Rock drew the curtain on another epic concert from the man and the end of an era for live music in Sydney.
Over the years, much has been written about John being an unlikely pop star, but he is in fact the most likely. Pop music has the power to transform and elevate, much like Elton himself, who has a insatiable passion for music and performing.