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article imageReview: Elton John masterful at Madison Square Garden in New York City Special

By Markos Papadatos     Oct 19, 2018 in Music
New York - On October 18, global music star Elton John performed at Madison Square Garden, as part of his "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" Tour, for an excellent turnout.
A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Elton John was greeted with a lengthy standing ovation as he took the Madison Square Garden stage. He kicked off his set with "Bennie and the Jets," and he picked up the pace with "All the Girls Love Alice." The background videos in the giant televised screen throughout the night were visually striking.
"New York," he said. "We are so happy to be back at my favorite venue in the world. I love playing here," he added and apologized in advance if some of the fan favorite songs did not make the setlist tonight. Fortunately, the audience did not mind one bit since they knew that they were in the presence of a living music legend.
He introduced "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" as a tune from his Too Low for Zero album, which featured a witty montage on the giant video screen.
John paid a moving tribute to the late "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin and shared that she originally recorded "Border Song." His soaring version of this tune at the World's Most Famous Arena did the song justice.
Elton John performing live in concert in  Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.
Elton John performing live in concert in "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour."
Photo by Kevin Mazur, Getty Images for Rocket Entertainment
"Tiny Dancer" was one of the highlight songs from the first half of his set, which he performed with maximum soul. Following a well-deserved standing ovation for "Tiny Dancer," he immediately broke into the funky "Philadelphia Freedom," which was quite liberating and fun. "Thank you very much," John said, and extolled his lyricist, Bernie Taupin, for being in a working relationship with him for 50 years, which he described as the "longest relationship in his life," and praised it as "remarkable."
John began "Indian Sunset" a cappella, which was raw and haunting, and the percussion instrumentation was impressive. Another crowd favorite was "Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)," which featured an intergalactic montage on the televised screen. This Elton John standard ended with a melodically stunning piano outro that was utterly hypnotic, and it earned him another standing ovation.
After "Take Me to the Pilot," he continued with "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," which he described as a deeply "personal song." The follow-up "Levon" was soulful and it ended in a neat jam.
John also honored the late Marilyn Monroe with "Candle in the Wind," as his piano started to move throughout the stage. After he underwent an outfit change, John continued with the melancholic "Funeral for a Friend," which was incorporated as a medley with "Love Lies Bleeding."
He slowed down his set a bit with "Burn Down the Mission," and rightfully so. John shared that in 1990, he experienced a personal epiphany and became sober. He is extremely proud of the work of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, and everything they have accomplished. He hopes that there will someday be a cure for AIDS and HIV during his lifetime.
One of his fondest moments included playing the September 11 Memorial Concert, which was filled with compassion, warmth, and love. He went on to perform the inspirational song "Believe."
He continued with "Daniel," "Sad Songs (Say So Much)," as well as the powerhouse tune "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," which stole the show. After "The Bitch Is Back" and "I'm Still Standing," John closed with the sassy "Crocodile Rock" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," which was a smash hit from his Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album.
For his encore, John returned to the stage and treated his dedicated fans and listeners to "Your Song" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," which was the namesake song of this final tour.
"Not many legendary singers and musicians 'still have it' in their golden years," Eric Hafker said, high school English teacher at Saint Francis Prep High School. "It is a rare blessing. Tonight, Elton John proved that he is not only blessed, but his humility and genuine gratitude and joy while performing make him a true artist in every sense of the word. It was a fun and moving night at Madison Square Garden."
The Verdict
Overall, Elton John gave Madison Square Garden a night of live music to remember. The veteran British crooner proves that he only gets better with age and experience. He is one of the finest singer-songwriters and pianists of our time. His entire production was top-notch, and it featured the latest state-of-the-art technology, which helped elevate the show to a higher level. It felt like one was watching a movie in conjunction with Elton John's concert, as he took his audience on a musical journey through time.
His "Farewell Yellow Brick Road" was the best tour of 2018 thus far. Elton John's vocals were crisp, resonant and captivating. Whoever has yet to see him perform live is truly missing out. A concert ticket to Elton John's farewell tour should be on every music fan's bucket list. His live show at Madison Square Garden garnered an A+ rating.
For more information on Elton John and his tour dates, check out his official website.
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