Better late than never… The Elton John concert!!!!

Don't worry, I didn't forget about this awesome concert I went to!!!

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about this awesome concert I went to!!!

Well, after all of my excitement leading up the Elton John concert I attended last week, I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about it! I’m sorry for the delay, and I will now proceed to describe the event in great detail! But in short, it was AMAZING!!!!!!

Having never been to a concert at Madison Square Garden before, I was not quite sure what to expect, but as soon as my mom and I sat in our seats, observed the massive stage below us, and heard tracks from The Diving Board being played over the speaker system, I knew we were in for a great show. Unlike at the Paul McCartney concert, there actually was an opening act for this show, but it was a group comprised of two of Elton’s cello players called 2CELLOS. They were fantastic, but my heart truly started pounding with excitement once the opening chords to “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” began blaring throughout the arena. Hearing that in near darkness was truly a magical way to start the concert, and once Elton strode onstage in his fabulous “Madman Across The Water” jacket and started playing piano and singing, I was in mid-70s musical heaven.

There were so many memorable moments from the show, but the one thing that stands out most in my mind is the fact that Elton exceeded my expectations in all respects. Even after constant touring and performing this fall, he sounded absolutely fantastic, with no missed notes in any of the songs. His piano playing was even more masterful than I expected, and I can say with complete certainty that my mouth dropped more than once in awe at his melodic improvisations. Elton John is just awesome in every way!

So what song was I most excited to hear him play? Bennie and the Jets definitely rocked, and hearing my #1 favorite Elton song Someone Saved My Life Tonight was wonderful. However, I think I would have to give the “favorite song” title a tie between Rocket Man, All The Girls Love Alice, I’m Still Standing, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, and The One. But I think my #1 favorite moment of the concert was when he was introducing his band members and commented on how cute the 2CELLOS cello players were. That had the audience in stiches!

Here’s a video I found of Elton performing The One from December 4th, but the video doesn’t really do him justice. This was an absolute showstopper live. It was so quiet in the audience that you could have heard a pin drop.

And here’s Elton performing everyone’s perennial favorite, Your Song! I just recently learned how to play this on the piano, and I thought I was doing okay, but this is clearly how the song is meant to be performed.

How would I compare my experience at the Elton John concert versus my experience at the Paul McCartney concert? The actual quality of the musical performances was about the same for both shows, which I expected because obviously Paul and Elton are complete masters at what they do. I would probably give the edge in the “fun” factor to the Paul McCartney concert, only because I was sitting a lot closer to the stage for that concert and was basically dancing the whole time. At the Elton concert, where we were higher up, practically nobody was dancing at all in my section. Not even during the encore, Crocodile Rock! By the time Elton started playing The Bitch Is Back, I honestly stopped caring what people around me thought and stood up for a bit.
Also, I think Paul has the edge because he did tell me he loved me during the concert. That was a lovely moment that can never be recreated by anyone else. 🙂

But in the grand scheme of things, seeing Elton John in concert is an amazing experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list and that just about equals anything else I’ve done. If you enjoy live performances, you will love seeing him live!!! Elton John, after all this time, is definitely STILL the Rocket Man!!!

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My Top 10 Favorite Elton John Songs

What a pretty picture! I've decided this is my favorite photo of Elton.

What a pretty picture! I’ve decided this is my favorite photo of Elton.

In honor of Elton’s upcoming concerts at Madison Square Garden, one of which I will be attending (!!!!), I’ve decided to post my top 10 favorite of his songs. Since I haven’t been listening to him for that long, I only have a few of his albums on my iPod. However, the albums I do have are mostly his older ones, so I think I probably have most of “the good stuff” if you know what I mean. 🙂 This list was EXTREMELY difficult to narrow down to just 10, which is why I’ll include a bunch of honorable mentions at the end of this post. I may decide to revisit this countdown in the future, but for now, here it is, the not-so-definitive list!

10. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy

This is the title song of what I’ve already decided is one of my favorite Elton albums. I love this song because, like all of Elton’s songs, it’s so beautifully crafted. Starting out with just acoustic guitars, it builds and builds until it’s a full-on rock song, and then it goes back to just acoustic guitars again. I find it hard to believe how anyone could dislike this song, because it’s so fantastic!

9. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart (with Kiki Dee)

This is definitely one of the catchiest songs I know, and I can totally see why it was a huge hit back in the 70s. It’s so likable and infectious, and I dare anyone to hear it and not want to start dancing and singing along! It’s so happy and fun!!!

8. Your Song

This is his practically his signature song, so of course I had to include it here! I absolutely love this song and consider it to be one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.
I realized a while ago that this song, like the Beatles’ “Something”, doesn’t have the word “love” in it! But it’s so beautiful anyway!!! How wonderful life is when Elton’s in the world! 🙂

7. (tie) The Bitch is Back/Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting

For whatever reason, in my mind I lump these two songs together, and I couldn’t decide which one I liked better! So I made it a tie! Anyway, both of these songs rock, a lot. I guarantee that when Elton plays these at the concert in December, I will be out of my seat dancing along!!!

6. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues

The intro to this song is possibly my favorite piano riff ever! And the rest of the song is awesome! I absolutely love the harmonica solo, played by Stevie Wonder. This is one of those songs I fell in love with as soon as I listened to it. Whenever it comes up on my iPod, a smile instantly goes across my face. Elton John’s music just makes me so happy!

5. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

I included this clip of Elton on The Muppet Show for two reasons. One, even though it’s not the full song, it’s the best version of this song I have yet to discover, including the official album version. Two, watching this exact part of his appearance on the Muppet Show is where I first fell in love with him and his music. I know, I know, cue the “Awwww”‘s… 🙂
But seriously, this is a really beautiful song. I sing this to myself all the time! I am determined to learn this on the piano one day.

4. Madman Across The Water

This song just hypnotizes me in a way that no other Elton song does. I feel like a madman, or I guess a madwoman, when I listen to it, because it’s so dark, moving, and powerful, just like the entire album of the same name. I think it’s a true masterpiece in his large catalog of amazing songs.

3. Tiny Dancer

This song amazes me by how perfect it is, every time I hear it. It should honestly be the prototype for how to write a great song on the piano, and I could listen to it over and over again. As I’ve said, one of the things I love most about Elton John’s songs is how beautifully crafted they all are, and this song is a perfect example of that. This, like so many of his songs, has a timeless quality about it that makes it so well loved by so many people.

2. Bennie and the Jets

Okay, I’ll just cut to the chase. I LOVE THIS SONG!!!!!! It’s so catchy and fun to sing along to, and it has a very unusual beat for a pop song that makes it really unique. I’ve been trying to learn this on the piano, and for a beginner like me, it’s pretty hard, but definitely doable. Anyway, I just love listening to this song and pretending to be a rock star. This song rocks!!!!!!

And…

1. Someone Saved My Life Tonight

As soon as I first listened to this song, I knew it would become my favorite. The story it tells is a true one about how one of Elton’s friends and former bandmate, Long John Baldry, saved him from committing suicide in 1970. Because of this, it’s more personal than a lot of Elton’s other songs, but that’s just one of the many things that make it a great song. This song is so powerful and builds up to such a degree that by the end, I always feel empowered, like I’ve just finished a long hike and am standing at the summit of a tall mountain. Still, I don’t think my words will do this song justice, because it’s brilliance speaks for itself. This is the only Elton song at the moment that I can play all the way through on the piano, and that makes me love and appreciate it even more! This song sure takes me for a ride, but at the end, I’m always glad I went on that ride!

Like I said, there are A LOT of awesome Elton songs out there! Here are some more that aren’t my most favorites, but that I still love!
Crocodile Rock
Burn Down The Mission
Harmony
I Think I’m Going To Kill Myself
I’m Still Standing
Razor Face
Philadelphia Freedom
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Rocket Man
Island Girl
Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding

Wow, that was a LOOONNNGGGG post. Sorry about that. But I hope you enjoyed the post, and have a wonderful week!