This was my first time seeing Elton John, and I was pretty psyched. Elton was one of those artists I grew up listening to as a kid and was definitely an influence on me musically. He was touring in support of his “Breaking Hearts” album, which did quite well if my memory serves me correctly. Elton had Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray, and Nigel Olsson supporting him, which was great seeing them all on stage together.
I went with my brother Mike, and our seats were behind the stage. But since the Sportatorium was essentially a free-for-all, we went and found some seats on the side about halfway back.
Elton opened with “Tiny Dancer,” which was beautiful. He came on stage wearing a long purple coat, which was elegantly glam-boyant. He then started ramping things up and eventually had the crowd totally rockin’, kicking the piano stool backwards and standing at the keys, pounding away like a madman. But the frenzy peaked about halfway through the show, when Elton took off his sleek purple jacket and flung it into the crowd.
Now from my vantage point, I could see the melee that ensued. Crazed rock fanatics clawed and punched each other, while they tore and shredded the jacket. I can’t recall just how long the tug-of-war lasted, but I feel like I heard a couple songs as my eyes shifted from the stage to the crowd and back to the stage again.
While there were a few songs I would have liked to have heard that he didn’t play, the show was pretty solid and he played most of his big hits. He certainly had a formidable body of work to choose from. Anyway, here’s the full setlist.
- Tiny Dancer
- Li’l ‘Frigerator
- Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
- Candle in the Wind
- The Bitch Is Back
- Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
- Who Wears These Shoes?
- Sad Songs (Say So Much)
- Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
- Bennie and the Jets
- Philadelphia Freedom
- I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
- Kiss the Bride
- I’m Still Standing
- Your Song
- Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
- Crocodile Rock