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At 67, the Rocket Man is in the form of his life


Elton John

Elton John

Elton John

We can see your coat in the dark, Elton.

There you are now trying to be Mr Inconspicuous, sauntering on stage when the lights are down, and setting up shop behind your piano. But fabulous fashion statements that sparkle with every movement are difficult to hide. Oh, and the back of the coat reads ‘Fantastic’. Appropriate dress, then.

What’s the deal with Elton John in 2014? Well, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road was released 41 years ago, and the man born Reginald Dwight is keen to remind us of its wares. He’s also found happiness in…well, everything.

Elton is reinvigorated, he tells us - at home, in the studio, out on stage, and it’s all down to us, apparently. The super fans down the front go nuts. Their idol will eventually sign some merch. Bless.

So, it’s a greatest hits set - almost two dozen numbers, spanning five decades in two-and-a-half hours. And it is truly immaculate, Elton spinning a web of gorgeous, ivory-tickled, pop masterpieces (Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me) and storming, rock ‘n’ roll break-outs (I’m Still Standing).

You wanna know how old Elton should look in his 67th year? Check out the supporting players, particularly guitarist Davey Johnstone (great man, hideous axes) and original band drummer, Nigel Olsson. Now that’s how greying rockers are supposed to age. No mind - we still think Elton looks spiffing in purple shades.

He also manages to pull off the tricky feat of engaging an arena audience, even when seated for the majority of the concert (Davey and the lads take care of the hip-shaking). A generous performer, Elton dedicates the sublime Tiny Dancer to brave Irish youngster Lily-Mae Morrison, whom he met before the show (a charity cover of the song, released a couple of years back in Lily-Mae’s honour during her cancer fight, stopped Elton right in his tracks). Cavan beat group The Strypes also get a shout-out (they’re signed to Elton’s management).

The Rocket Man is in a delightful mood, then, and a rather lovely rendition of Candle in the Wind tells us Elton is happy to play everything and anything, including Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (during which the band slug it out). Seats ditched, inhibitions lost - everyone has a blast. Then, their leader signs off with Circle of Life, with a few clips from The Lion King thrown in. Good man. A wondrous vocalist and a

terrific pop-rock showman, Elton John is in the form of his life. ‘Fantastic’ is right.