Elton John - piano, keyboards, vocals; Davey Johnstone - guitar, keyboards; Guy Babylon - keyboards; Fred Mandel - synth, keyboards, guitar; Jonathon Moffat - drums; Romeo Williams - bass; Natalie Jackson - background vocals; Alex Brown - background vocals; Marlena Chateau - background vocals
Elton John has remained one of the longest running hit-makers in contemporary music, composing and performing for almost four decades. This concert, recorded originally for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, is essentially a greatest hits show that serves as a testament to the incredibly wide spectrum of music Elton has delivered over the years.
Opening with the compelling "60 Years On," from his debut major label album, Elton John, he then moves right into more songs from the early part of his career: "I Need You To Turn To" and "Burn Down The Mission." From there he traipses all over the songbook landscape, playing tracks from 1969 all the way through to his new releases at that time. Newer tracks like "Marlon Brando," sound as good as the classics, "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word," "Tiny Dancer" and "The Bitch Is Back." Elton always excels on the more dramatic titles, which is why "Have Mercy On The Criminal," and the brilliant, "Ballad Of Danny Bailey," are among the highlights of the show. "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues," "Philadelphia Freedom," "Nikita" and "Sad Song" fill in the gaps between the new tracks and the mega-hits from his past. Overall, this collection of songs makes for an incredible evening of music.
Chicago was always a strong market for Elton John, going back to his earliest US shows, and he demolishes the audiences with a four-part closer/encore that begins with "Candle In The Wind," then jumps to the always rockin' "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" before launching into the poignant ""Your Song"" and concluding with "I'm Still Standing." The number of artists that can mesmerize an audience with a two-hour- plus show of incredible Top 10 hits and compelling album tracks can be counted on one hand for most people. This recording proves why Elton John is one of those artists.