Elton John at Webster Bank Arena

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With a career as distinguished as his, going to see an Elton John concert is basically a slam dunk.
And when his tour is billed as “All the Hits,” you know you’re in for a special night, even if it would probably take four or five hours to literally pack all of his well-known songs into a concert.
Still, there couldn’t have been anybody at the jam-packed Webster Bank Arena who left the show feeling anything less than elated about what they witnessed. It was Sir Elton at his best, even though he did throw a scare into the proceedings early in the show.
He was just seven songs into his set when he said, “I’m freaking out up here because I’m losing my voice.”
It didn’t sound like anything was wrong from where I was situated, but he is 66 years old and he knows his voice better than anyone. Still, he sounded fine and it was obvious to all that he was doing what he loves most — performing — as a big grin never left his face throughout the performance.
The concert was special for fans of John’s 1973 masterwork, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” He started with “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,” Bennie and the Jets” and “Candle in the Wind,” which was the first side on the double album.
Other later hits played from the record were “Grey Seal,” “All the Girls Love Alice,” “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” and, of course, the title track.
As a surprise (and one of several songs that didn’t qualify as “hits,” as per the tour’s title) was the inclusion of that record’s “Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘n’ Roll).” According to setlist.fm, it was the first time that song has been played live since 1974.
There were a few other songs that were rather unfamiliar to the crowd, including “Hey Ahab” from his 2010 album with Leon Russell, “The Union,” and the three songs from his latest, “The Diving Board.”
One of the new songs, “Oceans Away,” was made even more poignant by John’s introduction. It was written by John with longtime lyricist Bernie Taupin to pay tribute to the diminishing ranks of soldiers from the two World Wars. Coming as the U.S. prepared to celebrate Veterans Day and the U.K. doing the same with Remembrance Day, it really hit home.
“You can’t imagine the horrors they went through and the cost they paid when they went to buy our freedom, which is what they did,” John said.
The set list
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
Bennie and the Jets
Candle in the Wind
Grey Seal
Levon
Tiny Dancer
Holiday Inn
Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
Believe
Philadelphia Freedom
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Rocket Man
Hey Ahab
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues The One Oceans Away Voyeur Someone Saved My Life Tonight Sad Songs (Say So Much) All the Girls Love Alice Home Again Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me I’m Still Standing The Bitch is Back Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘n’ Roll) Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
Encore:
Your Song
Crocodile Rock

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