Elton John back on stage to remind us of his 'brilliance'
John returns to touring after illness with some great pop classics and a surprising new album
What you need to know Elton John is back on tour in the UK after an appendix operation forced him to cancel his summer show in Hyde Park. This week he appeared at the London Palladium in a concert to mark his Brit Icon award for lifetime achievement in music. The event will be shown on ITV on 13 September.
The multi-award winning, multi-million album selling singer songwriter is also promoting his new album, The Diving Board. Elton and Band will appear at Bestival, Isle of Wight, 8 September, and the iTunes festival at the Roundhouse, London, 12 September, before continuing his tour in Europe and the US.
What the critics like Elton John's London Palladium show "mixed adulation with the songs that made him great", says Sarfraz Manzoor in the Daily Telegraph. And there are some truly great pop songs, from the bouncy and defiant I'm Still Standing, to the delicate Tiny Dancer, but, surprisingly, songs from his new record The Diving Board provided some of the highlights of the night.
John's voice has, with age, "acquired a richer, deeper, darker timbre", says Stephen Dalton in The Times. His I'm Still Standing and Rocket Man came with a raunchy extra dollop of bass-heavy R&B swagger, while Bennie and the Jets rolled along on an irresistibly beefy staccato stomp.
The concert "showed Elton in expansive form - still standing, story-telling and striving for perfection", says Caroline Sullivan in The Guardian. His great talent as a writer/pianist kept asserting itself with Your Song, reminding us of his brilliance, and a rollicking new blues track, Mexican Vacation, showing the fire hasn't gone out.
What they don't like
The icing on a very large cake was Elton's old friend Rod Stewart turning up for a rowdy closing duet, yet "it felt slightly rushed and perfunctory", says Stephen Dalton in The Times. A few more collaborations between the two might have raised the roof. ·