The backing vocalists overwhelmed the sound, forcing John's piano to compete, and obscuring much of guitarist Davey Johnstone's work on a dizzying assortment of guitars. Commercial requirements fulfilled, John went to his back catalog, and the magic began.
A dead-on version of "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" earned a huge response, and John maintained the fever pitch with "Benny and the Jets." John's voice was strong, and his piano work impassioned. Other favorites included "Daniel," "Take Me to the Pilot," which featured a ferocious, five-minute piano intro, and "Tiny Dancer." "Levon" started out as a solo piece, but the rollicking coda seemed untrue to the original. The guitar-driven intro to "The Bitch Is Back," whipped the crowd into another frenzy, with John doing his part by climbing atop the black Yamaha grand piano and exhorting his minions. A trio of encores, concluded by the sweet "Your Song," wrapped up an evening populated mostly by John's classic '70s work, and time has shown that material still stands up mightily today. Andy Garrigue
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