DVD REVIEW: Elton John: The Red Piano

Elton John
The Red Piano

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Where can you get Pam Anderson in pasties, an inflatable hotdog, a band of near 60-year olds and a red piano? On the live concert performance DVD: Elton John The Red Piano, that’s where!

This is Sir Elton’s show ‘in residency’ at the The Colosseum at Caesars Palace, home usually to Celine “My Heart Will Go On” Dion’s Vegas thang. It’s a full media extravaganza; a monstrous video screen behind the band (state-of-the-art clear, it’s almost unnerving, Pam’s on this video screen during the “Bitch Is Back” and she’s big man!), fantastic sound quality, those afore mentioned inflatables and all the glitz, sparkles and gloss you’d expect from Elton-, one of the glitziest, sparkl-iest, glossiest performers rock and roll has ever known.

Beyond all this though this is a pretty great concert. Sure Elton’s voice ain’t exactly what it used to be-after throat surgery in the 80’s his register lowered- but his five-piece backing band handles the high notes pretty well as well as playing their instruments (ol’ Nigel Olsson on drums always makes an Elton show worth it in my opinion) so the tunes work pretty well here. Stand-out moments of the 14 are: “Daniel” with long time Elton guitarist Davey Johnson playing what has to be one of the best acoustic guitar rhythm parts in a song ever; “Rocket man” with Elton playing the hell out of his piano in a extended ending; “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me,” with spot-on backing vocals and a video accompaniment that takes away from the performance a little too much for my tastes, and great versions of “Pinball Wizard,” “The Bitch Is Back,” “I’m Still Standing” (and I never even liked this tune!), “Saturday Nights’s Alright For Fighting” sees audience members jumping on stage to dance with the band at the end.

This is great fun…Vegas style, but from a performer and band who have the chops, history, and songs to pull it off.

Ralph Greco, Jr.

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