Blue skies, Brexit and a back catalogue that would make even the most established recording artists green with envy ensured that Elton John fans in Edinburgh were given a Saturday night that was much, much more than alright.
“There are only blue skies because you voted to remain and you’re the only sensible people in the fucking country,” announced Elton, as the sun shone brightly over Meadowbank Stadium.
After provoking cheers so loud that they could have been heard in Glasgow, the flamboyant superstar performed non-stop for more than two hours proving that, at 69, he still has the vocal range, talent and drive of a wide-eyed 20-year-old. His studied precision and professionalism throughout acted as a stark reminder that the most captivating live performers don’t have to be chaotic, unpredictable rock stars.
Crowd-pleasing monster hits such as I’m Still Standing, I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues and a contemporary take on Sad Songs (Say So Much) had the stadium bouncing. The trade-off for these was, of course, the inclusion of new material from his latest album Wonderful Crazy Night. Whilst the audience listened to each new song politely, it was only the effortlessly joyful Looking Up that managed to illicit anything more than a mere lukewarm response.
Earlier this month, during a concert in Leicester, Elton hit the headlines for losing his temper and launching a foul-mouthed rant at concert security guards for trying to stop members of the audience from dancing on their seats. Last night there was none of that. Instead, stewards could be seen happily singing along and, on one occasion, even joining fans to dance in the aisles. And who could blame them?
“It’s not going to go on forever because I want to raise my children and see them grow up but we’ll be back one more time,” he said, hinting that his inevitable farewell tour is just around the corner.
As he tirelessly pounded the keys of his piano during closing number Crocodile Rock, the thought of him retiring any time soon seemed awfully premature.
Words: Amy Anderson