By Rachel Hursen
Elton John lit up the Consol Energy Center on March 23 with his signature vocals and bedazzled appearance. In a black suit jacket with sequined artwork splashed across the back, he belted out old favorites such as “Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road” and “Tiny Dancer”.
Pyrotechnics and the Elton John Band backed him up, creating an exciting show for the wide range of ages assembled. Four female vocalists provided backup for hits such as “Levon.”
An hour into the performance, John’s mentor, Leon Russell, came on stage for songs from John’s latest album, “The Union.” Between the combination of the two vocalists, their pianos and Consol’s poor acoustics, a large portion of the audience chose to take their bathroom breaks during this hour-long segment. The two also performed together on April 2 on “Saturday Night Live.”
The time for mourning came later in the performance. John’s good friend, actress Elizabeth Taylor, died that morning from congestive heart failure. As could be assumed from the distorted acoustic qualities of Consol, John spoke about Taylor and their friendship, then went into a heartfelt rendition of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me.”
John also played “Crocodile Rock,” a classic that had the entire audience singing along, to the point where John simply played piano and let the concert – goers carry the tune.
His encore performance was “Your Song”, another sing-along classic, before which he thanked Pittsburgh for welcoming him again. He previously played in Mellon Arena, and now was honored to play at Consol. If only Consol could get their acoustics right.