Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Bitch is definitely Back

Last night I had the extreme good fortune of being able to see Elton John and Leon Russell in concert at the Beacon Theatre.  Yes, the Elton John.  Sir Elton.  Elton fucking John!!  In the 3,000-seat Beacon. It was totally awesome!

After a brief introduction from Elton, Leon Russell took the stage, looking with his shaggy white beard like ZZ Top's great uncle.  He played the 9-foot grand piano on the right, and was supported by an all-star 15-member supporting band.  He played some of his best known hits, and I particularly loved his honkey tonk. His gravelly voice sounded amazing, and his forceful piano playing was incredible. 

After four or five solo songs, Elton joined him (playing the other 9-foot grand piano on the stage), and they played their new album in its entirety.  I've listened to it this week in advance of yesterday's release date, and found the album to be really enjoyable but mellow.  Played live, there was an energy that kept it from feeling "mellow" in the least - we didn't know a word, but in the hands and voices in these masters the songs were exciting.

Then Russell left the stage and Elton played his hits.  Lots of them, and the old favorites, too!  "Tiny Dancer" practically brought me to tears; it makes me think of the Bug because Joker put it on her special baby CD.  "Your Song" live is about the most beautiful thing I have ever heard.  He played "Levon," "Take Me to the Pilot," "Ballad of a Well Known Gun," "The Bitch is Back" and more.  And Russell joined him for an (unrehearsed) encore of "Honkey Cat."  Un-fucking-believable.  I haven't left a concert feeling that impressed and excited and happy in a very long time.  If you didn't watch it live on Fuse, you should definitely catch the encore next week!

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