Elton John makes a victorious and inspiring return to Las Vegas

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Denise Truscello Elton John will finish up his “Million Dollar Piano” residency at the Colosseum in the spring of 2018.

Friday, Oct. 13, 2017|midnight

Elton John was in Australia on Oct. 1, getting ready for a postponed go back to his headlining production “The Million Dollar Piano” at the Colosseum in Caesars Palace. The delay was due to a serious bacterial infection he unfortunately picked up while exploring in South America, triggering him to cancel a long string of spring shows in Las Vegas.

“I couldn’t think it,” he said of enjoying reports of the Path 91 shooting from another continent. “This is a town that has actually been so kind to me. I have actually been appearing here throughout my career however a lot considering that 2005 and it has a big location in my heart. Each time something happens like that, a killing like that, it stays in our hearts as artists since we cannot do anything other than play music to attempt and recover the wounds. But it does have a profound impact on us, and I just feel for this town.”

John and his band did whatever they could to heal in his first show back Wednesday night, powering through hits from various ages and individual favorites that resonated with a near capacity Colosseum audience. After opening with “The Bitch is Back” and a powerfully percussive variation of “Bennie and the Jets,” John moved into “Rocket Male” and added a prolonged musical coda, stunning on the keys with some aid from guitarist Davey Johnstone. Three songs in and the audience feared.

Another prolonged jam session trailed the next tune, “Levon” from 1971’s “Madman Across the Water” album. Then it was back to the classics with “Tiny Dancer” and “Your Tune,” the latter which previewed by a brief explanation of how John and longtime composing partner Bernie Taupin have actually crafted their brochure. “We’ve been together 50 years and it’s rather remarkable. We have actually never ever had an argument,” he said. “He gives me a lyric and from the word go, I have actually gone always gone into another space and written the tune. We’ve never ever been in the exact same space when we have actually written a tune, which is probably why we’ve lasted 50 years.”

The 70-year-old legend’s voice ended up being warmer and more flexible for “Your Song,” and he sounded much better and much better as the show went on. “Bye-bye Yellow Brick Road,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues” and “I’m Still Standing” came out to play, naturally, but he also dug into “Indian Sunset” (with some dramatic drumming from another legend, percussionist Ray Cooper) and “Empty Garden,” a song composed in 1982 for John’s dear buddy John Lennon. Early, hard-charging hits “Crocodile Rock” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Combating” worked the audience into a climactic frenzy– and welcomed some onstage– prior to John re-emerged in a hot pink sequined jacket for the finale, “Circle of Life.”

Elton John couldn’t be happier to be back in town, and Las Vegas couldn’t be better to have him. But bear in mind: His residency wraps up in the spring, with final dates set for April 28 to May 19, 2018. This is not a show you want to miss.

“Elton John: The Million Dollar Piano” continues at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27 and 28, and Nov. 1, 3 and 4. The program returns once again in February. For additional information, check out thecolosseum.com.

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