Elton John

Poplar Creek (Hoffman Estates, IL)

Sep 17, 1988

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  1. 1 Sixty Years On 06:27
  2. 2 I Need You To Turn To 02:58
  3. 3 The King Must Die 05:41
  4. 4 Burn Down The Mission 06:44
  5. 5 Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word 04:07
  6. 6 Have Mercy On The Criminal 06:24
  7. 7 Tiny Dancer 06:52
  8. 8 The Ballad Of Danny Bailey (1909-1934) 04:42
  9. 9 I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues 04:50
  10. 10 Philadelphia Freedom 05:37
  11. 11 The Bitch Is Back 04:16
  12. 12 Nikita 06:22
  13. 13 Sad Songs 09:53
  14. 14 Goodbye Marlon Brando 03:36
  15. 15 A Word In Spanish 05:02
  16. 16 Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters 08:00
  17. 17 Daniel 04:26
  18. 18 I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That 07:31
  19. 19 Candle In The Wind 04:18
  20. 20 Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting 07:47
  21. 21 Your Song 04:34
  22. 22 I'm Still Standing 03:50
More Elton John

Elton John - piano, keyboards, vocals
Davey Johnstone - guitar, keyboards
Guy Babylon - keyboards
Fred Mandel - synths, keyboards, guitar
Jonathon Moffat - drums
Romeo Williams - bass
Natalie Jackson - vocals
Alex Brown - vocals
Marlena Chateau - vocals

This is one of two visits Elton John made to the Chicago area in 1988, and remains one the best tours he ever launched in the US. The choice of material he performed was astonishing, ranging from his earliest songs ("I Need You To Turn To," "Sixty Years On," "Your Song"); to his classic '71-'76 hits period ("Burn Down The Mission," "Tiny Dancer," "Philadelphia Freedom," "The Bitch Is Back," "Daniel," "Candle In The Wind"); to a splattering of cool album cuts ("The King Must Die," "Have Mercy On The Criminal"); to a healthy slice of what were his newer hits at the time ("Nikita," "I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That," "Goodbye Marlon Brando"). Always the consummate performer, he closes with "Your Song" sandwiched between the righteous rockers "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" and "I'm Still Standing." While Top 10 radio hits became few and far between for John after the mid-'80s, he has remained a hit-maker in contemporary music for nearly four decades.

Overall, this lengthy set makes for an incredible evening of music. Chicago was always a strong market for Elton John, going back to his earliest US shows. He emerged in 1970 from the UK as a critic's darling and the British equivalent of Randy Newman, with lyricist/partner Bernie Taupin. His own shows and flamboyant persona soon became the rage in his native England, and then to an even larger degree in the US. By the mid-1970s, Elton John was arguably the biggest act in music.

It all came crashing down with a collision between his sexual confusion and his blatantly self-destructive personality, which culminated in drug and alcohol abuse and a complete restructuring of his excessive stage theatrics, for which he auctioned off nearly $20 million in memorabilia and costumes. Few artists can mesmerize an audience with a two hour-plus show of incredible Top 10 hits and compelling album tracks. This recording proves why Elton John is one of the most enduring performers in all of rock 'n' roll.