Elton John - vocals, piano, keyboards; Davey Johnstone - guitar, vocals; Dee Murray - bass, vocals; Nigel Olsson - drums, vocals
This is an important concert because it reunites Elton John with arguably the best band he ever worked with: Davey Johnstone on guitar; Dee Murray on bass and vocals; and Nigel Olsson on drums and vocals. This band was the group that remained his studio and live band for nearly six years, before splintering after 1975's Captain Fantastic album. Most importantly these were the musicians who arranged and backed Elton for his greatest albums, including 1973's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which is generally regarded as the zenith of his career.
Recorded near Albany, NY in 1982 for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, this show could very well be the only recorded testament of what was quite possibly Elton John's last great tour. Though he has continued to write, record and release hit songs and his touring schedule seems busier today than it ever was, he has never equaled the sheer musicality that he had when he worked with this classic four piece line-up. Although a quarter of a century old, the recording features a vast wealth of John's greatest hits, including a healthy helping of tracks from the aforementioned Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album.
The album opens with "Funeral For A Friend (Love Lies Bleeding)" and glides effortlessly into other classics such as "All The Young Girls Love Alice," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight;" "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "The Bitch Is Back" and an intensely rousing and rocking version of The Who classic, "Pinball Wizard." Newer songs from that time period such as "Ticking" and "Chloe" blend effectively with older album tracks like "Where To Now St. Peter?" and "Teacher I Need You." John and the band are in fine form when they bring the show to an amazing close with "Your Song," "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting," "Daniel," "Crocodile Rock" and a soaring medley that includes The Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There," (which Elton had played with John Lennon in 1974 at Madison Square Garden in what ended up being Lennon's last ever live show), and a rousing finale of The Isley Brothers rave-up, "Twist & Shout."
Sadly, Elton John can never reunite with this group in its original line-up again because bassist Dee Murray has since passed away from cancer.