Sir Elton John launches a nine-city national tour from US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH.

Ok kids, let’s talk. Today’s lesson is on “Greatness.”

One doesn’t need to possess genius to know when they are in the presence of Greatness. Greatness lets itself be known, not through self-righteous boasting or by being the “squeaky wheel” but, through its actions and its body of work over an expansive period of time. Enter: Sir Elton John. By “enter,” it’s to the ear-piercing roar of thousands of fans at a sold out US. Bank Arena in Cincinnati, OH. (The first on a national tour that will reach nine cities, including an extended stint in Las Vegas).

Elton John’s legendary career spans more than 50 years and has garnered Britain’s famed Knight five Grammy Awards, a couple Tony Awards, an Academy Award, too many Billboard Chart hits to count, and enough multi-platinum, platinum, and gold records to fill a municipal water tower.

Elton began his professional music career at the age of 17 and has performed in excess of 3500 concerts. Of those, this particular evening was No. 13 for the Queen City and, as expected, Sir Elton did not disappoint. Long gone are the lavish costumes and on-stage Vaudevillian antics that once hid the immense shyness of John. Gone also, since his throat surgery in 1987, is the higher-ranging voice that charted notable hits such as “Daniel,” “Your Song,” and “Bennie and The Jets.” In their place is a vibrant rhinestone-clad tuxedo and a deeper tone that draws the listener in with a strong sense of maturation and wisdom. It is the Elton John experience, after all, that binds the legions of fans to him.

This year’s stage gives the concert goer the feeling of being at the Hollywood Bowl. A large, sloped, half-moon LED screen provides the back-lighting and visual element while the world’s largest chandelier hangs precariously overhead, yet offers a strange sense of intimacy to the set.

The 26-song evening kicked off with “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” and included the artist’s “Best of..” compilations to include: “Bennie & The Jets”, “Levon”, “Daniel”, “Philadelphia Freedom”, “Rocket Man”, “Your Song” and many others. Notably, the 68yr old John dedicated the performance of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to the late Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek) who passed away (on the date of this show) at the age of 83.

At times, the full capacity crowd sang along in unison, and at others simply allowed the maestro to perform his musical magic only to award him a standing ovation after every song. While the combined voice of more than 15,000 fans would lead you to believe that “intimacy” is something seldom found at a concert, Elton John has a way, a certain innocent joie de vivre, that enshrines those in attendance with a feeling of being alone with the legend. Carefully crafted lighting, stage sets, and John’s distinctive presence takes the two of you into a quiet, uncluttered, and seemingly empty piano bar. He masterfully sits at the helm of a beautifully constructed Grand and croons hit-after-hit, sharing his personal experiences as you perch comfortably on a cushioned barstool, at the opposite end, occasionally joining in melodies that remind you of years past.

And as Sir Elton John appropriately concludes the evening with “Circle of Life,” you realize; “it’s the delicacy of Music, served personally, by one of the best to ever pen a note.” That, boys and girls, is “Greatness.”

Elton John
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