So The Bitch was back on the Palouse last night and she destroyed the place. Although it was a long, slow wind up, Elton John put on the show that had 12,000 mothers and kids dancing and singing together in an euphoric springtime rite of celebration. He is The Lord of arrangement, composition and performance. His left hand is like movable granite and his right hand is a gossamer jackhammer up and down the keyboard of the ten foot ebony Yamaha that is the co-star in his current road show that started in Dubai and will end July 13 in Weybridge UK.
Mike the Bike Stud was thrilled when Sir Elton opened with 'Funeral of a Friend'; Mike has seen EJ' show 8 times but never seen him do 'Funeral', his all-time favorite. And although the Palouse itself did a mighty rendition of its annual 'Springtime' yesterday, complete with delicious and sensual sunshine accompanied by sweet, soft air wafting in from the wheat fields, when the lights went down promptly at 8 pm at Beasley Coliseum and Sir Elton advanced the stage in embroidered tails, sat down at his piano and cranked right into 'Funeral', I knew this was why we had come to the Palouse on this day and that this was the show we had come to see.
The band is second to none. First with the legendary Nigel Olsson playing drums, can the night be anything less than a fulfillment of prophecy? Davey Johnstone IS Davey Johnstone on lead guitar. He can follow the Gossamer Jackhammer like he' s a dragonfly in a head set, darting in, out, over, under the lines and progressions; diving through the music, coming back up for air in a big spark, and then disappearing in a wisp of smoke. In a word, his music is thrilling. If for nothing else, Davey Johnstone is awesome because he looks like a heroin addict, a blond warrior and veteran of things best left unspoken. He looks like a bad, bad boy as only guitar gods can and should be. And I hear he's Scottish. The guy is the complete package.
The tech is all light and sound. Forty or so cams with spots from 3 points out. It's very eighties, but updated for grace and elegance. The tech perfectly, beautifully frames the essence of the evening: music. There's nothing particularly visual about this show, just wonderful, wonderful music emanating from a bright, colorful spot that's away, beaming in to you in perfect clarity, as you sit in complete darkness. It's a musical light and dark thing. Just killer.
So as I sat in the darkness with all the other sons and daughters of Washington State and let this music enter me, I could feel the decay and fatigue being separated and excised from my body, where its treachery has been lurking and slyly reproducing. And when we walked to the car under the starry, dark, midnight skies, I felt year and years and years, and pounds, lighter. And in the wonderful way that transformation is, I was smaller but bigger.
The 'Kan EWA