Friday, September 23, 2005

"Captain Fantastic" Indeed !

The New York Post weighs in with a mostly rave review;

September 23, 2005 -- IN the last breaths of a marathon, three-hour concert, Elton John pounded his piano and wailed though his classic "The Bitch Is Back."
Yes, he is — and the gap-toothed crooner was glorious at the opener of his three sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden.

On paper, three hours of anybody — especially ballad-heavy Elton — seems excessive, except for the Rocket Man's most die-hard followers. And it would have been if John hadn't cracked the show into three distinct segments, tailored to suit his fans' level of devotion.

He started with tunes from his latest album, "Peachtree Road," followed by selections from "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy" to warm the house.

An hour and a half into the concert, John and his large rock band became an all-hits jukebox — great for those who know the man from his signature radio classics.

The NY Times chimes in also with basically the same review written in NYT style;
Sir Elton is a relentless tourer, so it's a good thing he's also a restless one. This was, as he promised, a long show, especially for him: he sang almost nonstop for three hours. As usual, the audience greeted nearly every song with a standing ovation, which Sir Elton himself often joined. And the unusual set list helped give the night a weird, memorable structure.

A lot of veteran acts sneakily slip the new songs in among the old, hoping you won't notice. Maybe more of them should be required to do what Sir Elton did: stack eight of them up at the beginning and see how they fare. (The surest beneficiaries of such a plan? Concession stands.) On Wednesday night, the "Peachtree Road" songs certainly didn't flop, though they didn't kill, either. The album is Sir Elton's tribute to Southern traditions: gospel, old-fashioned R&B, country. If anything, "Freaks in Love," a sweet song about lovers who know they're "damaged goods," is too plain and straightforward to be an Elton John classic. The classics tend to flirt treacherously with inanity.