'The Million Dollar Piano' [Blu-ray]
(Elton John / Blu ray / NR / 2014 / Eagle Eye Media)
Overview: Elton John's 'The Million Dollar Pian'o is a residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The show has been running since September 2011 with the most recent leg being 16 shows between March 29 and April 26 2014. The concerts are the culmination of Elton Johns decades-long partnership with Yamaha pianos.
Blu ray Verdict: I love all things Elton John - always have done, always will do. Taken from John's 'The Million Dollar Piano' residency at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, this Blu ray is simply divine to behold. Not just because of the man himself, but the stage set, the lights, and everything else!
This new release features classic Elton John tracks from across his extraordinary career performed either with his band, with percussionist Ray Cooper or solo. Like I just pointed out above, the multimedia staging is extraordinary with vast screens behind the stage illustrating the songs, and the piano itself acting as a screen for graphics and animations.
'The Million Dollar Piano' is truly an epic masterpiece of how one man can control, can constantly delight over and over and over again an audience like no other showman I've ever known. Even on a track like 'Daniel,' as he's "flying away" his own piano edge lights up and shows us a plane in flight - in a deep, rich orange glow.
The stage setting, arrangement is beyond incredible, and features one of the largest, most complex ever built for an entertainer in Vegas. Dressed simply in (shiny) black head to toe, John is in overdrive on this recording and doesn't put a musical foot wrong. When the stage lights up in red, so do the audience, they are that close - so they are in on the act too, so to speak.
John story tells along the way, his three backing singers could have showcases of their own, and the come-together ending is as beautiful, as fitting as anything you'll ever see. John is constantly on his feet away from his piano, beckoning the audience to clap more, to stand, to sing along. He plays the show through his purple-tinted glasses to a tee and never once forgets why he's there re: the love of his audience / fans.
At one point he stops and, of course tells us all the story behind the million dollar piano. I won't give it away, but it is an amazing two and a half minute story that will have you appreciating what his fingers are bouncing off of even more once he moves into the next song!
Aside from all the hits, John also tackles the seldom-played-live 'Indian Sunset' (from Madman Across the Water) which was a true, a true highlight to behold. Featuring John backed only by percussionist Ray Cooper it is a stunning piece of music. In closing, Elton John is the ultimate live showman and this is the definitive Elton John concert experience. Nuff said!
The Bitch Is Back
Bennie And The Jets
Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters
Better Off Dead
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
I’m Still Standing
Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
Circle Of Life
Song For Guy (credits)
The musicians on the Million Dollar Piano DVD and Blu-ray are: Elton – piano and vocals; Davey Johnstone – guitars, mandolin and backing vocals; Nigel Olsson – drums and backing vocals; Bob Birch – bass and backing vocals; John Mahon – percussion and backing vocals; Kim Bullard – keyboards; Ray Cooper – percussion; 2CELLOS (Luka Šuliæ and Stjepan Hauser) – cellos; Táta Vega, Rose Stone, Jean Witherspoon and Lisa Stone – backing vocals.
This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs, and has been remastered into a crisp Blu ray production.