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Elton John World News: Dixie Lily

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A Review of The September 23 Concert

Saturday 24 September 2005 @ 15:28 - GMT

Last night, Elton gave the second of three sold-out performances at Madison Square Garden.

He said that he's not generally the nostalgic type, but sounded that way at times.

Recalling the making of the Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy album, he noted how satisfying it was on a professional and personal basis. He also mentioned several times how much the Garden has meant to him--''the best place in the world''--and that his most memorable night there was when John Lennon came onstage. ''It's like, I miss you baby, come back,'' he said before launching into the Empty Garden tribute, eliciting some gasps from the audience.

The song set was the same as the first evening, and his outfits were similar. Both times, he wore a tomato-coloured shirt, necklace and dark suit with flowers . . . only on the 21st, it was a simple water lily, while the most recent number offered more flowers. And each time he did the second encore, he came out in a black and white track suit, with ''Supersoul'' inscribed on the back.

Even with the similarities, the performance was as fresh as a daisy (one plant not worn by the singer). However, his more recent music videos--except for an all-too-brief appearance by him in Turn The Lights Out When You Leave--are unexceptional and tend to resemble public service announcements.

In addition, it has become tiresome to hear him apologise for playing new songs which many people aren't familiar with. While the sound differs from his old standards, they are far from anything to be ashamed of. This is particularly true with the soaring and beautiful Answer in The Sky.