At Madison Square Garden last night, the souvenirs included a pink felt hat, red-framed glasses and an attractive programme offering stories behind many of Elton's classics, with quite a bit of input from his late producer, Gus Dudgeon.
But the real surprises were the guest stars who joined Elton onstage. For about a third of the show, Leon Russell did a number of well-received songs with the headliner, including the rousing Hey Ahab and haunting Gone to Shiloh. Also sitting in on ''Shiloh'' was Gregg Allman, who had contributed to the track on The Union. In addition, since it was her 16th birthday, the daughter of Davey Johnstone was invited up to drum on Crocodile Rock.
Elton, wearing a purple shirt and pants containing purple stripes as well as a jacket with glittery sleeves, was in good spirits and sounded particularly strong on Bennie And The Jets and The Bitch is Back.
As he has done before, the singer, who performed for nearly 3 hours, said that Madison Square Garden is his favourite place to play, and that he appreciates fans' loyalty for so many years of his career.