When Elton played Bestival last month, he told the crowd he hadn't appeared at a UK festival since 1979.
The tunesmith was cheered as he explained that he decided to do this one upon hearing what a ''brilliant'' event it was.
Incidentally, many reviewers considered Elton's performance to be brilliant, with the NME calling it a ''formidable cache of hits'' and Metro referrring to it as ''a professional yet heartfelt headline set.'' Meanwhile, MTV also approved, saying Elton showed why he's ''such an iconic figure in British music history.''
You can judge for yourself, thanks to a CD set recorded live at the Sept. 8 event.
Concert Live's Elton John And His Band Live From The Main Stage at Bestival contains gems such as the funky Hey Ahab, high-energy Bitch is Back and Bennie & The Jets, and rarely played Grey Seal. This Goodbye Yellow Brick Road number has a different ending than usual--almost a Soul Train-type chorus.
Also from GBYR is Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding with an opening that sounds spookier than usual. Another surprise is how classical instruments can be transformed into harder-edged mediums, with opening act the 2Cellos taking on Nirvana and AC/DC.
Concert Live has worked with Elton in the past, including a Paris engagement with Ray Cooper and band show in Glasgow in 2009. As with previous projects, the packaging is eye-catching. In this case, the design includes keyboards and clouds, and inside are pockets so fans can easily retrieve the discs. The third CD, though, has been left intentionally blank, inviting fans to burn their own festival 'encore' to it.
In related news, be sure to keep an eye on 'Cheryls' Specials,' which will soon have a behind-the-scenes interview with a man involved with the 'Bestival' CD.