As Elton John hollered Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me while – and there must have been an element of planning involved here – the sun started to dim over a bright summer’s night, there was an overriding sense of relief that his set had largely managed to play out in the dry.
Elton John | Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh | Rating ****
Lashing rain had been forecast, and the fact it held off made the show where it could have broken it.
A hard-working performer with a seemingly unshakeable love for touring mid-size sports stadia of the UK, John played for most of the evening.
Seated at a grand piano, long blue sequinned coat sparkling, he bore an energy which was manifest in commanding hand gestures and replicated in a lively crowd whose expectation was simply that the hits be played well.
Over more than two dozen songs, he cycled through the anticipated best of his repertoire; the barroom Philadelphia Freedom and Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, the evocative Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer and Your Song, and the melancholy pop of Sad Songs (Say So Much).
Aided by a band which included his long-time (47 years, to be exact) drummer Nigel Olsson, John delivered a sure-footed set which demonstrated his showmanship and the consistent quality of his songwriting.
The only misstep was a somewhat cabaret full-band Candle in the Wind, delivered before the lively closer Crocodile Rock.
The announcement that he anticipates only one more tour before concentrating on raising his children was leavened by fond recall of youthful Scottish holidays and the influence of a Scots people he has “a lot of respect for”.