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Elton John and band performed in Chattanooga on March 12, 2016
Sunday, March 13 2016

Fan report by Tony.

On Saturday, March 12, 2016 I attended my 35th Elton John concert at UTC MacKenzie Arena in Chattanooga. Chattanooga has become a regular tour stop in 1999, 2010, 2013 and 2016. For some reason a nearby larger city Knoxville has waited for a return visit since 1997. Elton obviously enjoys Chattanooga and probably the short trip home to Atlanta after the show.

Before the show, Kim Bullard was walking around the stage area and occasionally signing autographs for the fans who knew who he was.

The show was totally sold out and began at 8:05 p.m. with the fog and familiar sound of “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding”. I was in Section 205 in a five row section directly behind Elton and his piano. I have learned through the years these $37 seats are just as close as some $152 seats in the middle of the floor. Apparently, I was not the only smart fans in this section as the two ladies behind me spoke German and the U.K. fans in the front row tied their flag to the railing.

The first part of the show was spectacular as the long Goodbye Yellow Brick Road set was perfect to establish the upbeat mood. “All The Girls Love Alice” was well placed as part of it. “Levon” featured the usual long outro but had a different arrangement which made it interesting. After “Tiny Dancer”, the new songs started to appear. “Looking Up” was perfunctory but one of my two favorites “A Good Heart” was next and performed with passion as if a personal Elton favorite. A funny moment occurred during these two songs as one of the fans near the front of the stage held up a sign that said “We don’t go to the toilet during new songs”. Neither do I!

Some songs you could tell Elton was less interested in like “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” performed much too fast.

“Have Mercy On The Criminal” was a nice addition with some great Nigel drum work. “Burn Down The Mission” was good, too, for a change.

“Daniel” and “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” were welcome deletions for a couple of new songs. My other favorite “Guilty Pleasure” came next. Since I purposely avoided looking at the setlist from Estero before the show, I later found out this replaced “Wonderful Crazy Night”. I was happy for the change but surprised the title track was omitted.

After the band introductions, Elton went all upbeat the rest of the way. A great way to end the show. I stood from “I’m Still Standing” onwards. “Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock And Roll)” sounded better than previous tours and “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” had a nice long outro for a change.

A change from previous tours was Elton not signing autographs before the encore or giving a long goodbye. Instead it was straight into “Crocodile Rock” and that was it as the trip back to Atlanta was waiting and the show ended at 10:36 p.m. But, another great one and with the stress on more upbeat songs another one to remember.

Following is the complete set list of the Chattanooga show on March 12, 2016:

  1. Funeral For A Friend
  2. Love Lies Bleeding
  3. Bennie And The Jets
  4. Candle In The Wind
  5. All The Girls Love Alice
  6. Levon
  7. Tiny Dancer
  8. Looking Up
  9. A Good Heart
  10. Philadelphia Freedom
  11. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  12. Rocket Man
  13. I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
  14. Have Mercy On The Criminal
  15. Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters
  16. Your Song
  17. Burn Down The Mission
  18. Sad Songs (Say So Much)
  19. Guilty Pleasure
  20. Blue Wonderful
  21. Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
  22. The Bitch Is Back
  23. I'm Still Standing
  24. Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock'n'Roll)
  25. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting

  26. Crocodile Rock

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