Apple Music Festival is in its 10th year at the Roundhouse in Camden, London… countless acts have graced the stage, from big names to up and coming artists and I’m so glad that I was finally part of it.
You may have read my post where I said I had won tickets to see Elton John at Apple Music Festival 2016. I was ecstatic, he was on my list of people to see live. I gravitated towards his music as a child… I distinctly remember dancing round my very first bedroom to Rocketman and as I’ve grown older I’ve discovered a trove of hidden songs that I hadn’t heard from him before.
He walked on the stage so nonchalantly with a smile and wave to the crowd and sat down at his piano and kicked off with The Bitch is Back, the perfect song to get the crowd warmed up and moving. Sounding exactly like he does on the record it was clear early on the title of music royalty that he holds is very much applicable. Philadelphia Freedom followed with I Guess that’s why they call it the blues; which is one of my favourite big sing a long songs “laughing like children, living like lovers, rolling like thunder under the covers” is there a more enjoyable line to sing along too?
Talking of his show, Rocket hour on apple music radio beats 1 , Elton said he had discovered so much talent from practically unknown artists and using this amazing platform he invited four of those artists on stage throughout the night to show case one of their songs in which Elton would accompany and then the pair would sing one of Elton’s songs. The first guest up was Rosie Lowe, who sang her song Woman, her soft vocals were perfect for Yellow Brick Road which followed… I really enjoyed her appearance in the song.
Playing two songs from his most recent album Wonderful Crazy Night, looking up and his own favourite, Good Heart before introducing his second guest American singer/songwriter Gallant… where Elton began the guest’s song Weight in Gold, bringing some soul into the show, a song that fits Elton’s voice perfectly whilst Gallant wooing the crowd with his incredible high notes. Continuing to please the crowd the duo went on to sing Bennie and the jets and just like how Elton was able to take hold of weight in gold as if it was his own song, Gallant performed Bennie rhythmically as if it was his own.
“when I hear his voice I just lose it, it’s just astonishing” –
Elton on Gallant
Your Song carried on with the crowd not having to even think about the lyrics, the words flowing out like they always known them, at least that’s how it felt for me. I don’t remember when I first heard Your Song but it’s always been a song that I’ve admired so much.
From my personal favourite Elton album, Madman across water he sang Levon (I secretly hoped he’d also play Holiday Inn) in which he and his band gave us an incredible, effortless and fast paced performance.
Parker Milsap was the third guest Elton introduced, performing his song The Very Last Day, Parker’s raspy vocals and his almost classic folksy rock sound was right up my street, With Elton on piano and Parker on guitar, their contrasting vocals supported each other so well. It was Parkers turn to take on an Elton track, with Don’t let the sun go down on me, originally performed with George Michael, Parker took his role seriously and seemingly admiring Elton. His passion was clear to see.
On to a bouncy number with Sad Songs from his 1984 album breaking hearts it appeared to be a song that Elton enjoyed playing. I was thrilled when he began playing Rocket Man, being one of my all-time favourite songs, I couldn’t help but feel so thrilled to be there. He was then introducing his fourth and final guest, French singer, Christine and the queens is a name that I wasn’t sure I had heard of before however her song Tilted that she performed along with Elton is recognisable, the crowd were clearly fans.
Then in French Elton asked if she would like to sing a song written by Bernie Taupin (Bernie ❤️) well I don’t actually know french but I’m guessing that was the gist!
And although I guessed it was coming, my heart almost stopped as they began playing Tiny Dancer… another major favourite of mine, it was the song I was most excited to hear live. Although I never planned on hearing it being performed with another person and feeling ever so slightly envious, Christine’s soft french vocals sound perfect with it. It was definitely a highlight of my year!
The one thing that was so obvious was how much pleasure Elton had with sharing the stage with these young artists, he was so visibly excited about their talent.
The second to last song was Crocodile Rock which was just as fun live as it is on the record and with full crowd participation it was one of the highlights of the evening and then he went off stage very briefly before returning for a one song encore with Saturday Nights Alright For Fighting. A fun and energetic way to finish off the night with everyone dancing along with the the four guests back on stage to sing too!
I’m so happy to finally have seen him live, he was incredible, sounds amazing and his sparkly black coat with amazing red beading did not disappoint!
The best of all is I can relive the night with the whole show available to watch on Apple Music