The Rocket Man ★★★ Adelphi Theatre | February 13, 2024

Fans of Elton John will definitely feel they've come "Home Again." Jimmy Love's tribute show does a great job of covering most of the megastar's big hits. From "Rocket Man" to "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" the beloved crowd-pleasers keep on coming. Backed by a band of four and supported by backup singer, Tara Marie Armstrong, Love takes the audience through the songs that they know and cherish. Love and Armstrong deliver a fine rendition of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and everyone was on their feet for the preannounced encore of "Crocodile Rock." There is no straying from the tried-and-true here, and there's no attempt to recover any overlooked gems in John's oeuvre. This show gives the fans what they want. Love's patter between songs doesn't really add much to the proceedings, offering little more than anecdotes the fans are probably already familiar with and quips that are shopworn. The fact that Elton John is gay is made the subject of several gibes. If you're looking for insight into the renowned singer who is a complicated person and a complex artist you've come to the wrong place, but if you just want to hear the familiar tunes, then you'll probably be delighted. This is a trip down memory lane, not an exploration of new territory. The atmosphere is that of a rock concert and people whoop, sing along, and record the proceedings on their mobile phones. The volume is turned up to the max and the words are often lost, but the devotees don't care as they already know the words. Insight into, or even appreciation of, Bernie Taupin's lyrics isn't what this experience is all about. For superfans looking for a night out, The Rocket Man serves to recall the live concert experience while paying homage to an incomparable talent.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo © Pawel Spolnicki Photography

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