Oddly, it's not that Elton John was sitting in his red Bentley convertible, top down, in the snow wearing a red sports jacket, straw boat hat and blue sunglasses I remember about his 1985 music video for Nikita. Nor was it that from his car he was sneaking photos at long range of the woman of his fantasies (Oh, Nikita you will never know!). Nor was it the fez hat he later wore in a dimly lit den while watching his voyeuristic snaps on a slideshow. No. Somehow, at the tender age of five, all this wackiness sandwiched into one clip escaped me. It is Nikita with her eyes like "ice on fire" and her fur hat with a bleak Cold War backdrop I remember.
Despite the theatrics, the point of the tune still got through. And that song, so simple, so well structured, is typical of Elton's (and co-writer Bernie Taupin's) trademark style, which is probably the reason he is one of the world's greatest songwriters. He has sold more than 250 million albums in a career spanning nearly five decades.
When Elton marched onto the stage at Impact Arena last Thursday there were similar theatrics. He wore rose-tinted glasses, a diamond earring and a dinner jacket _ its back and sleeves so gold and sparkly that, like the sun, it was best not to look directly at it. Punching and stabbing holes in the air with his pointed forefingers, he was angling for a rousing reception, but he didn't get one. The audience clapped dutifully, but seemingly did not want to show an abundance of enthusiasm too early on. Clearly not one to dwell on things, it was on with the show and straight into The Bitch Is Back, during which, in between verses, Elton got up from his seat and again punched his way around the stage before perching himself on top of his piano. Benny And The Jets and Tiny Dancer followed before he took a moment to say hello.
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