While John’s band displays little passion, there’s plenty of professionalism on display. His quartet of female backing singers (Rose Stone, Tata Vega, Jean Witherspoon, Lisa Stone) deserve a lot of credit for filling out the vocal sound. John’s upper range dissipated years ago, but at least he’s still got a reasonable amount of power. “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” stands out from the hit-filled pack with an extended gospel-style ending. “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” is preceded by a short, heartfelt reminiscence about performing the song at The Concert for New York in October 2001. The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” may not be to everyone’s taste, especially as a show-closer. But you can’t have everything. Besides, additional hits (like “Sad Songs” and “Candle in the Wind”) are included in the bonus features from a concert in Kiev.
Eagle Rock’s 1080i presentation is crystalline, with every detail of the ornate stage design easily discernible. If you’re accustomed to seeing modern, high definition concert videos, there’s nothing that will take you by surprise. That’s just a testament to the current standard upheld by Eagle Rock. Audio options include a robust DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix and a punchy LPCM stereo track. Pick your poison; they’re both great ways to hear the show.
In addition to the 20-minute Kiev concert excerpt, there’s also “Making The Million Dollar Piano.” It’s a 23-minute, standard issue glimpse behind the scenes, something that will mainly interest the most serious Elton John diehards.