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Elton John's Wild Night

Elton John's wild show surprises: Lynn Wyatt shout-out, a fist fight and is that . . . Joe Biden?

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Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
Part showman, all entertainer. Photo by Lynn Lane
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
While struggling to hit some of the high notes, all was forgiven as the Rocket Man tickled the ivories like the rock legend his is. Photo by Lynn Lane
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
Just look at this outfit . . . the man's still got it. Photo by Lynn Lane
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
Sir Elton John crocodile rocked the house at Toyota on Thursday with a 26-song sting of hits. Photo by Lynn Lane
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
John said he loves performing — and it shows.   Photo by Lynn Lane
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
And, boy, can he play the piano. Photo by Lynn Lane
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
John's drummer Nigel Olsson, right, has been with his band for 41 years. Photo by Lynn Lane
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
Elton John, March 2013, Toyota Center
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While he may not be able to hit those high notes in "Tiny Dancer," Sir Elton John had little trouble bringing down the house at the Toyota Center on Thursday, as he plowed through a 26-song setlist largely devoted to his classic chart-topping days in the early 1970s.

Touring to celebrate the 40th anniversary of "Rocket Man," he remains fully deserving of his legendary status after more than four decades in the biz . . . let me count the reasons why:

1. Amazing outfits

For a man who once performed dressed as Donald Duck, John was downright subtle Thursday night in his bright red suit with the word "Fantastic" written across the back in rhinestones. Eyewear was royal blue, as were his shoes and shirt.

2. Very. Serious. Fans.

For better or for worse, John enjoys a fan base unabashedly devoted to "good times." The plus side is that virtually every audience member knows every word to every song. This is a crowd that brought actual lighters to the show, rather than using the free Zippo app on their iPhones. John even gave a shout-out to super fan Lynn Wyatt, his "longtime friend" who was in the audience.

Be warned, though. After an hour, things got a little hairy a few rows down from me as no fewer than eight security guards ushered out a fan who took a swing at the man next to him. Right after "Rocket Man" of all songs which, by the way, was easily the biggest crowd-pleaser of the evening.

3. Rose Stone (Sly's sister) is in his band

That's right, the amazing Rose Stone of Sly & the Family Stone (she's the lady in the platinum wig) currently sings in John's band. Stone, like John himself, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

4. A mini-performance after every song

John stands up and bows after each song, but with the slightest of variations. Sometimes he stands and leans on the piano. Other times, he'll point to the crowd and shout. At one point, he ran circles around the piano.

5. He does it 'cause he loves it

While some musicians always say they "love" performing for fans, Elton John appears to actually mean it. You can hear it in the songs, right down to his extended piano solos and amazingly honest singing. Even as a seasoned 66-year-old musician, the guy's not afraid to come across as vulnerable as he sings classics like "Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters" or "Daniel."

Bonus: Drummer looks like Joe Biden

Oh yeah, John's touring drummer Nigel Olsson — a member of his band since the late '60s — is a spitting image of the vice president . . . right down to the full suit and tie he wears.

Check out our Spotify playlist for a song-by-song recap of Elton John's performance at the Toyota Center.

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