I’m Still Standing – The Music of Elton John – Southport Theatre, Southport

Image Source: Southport Theatre

Performers: Joel Buckingham & The Jets

Format: Tribute Concert

Genre: Pop Rock

Performance: March 13 2020

Location: Southport Theatre, Southport

Duration: 150 Mins incl. Interval

Age Rating: 5+

I’m Still Standing at Southport Theatre is a must-see show for Elton John fans of all ages! The likeness in looks and vocals is brilliant: with a fantastic live band, outrageous costumes and an added touch of humour, this show provides an evening of singalong fun.

Description

This tribute brings an array of some of Elton John’s biggest hits and fan favourites for all the family to enjoy. Opening with Saturday Night’s Alright and following with well-loved hits like Benny and The Jets, Are You Ready for Love, Rocket Man and Candle in the Wind all featuring in the first set- complete with the brilliant, iconic Elton costumes, mannerisms and rich vocal. The Lion King era’s Elton John also made an appearance with all the emotional passion of the original and, of course, paired with blue tinted glasses.

After the interval, the celebration continued with new, jazzier outfits and accessories and more favourites including Daniel, Tiny Dancer, Pinball Wizard, Philadelphia Freedom and finishing with a warm rendition of Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me where he nodded a “God rest his soul” towards the legendary George Michael. There was even a duet with the wonderful Kiki Dee- technology assisted of course- which provided laughs and (slightly cringe) enjoyment for the audience. One particular audience member requested Crocodile Rock and ‘Elton’ acted as though they would perform it especially for her- much to her delight! Of course, there was an encore – how could he leave the theatre without performing the song that titled the show? Everyone was on their feet for I’m Still Standing, clapping, dancing and singing along. The performers concluded the wonderful night by playing a beautiful cover of Your Song.

Analysis

It would be very difficult to find a better Elton John impersonator who has both the looks of the iconic performer and the voice to match! He sang with all the passion and richness of Elton John, obviously his vocal was not exactly the same as the icon’s himself, but pretty much as close to it as I could imagine anyone execute! It was excellent! I felt that his vocal grew more and more like Elton John’s as the show went on, with Tiny Dancer and Are You Ready for Love being personal favourites that did not disappoint. Looking around I could see many of the fellow audience members tapping their hand on their leg and nodding along to the groovy, 90s feel music that filled the theatre. He sounded brilliant in the ballads, especially Candle In The Wind and Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, which were performed with such poignancy and emotion. His humour in-between songs was slightly cringey, but got laughs from the more mature members of the audience. All seemed to appreciate his knowledge and interesting facts surrounding the songs that were performed .

The staging was simple and classic with dry ice and subtle, coloured lights. The keyboard player, drummer and bassist were situated at the back and the guitarist was at the front, to the right of the white piano. The band sounded fantastic and the energy was high from start to finish. They were set up ready on stage to sound the dramatic entrance of the main man who was welcomed by the cheers and applaud of the audience. He was dressed in the classic Elton John blue shirt, black blazer, cross chain and, of course, shades. There were five costume changes throughout the show and all the striking suits were accompanied by a bold pair of shades, and even an earring to complete the look. The dazzling gold blazer and white angel winged suit were personal favourites. At one point in the second half he wore the white and gold platform shoes, showing them off as he really got into the song and put his foot up on the piano!

He portrayed Elton John marvellously in mannerisms and quirks- leaning towards the audience and nodding towards people whilst playing, biting his lip, standing up to play the piano in the build-ups and the finger in the air at the end of the song. I was quite surprised that the audience stayed seated throughout most of the show. The first song, Saturday Night’s Alright, was particularly bouncy so I was expecting people to be up on their feet. However, a dance corner started to form as people gradually noticed that two women were dancing in a less populated area of the theatre in the side stalls. Other audience members joined them at certain points throughout the evening. The band’s terrific performance of Crocodile Rock created a real celebratory atmosphere and everyone joined in with the “la”s. By the end of the show everyone was stood and boogieing along to I’m Still Standing, but most took back to their seats for the final Elton rendition, Your Song.

Summary

I’m Still Standing – The Music of Elton John is a fabulous evening of music and laughter, taking audiences back to the 90s with brilliant tribute performances of the best-loved songs of one of the greatest British artists of all-time. If you are an Elton John fan on any level, you will enjoy this show.

Notes

Target Audience: Elton John Fans Aged 10+

Content: No Content Likely To Offend

Recommendation?: Yes

Overall Rating: 8/10 – Very Good