Home > Rock & Pop, Singer-Songwriter > REVIEW: Elton John @ Matthew Knight Arena (Eugene, OR – 2/17/11)

REVIEW: Elton John @ Matthew Knight Arena (Eugene, OR – 2/17/11)

18th Feb 11 (Fri) Leave a comment Go to comments

Vancouver 2011, photo by Adrian Lam, Timescolonist.com

The newly built Matthew Knight Arena, nestled at the University of Oregon in lovely Eugene, Oregon, hosted a supreme pop-star last night… the multi-million record selling Sir Elton John.  He’s been releasing records and trotting the globe for over 5 decades, he has a countless (or at least monumentally difficult to count) list of awards and sales records.  His tribute to Princess Diana (the “Candle in the Wind 1997″ single) sold 37 million copies alone.  He’s been brash & counter-culture, but more often than not, he’s been a shaper of pop culture and pop music.

So, why Eugene, Oregon for his kick-off U.S. date on his 2011 winter tour?  eh, maybe he’s a Ducks fan? Regardless of the reason, we were glad to host him and his band.  His band last night was Davey Johnstone on guitar, Nigel Olsson on drums, Bob Birch on bass, John Mahon on percussion, Kim Bullard on keyboards, and a quartet of backing singers.

This was my first time to the Matthew Knight Arena (aka Matt Arena or Matt Court).  It is a gorgeous facility.  I tend to see artists play in much smaller venues, but it’s good to see a new venue in town to draw bigger arena acts.  I am in Portland a lot, but if I can stay in town for someone like the Foo Fighters, Leonard Cohen, Pearl Jam, Tool, etc – I will.

The show was, as expected, a “Greatest Hits Live” show with a handful of new tunes…

Setlist: about 3 hours

  • Funeral For A Friend
  • Love Lies Bleeding
  • Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)
  • Levon
  • Madman Across the Water
  • Tiny Dancer
  • Philadelphia Freedom
  • Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
  • Daniel
  • Rocket Man
  • I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
  • Hey Ahab
  • The Best Part Of The Day
  • Gone To Shiloh
  • Monkey Suit
  • When Love Is Dying
  • Sad Songs
  • Piano Solo/Take Me To The Pilot
  • Never Too Old (To Hold Somebody)
  • Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
  • Candle in the Wind
  • Burn Down the Mission
  • Bennie and the Jets
  • The Bitch Is Back
  • I’m Still Standing
  • Crocodile Rock
  • Encore: Your Song
  • Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me

Check out photos from the Eugene show over at Eugene Weekly‘s blog:

Elton John’s show was full of energy.  I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest Elton John fan, but there were many songs that I knew.  With that many records and hit songs, even an avant-garde jazz & metal fan is bound to know more than half of the songs.  The band was tight – pretty much nailing the progressive rock parts on “Funeral for a Friend / Love Lies Bleeding,” but the stage was set to let Elton shine.  He didn’t just sit back and let his backing band take charge.

Things I could have lived without… the crazy texters surrounding us, the people who whipped out their cellphones to take pictures and/or videos (from the nose bleeds), and well, yeah, the keyboard horn section.  Oh, and the crazy or drunk lady who eventually got ejected during “Candle in the Wind.”

Short and sweet: Elton put on a fantastic show, and I’m excited for more big events here in Eugene!

The Appropriate Linkage:

Check out more tour dates below.

Next show for me… Godspeed You! Black Emperor tonight in Portland (Crystal Ballroom).  Look for a review later this weekend…

~Dan – np: MogwaiHardcore Will Never Die,  But You Will

Elton John 2011 North American Tour Dates

  • 14-Feb-2011 Victoria BC Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre
  • 15-Feb-2011 Victoria BC Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre
  • 17-Feb-2011 Eugene, OR Matthew Knight Arena
  • 19-Feb-2011 Reno, NV Event Center
  • 24-Feb-2011 Kahului, HI Maui Arts & Cultural Center
  • 25-Feb-2011 Kahului, HI Maui Arts & Cultural Center
  • 11-Mar-2011 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
  • 12-Mar-2011 Worcester, MA DCU Center
  • 16-Mar-2011 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
  • 18-Mar-2011 Norfolk, VA Ted Constant Convocation Center
  • 20-Mar-2011 New York, NY Madison Square Garden
  • 23-Mar-2011 Pittsburgh, PA Consol Energy Center
  • 25-Mar-2011 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
  • 26-Mar-2011 Baltimore, MD First Mariner Arena
  • 27-Mar-2011 University Park, PA Bryce Jordan Center
  • 06-Apr-2011 Bismarck, ND Civic Center
  • 08-Apr-2011 Spokane, WA Spokane Arena
  • 09-Apr-2011 Boise, ID Taco Bell Arena
  • 10-Apr-2011 Billings, MT Matra Park
  • 22-Apr-2011 Wilkes-Barre, PA Mohegan Sun Arena
  • 23-Apr-2011 Rochester, NY Blue Cross Arena
  • 06-May-2011 Duluth, MN Amsoil Arena


  1. Christopher Randall
    18th Feb 11 (Fri) at 10:00 am

    Did you mean to say Brazillian?? Or bazillion??

    • 18th Feb 11 (Fri) at 11:43 am

      neither. it’s a fake number based on an old GWB joke… :)
      I changed it to be less inside jokey. :)

    • 18th Feb 11 (Fri) at 12:07 pm

      Three Brazilian Soldiers

      Donald Rumsfeld is giving the president his daily briefing. He concludes by saying: “Yesterday, 3 Brazilian soldiers were killed.”

      “OH NO!” the President exclaims. “That’s terrible!”

      His staff sits stunned at this display of emotion, nervously watching as the President sits, head in hands.

      Finally, the President looks up and asks, “How many is a brazillion?”

  2. taperdean
    11th Jul 11 (Mon) at 3:28 pm

    http://matthewknightarena.com/events.php today is July 11 – there is nothing scheduled at this place until November? Are you kidding or what? How about a concert once a month at least!!! What a waste of money and space..

    • 11th Jul 11 (Mon) at 4:18 pm

      I know… seems crazy… last thing there was early/mid June Cirque du Soliel…

  1. 27th Dec 11 (Tue) at 11:51 am

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