IN THE HOUSE: JUNE 10, 1971: ELTON JOHN@ Carnegie Hall, late show. For a second time in two weeks a date stood me up, this time canceling out on me at the last minute. So I’m stuck with a hard to come by ticket. Friends, a couple, were driving to the show so I took advantage of their kind offer to ride with them and away we go. I met a guy with whom I worked at the college newspaper standing at the Carnegie Hall door needing a ticket, I handed it to him in exchange for a drink at The Carnegie Bar. There he told me about the BYRDS concert at Fillmore East the previous night when ELTON JOHN showed up to perform. Tonight, inside Carnegie Hall, my third time seeing him, ELTON started off with a solo acoustic set first, just he on piano and it was wonderful. Then the band, drummer and bass, joined him for an exciting electric set. Incredible… it truly was. It was early morn as I slept in their Volkswagen heading home.
(MIKE JAHN NYT 6/12/71)Elton John appeared Thursday and again last night before an impassioned audience at Carnegie Hall, in what must be the best‐produced rock concert there in a great long while.
Mr. John—actually Reginald Dwight, he took his stage name from two British musicians, Elton Dean and John Baldry— played a long and beautiful concert divided into two parts.
On Thursday, the first half saw him soloing at the piano, playing new songs and older ones that he felt weren’t suited for a rock band. “Your Song,” “Skyline Pigeon” and one that I seem to recall as titled “Old Soldiers” went down especially well.
For the second half, he was joined by his regular accom panists, Nigel Olsson, drums: and Dee Murray, bass. They played “Country Comfort,” “Honky Tonk Women” and a stunning version of “The King Must Die.”
The sound engineering was perfect, save for a slight tend ency to lose Mr. John’s voice at the very loudest moments. Never have I heard such good sound from a rock band in Car negie Hall. Mr. Olsson’s drums were amplified perfectly, and he gave a performance that was often beyond breathtaking.
Elton John and his lyricist, Bernie Taupin, clearly are de serving of their popularity. Not everything they turn out is genius, as some quarters of the rock world seem to expect. But Elton John is good often enough to make close scrutiny a necessity