Christmas came early for Irish fans of Elton John last week. The Rocket Man played a show at the 02 Arena in Dublin that was chock-full of his classic songs, so show-goers weren’t disappointed.

Neither, for the most part, was the critic from The Irish Times. “With no backing band and just his piano, this stripped down approach allowed him to really get to the core of these songs and his voice was generally superb,” said the review, which also noted that towards the latter half of the show he called his percussionist friend Ray Cooper to the stage to heat things up.

The multi-millionaire musician thanked his Irish fans for forking out money for tickets, given the economic mess Ireland finds itself in these days. He also signed autographs and said that the Irish fans were the best he played to for the whole of 2010.

With a set-list that contained “Bennie and the Jets,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Your Song” and “Philadelphia Freedom,” Elton is thankfully giving his fans the music they want to hear, which is great news for those of us holding tickets to his New York City shows in March!

Elton will be back in Ireland at the end of June, playing at the Marquee in Co. Cork on June 28. “Elton John wanted to come back to play the Marquee as he enjoyed it so much the last time he played back in 2007,” concert promoter Peter Aiken said.