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Raphael Saadiq

Elton John finds 'room to breathe' on 'The Diving Board'

Elton John finds 'room to breathe' on 'The Diving Board'

On Oct. 25, 1975, Elton John played the first of two sold-out concerts at Dodger Stadium for a combined audience of 110,000 people. The gigs helped establish John as one of the most theatrical pop stars in the world: a piano-pounding dynamo prowling the stage in a bedazzled Dodgers uniform.

Last week, John was back in L.A., performing in a somewhat cozier, more decorous space: the 1,200-seat Bovard Auditorium at USC.

The show paired the English superstar with students from the Thornton School of Music for stately renditions of hits like "Levon" and "Your Song," as well as a handful of thoughtful new tunes (including one about Oscar Wilde).