Last night at the JQH Arena, here in little ol' Springfield, Missouri, Elton John and his band played for close to three hours to a sold out crowd. That guy has had a lot of hit songs over the years. It was a very good show, and a fun night! I've never been a huge Elton John fan, but I like several of his songs. This was pretty much a once in a lifetime chance to see a living legend in popular music. Not something I could easily pass up. The show was well worth the hours I spent in the ticket line at JQH, the morning they went on sale. I don't mind doing stuff like that, and I love going to concerts. We had some great seats, with a grand view of everything going on... not only on stage, but pretty much all across the arena. It's been a couple of years since we've been to a big concert, and one of the most peculiar moments of the show happened when the house lights went down. As the first notes of Funeral For a Friend filled the darkened auditorium and the crowd erupted in cheers, the only thing you could see were hundreds of little cell phone lights in motion all across the arena. My first thought was that they looked like lightening bugs out in a field. It was actually pretty neat looking.
Now, obviously Elton John is a piano player, but I have to admit that his playing surprised me... he's very good, and very versitile; from honkey tonk, to blues, classical and straight-up rock & roll. He still has some fire in him as a performer, that's for sure. His voice is a little heavier than it used to be, and he can't hit the high notes like he used to, but that really didn't detract from the performance. The percussionist sang several of the falsetto parts, and there were four stellar backup singers that came onstage for certain songs... mainly on his new material.
The band was excellent. It was good to see Nigel Olssen and guitarist Davey Johnstone still playing with Elton. Those two have been with him (off & on) since the early 70s. Nigel is a unique drummer, and he really looks like he is enjoying himself up there. Heck... why wouldn't he!?
The night began, as I said earlier, with Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding, and ended with Crocodile Rock. He came back, spent a few minutes signing autographs at the front of the stage (pretty cool) and then closed the night with Your Song for the encore. During the course of the evening they played (these are just the ones I can remember, in no particular order) The Bitch Is Back, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Someone Saved My Life Tonight, I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Daniel, Take Me To The Pilot, Madman Across The Water, Levon, Tiny Dancer, Rocket Man, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, Candle In The Wind, Goodbye Yellowbrick Road, and Bennie And The Jets... I know I must be leaving some out. Plus probably a half dozen from his latest album. Some of the new ones were pretty good. It was a very enjoyable evening with my wonderful wife Pam... Pam's sister Debbie and her husband Tracey, and our good friend Susan and her fiance' David.
On the news, they were saying that at the end of the concert, a man fell almost 20 feet from the upper level seats down to the concrete floor! This happened in section OO, which was right next to where we were. We never heard or saw a thing. Very odd. The guy is in the hospital recovering.