Saturday, May 07, 2005
Elton John in San Diego 5/6/05
Ten years ago I had a ticket to see the joint tour by Elton John and Billy Joel when it rolled through town but I didn't get to use it. My sister was carrying my all-time favorite nephew at the time and she was past her due date and feeling like she was going to be pregnant forever. I thought a lively pop concert might cheer her up so I gave her my ticket to the sold-out show. (A wonderful time was had by all...all-time favorite nephew made his debut a week or so later...it was all good.)
Ten years later, my sister returned the favor by giving me tickets (as a birthday present) to see Sir Elton play at San Diego State University's Cox Arena.
The guy still puts on an energetic, engaging show.
John, his 5-piece band, and an 8-person choir front-loaded the show with 8 consecutive tunes from his most recent album, Peachtree Road. Some of the new songs were okay...especially the soulful opening "Weight of the World", the funky "They Call Her the Cat", and "Turn the Lights Out When You Leave", an ace country song that needs to find its way to someone like Loretta Lynn pronto...but none of them had the spark and resonance of the songs from his hitmaking heyday. He chatted warmly with the audience, giving a little backstory for each of the newer songs and that was cool.
And just as the audience, anxious to hear the hits, was starting to get more than a little antsy, they played the familiar opening of "Bennie and the Jets" and the crowd roared back to life. The band blazed through solid versions of a lot (but certainly not all...among those not making the cut were "Crocodile Rock", "Island Girl", and "Candle in the Wind") of Elton's greatest hits closing with a blistering "The Bitch is Back" and coming back to encore with an equally fiery "Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting".
The final encore was my sentimental favorite Elton John tune, "Your Song".
The vast age range of the concert-goers...I saw teenagers and folks well past the age of retirement and any number of ages in between...is a testament to John's continuing appeal.
Good show, Sir Elton, good show.