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.

13 comments:

Jim said...

I say Elton way back in the late 1960s,when he was first starting out. He played solo as I recall, just him and a piano. Just thinking about it brings back pleasant memories of that part of my life.

Jim said...

By the way, your blog is one of my favorites.

Layla said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile and really like it!

I think it is SO SWEET of you to give your concert ticktes to your sister in her "time of need".

About 15 (maybe more?? years ago I saw Elton John at the Irvine Amptheater in Southern California near my home. He was AMAZING. I haven't kept up with him music over the years but in the 70's I literally wore out Madman Across the Water and had to buy a new one and also listened to Yellow Brick Road over and over and over.

Thanks for bringing back a good memory.

Karen said...

I saw Elton John a total of three times in concert in the late seventies/early eighties, and it was a mega-treat every time. What a showman!
Another thing I find very amazing about him is the fact that he has been around forever, and still continues to make excellent music. A feat not accomplished by many.
***goes to find Yellow Brick Road CD***

-E said...

Can I tell you how envious I am that you got to see Elton John? I would give both arms and legs to see him!

apples said...

I'm Norwegian. When we finish high school in Norway, we become something called 'russ'. It basically involves putting on trousers and sweaters or whole suits of various colours, red, blue or black, depending on what you've studied. You party throughout the entire month of May, paint minivans red and drive around. A month or two before graduation you have a show of sorts with jokes, almost like a play but just funny stuff.

One of these things involved two guys singing and three more dancing. The song was 'Your Song'. The father of one of the guys who sang had commented afterwards "You've completely ruined an amazingly beautiful song for all future!"

Looking back, it's not hard to understand why he said that. I can't hear that song without bursting out in a hysterical laughing fit, thinking back on that scene. Two guys standing on the left side of the scene, singing. Then three guys spin across the stage wearing tights and pink ballerina skirts. They do circles, jumps, going back and forth. Then they disappear and the song continues before they make another appearance.

We only saw it once since the ballerinas refused to put on their gear during the rehearsals. But once was enough and we're not likely to ever forget it.

Your song... you just sorta had to be there :)

Clublint said...

Billy Joel and Elton John also did concerts here in Perth Western Australia and for international stars to come here was almost unheard of 10 years ago. We just don't have the volume of people to make such an event financially viable for a lot of bands and performers. It was for one night only.

My best friend was having a crisis at the time and she wanted to go and see her idol. We went and saw Julian Clary instead and I still kick myself.

Great to see you had such a great time.

Deb

FTS said...

I saw Elton about five years ago here in Dallas, and what a great show he still puts on musically.

Came here via Michele's blogroll game. I have your other site blogrolled already. :)

Kate Ford said...

I've always loved Elton John's music. I've never seen him in concert but I can imagine that his show is excellent.

Jenny said...

That's great that you were able to see Elton play. Makes you wonder if he ever gets tired of singing the songs after so many years and shows.

Doug said...

I see you have a new profile summary. Damn. I knew a change was gonna come.

Michael K. Willis said...

That's a good one, Doug :-)

birdwoman said...

As a total Reg fan, I also missed him in the early 90's - had the ticket but couldn't go. Lately, though, I'm kinda glad. I've gotten spoiled by the records. He'll never sing the songs I like, and his voice is pretty much gone.

At least, I think the grapes are sour...

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