Part 2 of Our Date with Rocket Man

Seeing Elton was an emotional experience, the depth of which caught me completely by surprise.

Sure, I’ve been a fan and admire his charitable work, but on the drive to the concert, my only thoughts were that it would be a night of fun. I wasn’t expecting anything more.

The following day, I tried to explain to my daughter how deeply moved I was by the show, the music, and especially by Elton, himself. After listening to my attempt to put my feelings into words, her reply summed it up very well: “Mom, you were touched by his sincerity”.

It was true. This man is a mega star. After such an incredibly successful career, he could be jaded, bored, selfish, with an attitude of ‘just do the minimum, get off the stage, and count the money’. I’m here to tell you… that is NOT Sir Elton.

He was on the stage for THREE hours STRAIGHT. No breaks! Performing every number. After a couple of hours he gave the band a break but HE stayed and played alone while they were gone! He continually jumped off his bench after each song and ran to every corner of the stage and bowed and waved with animated appreciation for the fans. He played countless hits and each one with every bit of his power. No holding back, no “phoning it in”. It was amazing. He will be 64 this month, but his performance surely belied that fact. I realized we were witnessing something very special. He is at a place in his life where he is still in his prime musically, but has arrived at a point of peace with himself.

His conversations with the audience were so sweet. He had a little gesture – an unconscious way of softly brushing his hand against the top of the piano as he was speaking – giving the sense that the words were coming directly from his heart. He said that the last year has been his best musically. He introduced Leon Russell explaining that this was the man that he (Elton) had “wanted to sing like.. to play piano like…” It was very touching to see the pride and joy on Elton’s face as his old hero came on stage.

Towards the latter part of the show, I lost it when he sang, “Candle in the Wind”. Why? I’ve asked myself the same question. It isn’t even a favorite of mine, though I do like it. He sang it as if it were the first time – with his whole effort. It was incredibly beautiful. I suddenly thought how extraordinary it was to be in the same room with him as he sang this song, a song that the whole world could recognize and associate with a memory in their own lives. Tears were steaming down my face. To be honest, they are now as I write about it.

This is turning into a novel. I should add that when we first arrived, we decided to have a pre-show drink at the Elton John Premium Lounge. 😉

We figured it would be a good photo op for the memory book.

I liked the table decorations – a champagne glass with a tea light nestled amongst colored glass stones.

We only had the cell phone for pix. The tickets specified “no recording or cameras with extra lenses”. Imagine our surprise when they seemed to have been smuggled in all around us!

Our seats in the arena were good! We were above the stage, with a wonderful ¾ angle to see Elton and also his hands on the piano keys. In addition, the big screen was nearby, so we had great close-ups whenever we could pry our eyes from the stage.

I’ll end with a youtube clip from the show. In it, Elton has come back to the stage for an encore. You may want to skip the first few minutes in which he is signing autographs. If you move the red slider to about 3 minutes into the video, you will see him go to the piano for his encore song.

These are his words just as he’s about to play –

“Thank you, Worcester; thank you so much. It’s been an amazing year. It’s been an amazing life, and the thing I love about playing more live now than I ever did is that I really, really appreciate you guys so much more than I could ever explain… Thank you for buying tickets to this show, thank you for being so loyal, and so great. I’m a lucky man…. And I’m going to dedicate this song to all of you. I send you my love and hope that everything in your life is as good as mine right now….”




Part 2 of Our Date with Rocket Man — 6 Comments

  1. Elton John really changed after he met Ryan White the child with aids. I truly do believe the he knows how to count his blessing because of his friendship with Ryan. Elton is an incredibly talented artist who is loved by people of all generations including kids who watch Disney movies. I’m so glad it was an experience of a lifetime for you and Sir Beads.

    On a lighter note, I started Spring break today and it snowed. They said we were going to get a dusting, but it ended up being 3-4 inches. I think Mother Nature is confused. At least spring like weather is supposed to return on Wednesday.

    Today we celebrate
    15 Everything You Think is Wrong Day
    15 Ag Day, Celebrating Our Bountiful Food Supply
    15 Ides of March
    15 Incredible Kid Day

    15 Dumbstruck Day

  2. Your daughter was right. It was the sincerity.

    Do you remember John Schneider the blonde in the original Dukes of Hazzard? Well, for a short time he was a country singer. He put out two albums which to this day are two of my favorite go to tapes…yup..tapes so you know it was a long time ago. Anyway, at that time he came to our county fair and Terry and I went to see him. I gotta tell you, though he was no BIG star I have never been as heart touched by any entertainer and I have seen some of the BIG ones. He drew the physically and mentally challenged that we in the front rows right into his performance. I have never loved an entertainer more.
    Just so you know, albeit a long time ago, I have seen the Oak Ridge Boys, Brad Paisley, Jessica Anderson, The Stones, Pink Floyd and lots of the 70s groups, and no one compared. Some were time compared to Elton John, for sure, which only makes his generosity even more huge. But the main thought here is that it doesn’t matter how big an entertainer is. What endears them to us is the size of their heart.

    Your daughter’s gift to you was not just the concert, but a renewed faith.
    xx, Carol

  3. What a great, thoughtful gift. You will always have special memories about that night!

    I have always appreciated Elton’s music although I have never been a huge fan. Despite his wild appearances in the past, he has always been professional
    (unlike other stars) and a wonderful musician.

    A dear friend of mine (who is a huge fan) blogged about him recently:

    And now for something completely off the subject: whenever I hear something about Leon Russell (a wonderful musician in his own right!), I think about a dog I used to know. When I was a kid growing up, a lady who used to come to all the horse shows had a Jack Russell terrier named Leon. I always thought that was so clever! I have heard of MANY Jack Russells named “Jack”. (Jack Russells and Pembroke Corgis are somehow the unofficial horse show dogs) 🙂

  4. Dear Kids,
    Thank you for your sweet comments on my Elton adventure!
    I knew you’d all be glad for me, and I very much enjoyed hearing your thoughts. 😀 xo

  5. I first read this, quickly, when we were having a storm and the lights were flickering, threatening to shut off. I returned now to s l o w l y read it and enjoy the experience as seen through your eyes and words.

    What a wonderful night you and hubby had. Tears of joy and happiness. Those are the best kind!!

  6. Great pictures and memories! Sounded like a very special night. I would love to have a night like that going to a Stevie Nicks concert – her music really speaks to me. It’s amazing how Elton John is able to play for that long of a time and with such enthusiasm.

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