I had the privilege of seeing Sir Elton John in concert last night. In Prince George, BC, of all places.
I have seen my personal rock and roll Holy Grail, KISS. I have seen mephy’s rock and roll Holy Grail, AC/DC. I have seen Bon Jovi, Great Big Sea, Def Leppard, Nickelback, Apocalyptica, and a handful of other world class concerts. I have never seen anything like this.
As soon as Sir Elton John took the stage, with his glorious band, it was high-energy central. The crowd lit up. Oh, the crowd! I need to tell you about this crowd! I sat with approximately 5999 of my closest friends (and family) and not one of them remained seated as this man came out on stage. Not one of them remained seated after he played his first song. Seventy-five percent of them rose from their seats after every song. A standing ovation after every song. Prince George hosts an audience that is often quite appreciative of the musical acts they are privy to – we’re not a very big city, comparably. We’re not used to events of this calibre. This was an outstanding show of love and appreciation to a man who has played for some of the world’s most important people in some of the world’s most important cities. I am so proud to have been a part of that display of admiration and I am so thankful for it. Way to go, Prince George! We rock!
Now. Sir Elton John and company. Wow. I could pepper this with so many positive adjective and accolades, but it all comes down to one awe inspired wow. The man played hit after hit after hit for two hours and forty-five minutes. Straight. There was no opening act (well. Now. That’s not true. Curtis Abriel and a cohort of his played in the CN Centre parking lot for over an hour before the show. As far as I’m concerned, Curtis, you opened for Sir Elton John – put that one on your résumé, darlin’). There were no intermissions.
Not only did he and his band play for almost three straight hours, but they looked like they were having an absolute blast doing it. With the huge screens set up for close up views, for those of us sitting not-so-close-up, you could see Sir Elton’s smiles and the smirks of his bandmates. And their energy output! They played their hearts out. So what if Prince George is a small Northern BC city with little international clout? We love him and he knew it. He played in appreciation of us as we cheered in appreciation of him.
At the end of the show, just before his encore, Sir Elton John signed autographs to those of us lucky enough to have front row seats for a good seven, or so, minutes. Then he made a speech. He told us that he, and the band, could feel our love of them and their music and he thanked us for it. Truly, graciously, and so modestly thanked us for it.
This was a concert of a lifetime. Not only the music, which was inspired, but the man. He is a man who, so clearly, still loves to do what he does so wonderfully. A man who loves his fans as much as we love him, or perhaps more.
Thank you, so much, Elton John, for the show! It was one I won’t soon forget!