Thursday, October 2, 2008

Crocodile Rockin'

I remember a journal entry I wrote in grade 5. I had just started piano lessons and declared that I wanted to play piano just like Paul McCartney and Elton John. After Tuesday night I am even more convinced that that will never happen. I actually kinda wonder why they are letting me teach music at all really :o)
When I heard Elton John was coming to Saint John, I was in disbelief. After living near Vancouver most of my life, the shows that came to my new home were alright, but nothing to get too excited about. I've seen 2 other concerts at Harbour Station in the past 6 years, the Dixie Chicks and Dolly Parton (I would have seen the Barenaked Ladies, but they were playing the week before I was due with Jeremy and I didn't want to take any chances). But Elton John, ELTON JOHN! That was exciting! So I did something I've never done before to get tickets, I got up in the middle of the night, gathered my lawn chair, sleeping bag and book and waited out.
When we found our seats on Tuesday, that wait was totally worth it. There really isn't a bad seat at Harbour Station. It is a relatively small venue. We were pretty close and facing him face on while he sat at the piano. The show we saw was his Solo show, just Elton on the piano for 3 hours, yes, he played for 3 hours solid. I admit that I did get a little tear in my eye when he opened the show with Your Song (which has been my favorite of his since I was 9), it was the one song that I really really wanted to hear, after that, whatever he played, I'd be happy. And I was. This was the most amazing show. When you think about it, one guy and a piano, that's it, nothing fancy, just the music. It was beautiful. When you are that good, you don't need any fillers and distractions. He didn't skimp any either on the music. Many of the songs were extended versions, Rocket Man must have lasted 10 minutes, and he went from Benny and the Jets to Glen Miller's In the Mood and back again. I was just very impressed overall. He knows how to work the crowd (including getting up from the piano to lead the La la la part of Crocodile Rock, and signing at least 20+ autographs before starting his encore numbers). It was just very, very good. I loved that the cameras focused in on his fingers playing the piano quite a bit, amazing to watch him play. As well as the 'hits' that he played, there were a few lesser known songs of his that he added in. Two stuck out for me. The first was a song from the early 70's called Ticking, that was written about Gun Violence in the States, the second was a song from the early 80's called Red Shoes about a fellow with AIDS back when AIDS was not gettting a lot of funding and was considered a social disgrace to have contacted. They were both such beautiful songs. That was something that kept coming back to me during the night, how much of Bernie Taupin's lyrics are true poetry, beautiful.
I know that the ticket was expensive, but it was my treat, and definately, if you ever have the chance to see Elton John live, it's worth every penny.

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