Royalty In Vegas: Sir Elton John is Still Standing

My much-anticipated trip to Las Vegas is now history and I have many wonderful memories of the vacation:  spending time away with Ray around the clock, the shows (Elton John, Madonna, and Frank Marino’s Divas), the food, the glitz, and the people watching.

As you know, the purpose of the trip was my birthday and to see Madonna.

 

After we made the arrangements to go in February, Sir Elton John was forced to cancel nine shows earlier this year due to health reasons and it was announced this summer that he would make up those dates in October.  But, we didn’t have tickets.

Late Friday afternoon, just hours after arriving in Las Vegas, I searched ebay one last time and we got fantastic rear orchestra seats for a great price and just like that, two hours later we were sitting there waiting for the show to begin!

I’ve always been a fan of Elton’s from the days of my childhood and his poppy ’70s songs, the fun, yet sometimes, moody hits of the ’80s, the more mature themed music of the ’90s when radio began to move away from playing his new songs (except for “The Lion King” and his tribute to Princess Diana), to his recent adult contemporary fare.

I remained a loyal fan of Elton’s even as he relentlessly bashed Madonna in the press this year.  I have enough love for the theatricality of Elton, Madonna, and Lady Gaga, that all three stars can exist in my solar system without crashing into each other!

When the lights went down and the stage lit up, Elton John had arrived and he opened with “The Bitch Is Back”.

For the next two hours, he would perform some of his biggest hits of the 1970’s:  “Bennie and the Jets”, “Rocket Man”, “Levon”, “Tiny Dancer”, “Your Song”, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, “Philadelphia Freedom”, “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”, and “Crocodile Rock”.

After that decade, the selections became more scarce.  He performed “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” and “I’m Still Standing” from the 1980s.

Going into the show, I had looked at an online set list from the night before and it showed that he performed “Blue Eyes”, one of my favorites.  However, glaringly missing was “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny), Elton’s tribute to the late, great John Lennon.  That is one of my all-time favorites of Elton’s, but I would survive without it.

But, I got the shock of my life. When it was time for “Blue Eyes”, he started talking about his friend, John Lennon and he sang my song.  What a pleasant surprise.  While he dropped “Blue Eyes”, I got to enjoy “Empty Garden” live!

Elton closed out his 19-song set with his award-winning “Circle of Life” from “The Lion King”.

Going into the show, I didn’t know what to expect.  Someone riding on the bus from the hotel to the airport in Chicago said she saw him with Billy Joel and was disappointed and she became a Billy Joel fan that night.  I’ve heard of the tantrums that he’s thrown onstage and off and sadly, people post some really bad quality video that they record at concerts on YouTube that does performers no service!

However, it was two hours of pure gold entertainment.  Sir Elton John sounded great and was in a fantastic mood telling some really touching stories about his past, his collaborations, the friends he has lost (Ryan White, Lady Diana, and Elizabeth Taylor), and some naughty stories (John Lennon) and he did make one, very funny Madonna reference.

While talking about his glitzy Yahama piano, Elton said that the company went all out with the construction of the piano.  He said they even installed an aquarium on the front of it so if he got bored, he could watch the fish.  He then said that we could see fish and through optical illusions, the sides of the piano changed like his background and we saw fish swimming.

At that point, he said the fish reminded him of Madonna.  All of the sudden, a small gasp could be heard from the well-informed, and he hushed us, saying that he and Madonna have made up and that they met for dinner in France, “I hugged her and she kicked me in the balls”.  The crowd loved it.

The set was stunning, the background videos were fantastic (one featured Elton throughout the years in all of his outlandish looks, the stars he has met, and one featured Elton and his husband on top of a cake and their baby), and Elton was incredible.

What a pleasant surprise to my birthday weekend.  I can’t wait for this show to come out on DVD.  Sadly, if you want to see Elton, unless you make plans soon, his “The Million Dollar Piano” show wraps up at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, on October 28, 2012 — only seven shows left!

My only complaint is that I called Caesars Palace to specifically ask about cameras and they said “no cameras” and I didn’t take mine.  When I got there, it was no video or audio recording and if you were using a camera, no flash.  Needless to say, I wanted to throw an Elton-sized tantrum.  But, by not taking pictures, I enjoyed all of the show without worrying about getting that perfect picture.  Nevertheless, epic fail, misinformed Caesars Palace lady that answered the phone when I called!

Sir Elton John, you were simply amazing and I’m glad I got to spend two hours of my birthday weekend with you.

Anthony

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One response to this post.

  1. I envy you guys! My favorite EJ song is, “Your Song”.

    Reply

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