Elton John @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne (Sun 18 Nov 2012)
So, much like The Beach Boys and Steely Dan, this was another bucket list show. By that statement, one might think I’m having a mortality crisis. Fear not, I’m not having one for me, I’m having one for them.
Elton John is one of those artists that, even if you don’t immediately realise it, you actually know most of their back catalogue. And so it was a little excitement that the wife and I went to this gig.
We missed the support act, but made it in time to see two cellists playing electric cellos (We found out later they’re called 2Cellos). They busted through a few well known tracks, such as With Or Without You, Smells Like Teen Spirit and closed with AC/DC’s Highway To Hell, with drums and guitar joining them for the last one. I didn’t take any video, but others did of Smooth Criminal and a few others. This video of Highway to Hell in Canada is excellent to watch as well.
At the end of that, the rest of the band, including Sir Elton, came out and launched into The Bitch Is Back. I’d previously had a look at Setlist.fm, and it was evident after a short time that we’d get exactly the same set as Sydney the night before, and most other venues on this tour. Handy in a way, as we could look up the set on the phone and know what was coming.
Playing the same set night after night can’t be easy- and there were times when it definitely showed. There were a few parts that certainly looked like Sir Elton and the band were just going through the motions, and that this was just another work day in a string of many, which of course, is exactly what it was for them.
One thing I will say that I thought was outstanding: After the main set, and before the encore, Sir Elton came out and signed merch for fans in the first few rows. That’s a pretty cool thing to do, and took a fair bit of time to get through.
Too Low For Zero was one of my favourite albums when I was a kid (I was 8 when it came out), and hearing songs like I’m Still Standing and I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues was a definite thrill. One notable omission was Kiss The Bride, which I remember watching the video of when I was young- getting up early every Saturday morning to watch Clipz on Channel 9, and Saturday Morning Jukebox on Channel 7.
The 80’s, people- good times.
I don’t need to see Elton John again on the next tour, but I am mighty glad I saw him this time. Another bucket list artist well and truly ticked.
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