domingo, 17 de abril de 2011

Fans crowd JQH Arena for Elton John show

Elton John stuck to the hits as he played before a crowd of more than 9,000 Saturday.

Written by
Claudette Riley

Summoned by heavy organ music, Elton John stormed JQH Arena shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday with a 12-minute medley that included "Funeral for a Friend."

Ever the showman, Elton worked up the crowd and showed off a dramatic stage outfit -- long-tailed coat with "Black Diamond" on the left leg and roses, a cross and skull on the back.
It wasn't as over-the-top as costumes he donned in the 1970s but there were plenty of reminders of those days in the crowd.
Some 9,918 fans in the sold-out arena wore oversized sunglasses, bright boas and sequined tops.
"It's good to be here on a Saturday night," he said after welcoming the crowd, which responded with deafening cheers. "We're going to continue with our favorites from an old album 'Madman Across the Water.'"
After playing "Levon" and the title track from that album, Elton stood, walked around the stage and basked in the heavy applause.
Accompanied by a nine-member band -- including longtime guitarist Davey Johnstone, drummer Nigel Olsson and four vocalists -- Elton played favorites from throughout his long career.
"If you feel like singing and helping us out, please do," he said, while playing the intro to "Yellow Brick Road."
Other songs weren't introduced, but the first line of each was greeted with waves of cheers -- providing testimony of their popularity.
One of those was "Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane ..."
Another was "Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band..."
Jorge LaMarche of Cape Fair said her favorite Elton John song changes depending on what is happening in her life.
"Right now it's 'I'm Still Standing' but probably all-time is 'Crocodile Rock,'" said LaMarche, 19. "He's a legend. There is something in his voice. He's incomparable."
LeMarche said she grew up listening to Elton John -- including the "Lion King."
She garnered attention outside the arena by wearing star glasses, glitter and a wild suit to the concert.
Amy Chancellor was still pinching herself that Elton played Springfield.
She said she loves all his songs -- especially if they get her moving.

 "Everything that is really peppy, and gets me swaying back and forth," she said. "Stuff that makes you want to dance."

She was struck by wide range of ages in the crowd.
"He attracts the young and the old -- I'm here with my mother," she said.
Trish Pulley wore massive gold glasses -- a nod to Elton's wilder stage days.
"We grew up in the '70s, I raised my son on him," she said, pointing to the family gathered nearby.
"I want to hear 'Blessed.' That's my song, dedicated to my son."
Keith Boaz, director of JQH Arena, said additional tickets made available the day of the show were quickly snatched up.
"It will be the largest non-basketball crowd in here," he said.
John, who played for more than two hours, ended his set and then returned for an encore and to autograph albums, T-shirts, CDs and other items for fans who crowded around the stage.
Terry Hopper and his wife brought children, Terra and Jules Maslak-Hopper. The girl, 12, wore a black dress and the boy, 10, was in a coat and tie. Both are fans.
"We used to go on these trips and I put 'Yellow Brick Road' on. I'd just put stuff on and see what they responded to," said Terry Hopper.
"They grew up listening to his songs. This was a big chance for us."

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