Saturday, December 1, 2007
Canberra Review - Rain & Different Songs
There was thunder, lightning and then torrential rain, but one of the world's great recording artists was still standing before 8000 fans in Canberra last night.
Pop legend Sir Elton John took to Stage 88 in Commonwealth Park 20minutes before the scheduled 8pm start as he sought to outperform threatening skies.
Preceded by Australian singer Eran James, Sir Elton did not disappoint fans with his blonde hair gelled into spikes and dressed in red satin shirt, black pants and jewel-encrusted jacket. The rocker took his seat at a black Yamaha grand piano and gave the crowd what they wanted, a virtual hit parade of songs from a career spanning more than 40 years.
Your Song was followed by blockbusters Daniel, Rocket Man and Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.
Sir Elton apologised for the weather and made joking references through songs and through the show. The audience gave an almighty cheer when he started to play Madman Across the Water.
Irish couple Dave Murray and Lynn Mooney said it could rain all night and they would not care.
Backpacking across Australia the pair had come especially to Canberra to catch the show.
Having just scraped together the funds for general admission tickets a massive surprise awaited just after the entry gates.
"A bloke came up and gave us these front-row tickets. It was one of Elton's managers and he said it was a present from the man himself," Mr Murray said.
"This is the best day of my life. We can't believe it, what a man."
As the rain fell, one of the two giant screens projecting the singer's image succumbed to the weather, blacking out halfway through the concert.
Rivers of mud tracked through the seated areas and the audience was a sea of sodden plastic ponchos, huddled together for shelter.
Still they stayed and still Sir Elton played for more than three hours.
It was Sir Elton's fourth show on his Australian tour the first time he's toured solo here after performances in the Barossa Valley and the Gold Coast drew crowds of 10,000. At Sydney's Acer Arena, 15,000 came to see him play.
Like Commonwealth Park, the shows were at locations at which he had never performed before. He now travels for concerts in the Hunter Valley, Townsville, Werribee Park in Victoria and Launceston.
Managing director of Chugg Entertainment Matthew Lazarus-Hall said Commonwealth Park had been "a great little location" and spoke of Sir Elton's ability to hold thousands of audience members "in the palm of his hand" with a massive set list that could vary from concert to concert.
"He's got over 250 to choose from," he said of the songs available.