The following is taken from a fan's review of Elton's Solo Concert Experience at The Tempus Two Winery on Saturday December 1st in The Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia. I have posted it here to highlight the need for caution at live events and lack of planning that took place.
It seems based on this fan's review that even The Great Man Himself found the aggressive audience and poor control of it to be of enough concern for him to leave the show early.
"My mother and I went to the Saturday night show at Tempus Two. We were really looking forward to as I lucked out and got front row seats! We travelled from the NSW South Coast and had anticipated a great experience, having never been let down by Elton and his crew before.
But it was not to be.
Let me start with us arriving there just after 5pm when the gates were supposed to open. We stood waiting for about 45 minutes as they were still setting up seating! All this time we were constantly asked to move as we were lined up in a parking lot and the cars of people with special packages kept driving in to park. When we did get in the gates we made our way to our seats but were told we could not sit down as they were not ready. This was at 5:45pm. We said "Great, let's go grab something to eat!" Little did we know that a pretty ordinary hamburger (no fries) would set us back $15 each! But, okay, it's all part of the concert experience.
Eran James came on and was quite impressive, given his young age, though the crowd did not seem to engage with him. Being down the front, we did and were rewarded with quite a few lines crooned our way.
I made contact with the head of security and asked if it was okay to run down the front after 'Blue Eyes' and before 'Levon' as it was a Rocket Club tradition. I had a special canvas print of my mother and I sitting at Elton's red piano in Las Vegas and was hoping Elton would sign it. Bob the guard said that was fine. I also spoke to the security guard on our section so she knew why and when we were running up.
Then came the moment we had been waiting for- ELTON! Being HUGE fans we jumped to our feet and prepared to dance, but were told by security to sit down. They were doing this to everyone who even dared to attempt to boogie. I thought this was pretty mean spirited as we wouldn't even have blocked anyone's view, and surely Elton WANTS his fans to enjoy themselves at his shows? Still, we tried to do the right thing and followed all instructions.
The set list was as it has featured on other Australian reviews... until Blue Eyes. As soon as the song finished, we jumped up and ran to the front, where the security guard who we had TOLD we were going to the front sent us back. We'd just reached our seats when we looked around and saw people starting to descend on the stage, so we bolted forward and ended up in front of the piano, but could not see Elton. Still, we were happy.
That is, until a horrid crush of people started pushing in on us. Security lost control of the situation and literally allowed half the crowd to descend upon the tiny space. My 56 year old mum is only little and was almost crushed by the crowd. I had to ask a guard to put her behind him so that she was kept safe, as people were ridulously drunk and aggressive. Many people at the very front had to be rescued by security and hauled up onto the stage as they were in real danger. Elton took one look at the crowd and didn't play 'Levon'. He played a song and I couldn't even tell you what it was as I was so scared of getting crushed. There were girls behind me who kept on pinching, punching and kicking me and my mother as they wanted to get to the front.
Elton then came to the front to sign items. He took one look at our canvas, which Mum had by then, and headed straight for it. He said "Good to see you again "and gave us the thumbs up as he signed it, and we were beside ourselves with happiness. Elton then signed my '60th Birthday concert DVD cover. One of the girls behind me grabbed it out of my hand and threw it to a friend who was behind her. Her friend then moved into the crowd. As you can understand I was devasted as there was no possible way I could even move to try and retrieve it. I said 'Excuse ME?!?" and she said "Well he didn't sign my pass why should YOU get two things signed?" Can you believe it? HOW RUDE!
Elton played about two more songs but as the crowd would not settle and people were still being pulled out of the crowd he ended the show with 'Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me' and walked off the stage. No encore, no thanks, no bow. I don't know if he was told to get off the stage or if he just left in disgust!
Having been to numerous Elton shows both here in Australia and overseas, I have to say that the behaviour of the crowd disgusted me. Those people who were there for the alcohol ruined the fun for those us us who appreciate Elton as an artist. We were severely short changed of songs by about 45 minutes. I don't for a second blame Elton for stopping the show. I DO blame the poor organisation and lack of security and the iresponsible service of alcohol for this debacle.
My mother showed me her arm this morning and it is covered in bruises that were inflicted by the crowd. (And yes, I have taken a photo.) And darn it, now my 60th birthday DVD is missing a bloody cover!
Don't want to sound like a whiner, I know there will be people who rave about this show but they obviously did not experience the show as we did. It has not for a second dampened our love for Elton or his music, but we will certainly not be returning to shows at Tempus Two any time soon."
Take care out there everyone!