Thursday, January 31, 2008

Elton's Wanted in Moncton

It's an old small arena in a metropolitan area of only about 100,000 people, but it's going to host Sir Elton John, who loves to play small cities where he's never been before.

Unfortunately, it's the Sudbury Arena in Sudbury, Ontario, not the Moncton Coliseum that the music legend will play in March.

Concert promoters announced just two shows yesterday for the renowned showman, one in Sudbury and the other in Kitchener. Tour promoter Live Nation says there are no plans to announce additional Canadian dates.

The shows are part of a new modus operandi for the British musician, who has also played small markets like Saskatoon.

All of which, of course, leaves people around here asking if John will come to Metro Moncton.

The 60-year-old singer, songwriter and pianist reportedly doesn't like to play outdoor shows, putting the City of Moncton's Magnetic Hill Concert site out of the running, but his willingness to play a 57-year-old arena in Sudbury and a 58-year-old arena in Kitchener make Moncton's aging Coliseum look downright modern by comparison.

And large. The Sudbury Arena has 4,758 seats, and even with music fans on the floor in front there are only 6,386 tickets available for the biggest show in the Northern Ontario city's history. The Moncton Coliseum, by comparison, can hold 6,554 just in its permanent seating.

"It's in the promoter's hands," says Ian Fowler. "They've been trying to get Elton John for years, but the fact he's now playing smaller venues does give us hope, however."

The hope the music mega-star may one day play Metro Moncton may be flickering like a candle in the wind, but Elton John fans should at least take solace in the knowledge the candle is still burning.

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