Sunday, May 18, 2008
ROCKET Man Sir Elton John made his first concert in the Northern Territory a "Knight'' to remember.
A Knight Under the Stars saw a crowd of more than 14,000 -- the biggest in the Territory's history -- converge on TIO Stadium.
When he played Crocodile Rock near the end of the show the crowd went into frenzy and were not only singing along but many were dancing in the aisles.
The prolific rocker made a dramatic entrance to music by his ensemble band, while wearing his trademark Rocket Man tails, a ruffled red silk shirt, black pants with a red stripe, black and red patent leather platforms and his silver cross.
"Good evening Darwin,'' Sir Elton said. "We're extremely happy to be here.
"It's only taken 38 years to get here, but we've made it.''
The showman sat on the edge of his grand piano during an instrumental shortly after his arrival.
The 61-year-old rocker's first song Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding sent shockwaves through the crowd.
Sir Elton took to the stage at 8pm, after the crowd was warmed by Elcho Island singer Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Eran James.
Before Sir Elton played concert promoter Michael Chugg said the support of the Darwin community, business and government was great.
"I have got to say it is great to see so many people who are as excited as I am,'' he said.
"I want to thank Nick Paspaley and his family for helping us out.
"And our media partner the Northern Territory News -- isn't it great to pick up the paper every day and see a photo of Sir Elton?''
Chief Minister Paul Henderson said he hoped the show goes towards securing other international acts.
"What an absolutely wonderful evening this is going to be,'' he said. "Elton is here because of you guys.''
Larrakia Aboriginal woman Ali Mills welcomed Sir Elton to Darwin with an impromptu song and dance for which the audience had to participate.
Sir Elton played many of his hits from his almost 40-year career for 2 hours.
He finished his much anticipated Territory concert with encore performances of Don't Let The Sun Go Down On You and Your Song.
"Thank you, we had a blast,'' he said.
"I hope to come back soon.''
Elton was on excellent form. He played non-stop for 2 and a half hours and used all his energy to get the crowd on their feet. Although he didn't say much he made up for it with superb piano work and a very strong voice.
This show saw a larger tan usual amount of lighting on the stage, which provided a fabulous buzz during songs like Funeral for a friend.
Given that the bulk of the audience had not heard most of these songs before, there was a lot riding on Elton's performance, and from the crowd's reactions he certainly did pull it off.
Elton only signed a handful of autographs at this show, due to the high stage. His set-list remained the same as Auckland and Perth.
The band was in a very jovial mood, with Nigel and John fighting for who would get the loudest applause during their introductions. Davey and Bob were very happy and made silly expressions towards fans in the crowd. Elton himself blew kisses and smiles to fans who sang along with him. Immediately after the concert Elton's jet flew overhead, heading towards Hong Kong.
The People of Northern Territory, saw a once-in-a-lifetime concert, which will be extremely difficult to match.