Monday, June 30, 2008

Swansea Review

A record crowd rocked the Liberty Stadium tonight as Sir Elton John blasted out an explosive two-and-a-half hour repertoire of his greatest hits.

Around 25,000 fans packed the stadium to hear the Rocket Man and his band belt out countless classics from a catalogue spanning the past four decades.

Support acts Richard Fleeshman - of Coronation Street fame - and Swansea band The Storys warmed up the masses ahead of Sir Elton's spectacle of old and new favourites.

The Storys' lead singer Steve Balsamo told the audience: "It's an absolute dream come true to be performing at the Liberty Stadium alongside Elton John."

And then the pop world's most flamboyant star took to the stage in what was a breathtaking performance - his first in Swansea and his only Welsh tour date this year.

And before wowing the crowd with hits such as Daniel, Tiny Dancer and The Bitch is Back, the Watford FC president told fans: "It's great to be at Swansea and at this wonderful arena, especially as I was involved with Swansea back in the day when they went up to the first division and Watford were only a few steps behind.

"It's wonderful that Swansea have gone up to the Championship."

The sell-out mega-bash took place eight years after the pop legend played to a 15,000-strong crowd at Margam Park and was a massive economic boost for the area, with hotels and B &Bs across the city booked.

As the concert gathered pace, so the classic hits began to unfold.

There were songs from the early part of his career such as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Honky Cat, Rocket Man, Bennie and the Jets, Philadelphia Freedom, Crocodile Rock and Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.

There was huge crowd reaction to Candle in the Wind - the original version - and then hits from the 1980s such as I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues and Sacrifice.

Some things get better with age. And I was curious to see whether Sir Elton John was one of them - at the ripe old age of 61 and after nearly four decades of worldwide tours.

But they don't call him Rocket Man for nothing - and the flamboyant superstar was firing on all cylinders at Sunday's Liberty stadium mega-bash.

Former Corrie star Richard Fleeshman and Swansea rockers The Storys kept the 25,000-strong audience entertained as they took their seats and donned giant heart-shaped glasses.

But as good as they were, there was really only one star the crowd had come to see. And at 7.30pm, he took to a Swansea stage for the first time.

Dressed in a relatively conservative black knee-length coat with 'love' scrawled down one arm, Elton and his quintet kicked off with the prog-rock 1970s classic Funeral for a Friend. A mournful piano solo which merges into a hurt and angry song about the end of a love affair, it lasts almost 12 minutes - quite an opener.

After greeting the enthralled crowd, Elton took a brief trip down memory lane, remembering his involvement with Swansea City "back in the day when they went up to the First Division."

He said: "It's wonderful that the Swans have been promoted to the Championship," before leaping back to the grand piano to belt out The Bitch is Back, a song Bernie Taupin wrote after one of Elton's infamous tantrums.

During the chorus, Elton jumped on to his piano stool while in 30-foot letters the word BITCH flashed behind him - class.

Wasting no time, he flew straight in to Tiny Dancer, which he dedicated to "all the ladies in the audience." Leaning over the piano, Elton paused only to wipe his misted-up sunglasses before lulling the crowd with Daniel.

Rocket Man inspired a Mexican Wave from the crowd, who were whipped into a frenzy by now. Elton took a quick breather as two ladies - one dressed as Marilyn Monroe in her famous white dress - marched past security to hand him a humble bunch of sunflowers and a Watford shirt.

Clearly touched by this, he smiled as Davey Johnstone grabbed the banjo for a bouncy rendition of the spirited Honky Cat. Then, as nightfall began, it was Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me which sent a wave of electricity around the stands, causing impromptu dancing in the aisles and a whole lot of impassioned swaying.

Moments later, there were gasps from the audience as Elton's nimble fingers danced to that tune which sends a shiver down the spine and brings back memories of a royal icon.

Candle in the Wind - the original version - soon became candles in the wind as fans reached for their cigarette lighters and illuminated mobile phones.

Cute modern hit Are you Ready for Love? lifted the mood before the crowd rather fittingly got to their feet for the classic comeback chant I'm Still Standing.

Two hours in, Elton was still pounding the piano and showing no sign of slowing down. It was clear there wasn't going to be a dull moment as he stormed through Crocodile Rock, Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting and Pinball Wizard.

Star-struck fans offered him a Welsh flag which he draped over his shoulders, much to the delight of the patriotic crowd which stirringly burst into the chorus of Hymns and Arias.

There were no costume changes, no theatrics and no fireworks. All a performer like Elton John needs is a sturdy piano stool and an audience ready for a night to remember.

Before the evening's final song, he signed autographs for a lucky few and said: "You have been amazing. It's a great set-up here and I hope you get promoted to the Premier League. This is for every single one of you - for the love you send my way."

The simple opening of Your Song began a truly moving moment as the capacity crowd sang every word right back - some dancing, some embracing a loved one.

All, I'm sure would tell you, how wonderful life is ... while Elt's in the world.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Elton's a No Show for 46664

Although Sir Elton performed an intimate few songs and sang happy birthday to Nelson Mandela for the honor dinner, there was no public performance by Elton at the 46664 concert which was held on June 27 in Hyde Park, London.

The event wich was hosted by Will Smith and Included performances by Annie Lennox, Queen, Simple Minds, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, Josh Groban and Razorlight - there was no performance from Sir Elton. 

Media outlets had been reporting for some time that Elton would be involved with the live concert. However, it now appears that the extent of Elton's involvement was limited to a private performance for Mr. Mandela. 

In other news, Elton has raised his highest figure ever at a WT&TB. He has also donated his time to work on writing music to any lyrics that a winning bidder will provide him with, see below:

It is one of the most colourful nights of the year, established alongside Royal Ascot and the Queen's garden parties as a staple of Britain's summer "season".

Sir Elton John, David Furnish and friends celebrated the couple's 10th White Tie and Tiara Ball on Thursday night. The glittering "beach-chic"- themed event, held at Sir Elton's home in Windsor, Berkshire, was attended by about 600 guests, who paid £3,000 a head. Alongside the likes of Elizabeth Hurley and Jemima Khan were Hollywood actors including Denzel Washington, Will Smith and Uma Thurman, as well as the former American president Bill Clinton.

Fittingly, records were broken at the ball's auction, which raises money for the Elton John Aids Foundation. A supper with Mr Clinton sold for £650,000 to a mystery bidder. They will dine at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at The London Hotel in New York.

The top lot – in which Sir Elton will provide the music to the bidder's own lyrics – went for £1.3m, raising the auction's takings on the night to £6.6m.

The event's veteran auctioneer, the record executive Nick Stewart, said it would be his last year: "With all my other commitments, I've been thinking of hanging up my gavel and this seems the perfect moment."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Elton's Beach Party

The stars came out in force tonight to confirm that for Sir Elton John at least, life's a beach.

Elizabeth Hurley and Elle Macpherson led the glamour stakes at the 10th annual White Tie and Tiara Ball with the theme Beach Culture.

Hurley shunned her usual bridal-esque white for a stunning aquamarine strapless gown and tiara as she attended the party with husband Arun Nayar.

While many stars went for high-octane glamour, Australian supermodel/designer went for a laid-back, hippy-esque golden maxi dress.

Held at Sir Elton and David Furnish's £20 million Windsor home it has become the society event of the summer attracting A list celebrities from far and wide.

Elton's partner David Furnish said: 'The theme this year is 'beach party' so we've got Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys playing.

'The aim every year is to get people to say that it was the best one yet.'
The entertainment bar was set high after performances last year from Sir Tom Jones and Dame Shirley Bassey.

Meanwhile the mix of guests included former U.S. president Bill Clinton, Sir Michael Caine, The O.C. star Mischa Barton and Hollywood acting couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Kelly Osbourne brought her new boyfriend, BMX rider, Luke Worrell, while model-of-the-moment Agyness Deyn returned from New York with her latest love, Strokes musician Albert Hammond Jnr.

Other guests included Lulu, Gordon and Tana Ramsay, Graham Norton, Paul O'Grady, Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, Westlife singer Kian Egan and fiancee Jodi Albert, Anthea Turner and Tracey Emin.
Former Wimbledon Champion Roger Federer took time out of his training schedule to attend - last year the auction included a private tennis lesson with the star.

The X Factor judge Louis Walsh attended with Simon Cowell and girlfriend Terri Seymour.
The 620 invited guests paid £3,000 a ticket in the bid to raise even more money than last year for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

The 2007 Las Vegas themed ball - where guests were served by waiters dressed as Elvis - raised £6.1million.

In this year's auction Mario Testino auctioned his first private client sitting.

Lavish floral arrangement were by celebrity florist Rob Van Helden who has customised the blooms for each of the ten White Tie parties.

The White Tie and Tiara balls, which are sponsored by OK! magazine and Chopard, have raised more than £26.9million since the first event in 1998.

The theme of this year’s £3,000-a-head, invitation-only party was “beach chic”, so the couple filled their gardens with palm trees, sand, fake flamingos and even a bona fide Beach Boy – Brian Wilson.

OK! magazine has been the media sponsor for every White Tie ball of the past decade and will feature exclusive footage next week.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dinner in Honor of Nelson Mandela

A host of stars from the worlds of music, movies, and sport were out in full force in London tonight to celebrate Nelson Mandela's 90 birthday.

Among the the array of guests at the star-studded bash in London's Hyde Park was Naomi Campbell, who had been removed from the playlist of Mandela's birthday concert on Friday at the request of the man himself.

The former South African leader personally told organisers to take the supermodel off the list of presenters following her recent air rage conviction.

Representing Hollywood was Robert De Niro and wife Grace Hightower, Denzel Washington and wife Pauletta, acting couple Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Sex And The City star Kim Cattrall, Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan, Forest Whitaker, and Uma Thurman with her tycoon boyfriend Arpad Busson.

U.S. talk show titan Oprah Winfrey had also flown over from Chicago for the party.

Charity campaigner Bob Geldof, who has worked with Mandela on projects in Africa in the past, dumped his usual scruffy style for a smart white suit.

For the music world, X Factor winner Leona Lewis joined Sugababes, soprano Katherine Jenkins, Annie Lennox, Queen frontman Paul Rodgers, Peter Gabriel and Joan Baez.

Other guests included Boris Becker, Sir Richard Branson and his family, Cherie Blair and designer Oswald Boateng.
Many of the celebrities in attendance of tonight's dinner are ambassadors for the former South African president's many charities, including The Nelson Mandela Foundation and 46664.

Providing the food was celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who took time out of manning the kitchen to mingle with the a-list guests and attend to his wife Tana.

Many of the attendees will be gracing the stage at Mandela's birthday concert on Friday.

Rapper/actor Will Smith will host the event, which will feature performances by Amy Winehouse, Queen with Paul Rodgers, Annie Lennox, Leona Lewis, Sugababes, Razorlight, Jamelia, Joan Baez and Simple Minds.

Special guests set to appear include Gordon Brown, Lewis Hamilton, Prince William and Prince Harry, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Behind The Scenes at This Year's WT&TB

David Furnish is seated with his back to me, Bond villain-style, having his hair cut in front of a giant perspex triangle filled with dried leaves - Damien Hirst, naturally. His perfectly shorn neck emerges from a long black gown, one hand raised in a rather regal welcome gesture. I have been invited to the Notting Hill home he shares with Elton John to discuss their forthcoming White Tie & Tiara Ball, an annual event which last year raised £6.1 million for the singer's Aids Foundation.

Deceptively small from the outside, their London pad is a homage to Brit Art within. Works by the Chapman Brothers, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn and Hirst are littered about, with Sam Taylor-Wood's Last Supper - over which a topless woman presides - running provocatively alongside a dining-room table that echoes, in style and length, the one in the picture.

In the kitchen, Dennis, the pair's blind, diabetic dog, is napping contentedly while Joseph, the puppy, is out with the housekeeper on his lunchtime walk. Taking advantage of some last-minute coiffeur tweaking to have a quick snoop, I discover recurring themes in the artwork: namely death, an abundance of phallic imagery and, oddly, statues, paintings and photographs all featuring the McDonald's logo. On the sideboard, a stuffed kitten stares accusingly at me from beneath its glass dome. What did he do, I ask? "Oh, that's just an old piece of taxidermy," laughs Furnish, emerging from his tarpaulin.

As half of the most famous gay marriage in the world, the 45-year-old Canadian filmmaker is remarkably low-key in manner. His face is youthful and benign, his grey suit impeccable. He is polite and eager to please, but I know that he is also deeply mischievous.

The first time I met Furnish, I was working the room at a black-tie dinner in my former capacity as a gossip columnist. He whispered something outlandish (but true) about Ulrika Jonsson. He's had my heart ever since.

Dodging a life-size porcelain baby on the floor and trying hard to ignore the sculpture of a woman with legs akimbo on the coffee table, Furnish fills me in on the last-minute preparations for Thursday night's ball. Held at the couple's £20 million Windsor home, it's become the society event of the summer, attracting A-listers from across the world.

Last year Elle Macpherson, Dame Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Liz Hurley, Joely Richardson, the Beckhams et al all chowed down Maine lobster, while gazing at giant Vegas blow-ups and a cast of seven Elvis lookalikes on the lawn. Although this year's full guest list is not known, confirmed attendees are Will Smith, Bill Clinton, Roger Federer, Freddie Flintoff, Denzel Washington - and the Telegraph's Hilary Alexander.

"The theme this year is 'beach party' so we've got Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys playing," trills Furnish, exuding excitement. "The aim every year is to get people to say that it was the best one yet."

The photographer, arriving via the patio windows, brings with him a whirl of dust and leaves which settle on the porcelain baby. Furnish's eyes widen with worry. I wonder how long he will be able to resist giving that cherubic thigh a good wipe down.

"One year we took the Ball bigger," he continues, still distracted, "and it lost something, because it's still a party in your home, and Elton and I like to try to shake everybody's hand personally. There is no us and them."

One would hope not when tickets are £3,000 a head. That said, the prizes in the charity auction are certainly rather special. "There are a lot of wealthy people in the room, so a weekend in New York is not going to be as exciting for them as an opportunity to stay in our house in the South of France or a tennis lesson with Federer [in last year's auction]. This year we have Mario Testino auctioning his first private client photo sitting."

Furnish insists that he and Elton do not vet the 620-strong guest list. "Anyone can buy a ticket as long as they're prepared to pay the money," he says. Even, say, Ulrika Jonsson? "Um, she'd probably be put on the waiting list." He narrows his eyes, perhaps remembering her snipe that he "was living with the Queen of premenstruality", then composes himself. "But what's important is to keep it fresh."

This is not such an easy feat with charity events that are often crashingly dull. Still, the White Tie ball seems to have struck a balance, raising more than £26.9 million since the first event in 1998. Then there is the style porn of the celebrity mags the week after: those exquisite "hits" and "misses".

"One year Kelly Hoppen and Janet Street-Porter turned up in the same outfit," he laughs, "and another time Ronan Keating and I were wearing the same cream-silk Gucci jacket - the only thing to do was to pose with him immediately and burst the bubble." Then, unable to bear it any longer, Furnish gets up and brushes over the baby's limbs with the palm of a hand.

How long do he and Elton take to get ready for the event? "We're actually very wash-and-go," he says blithely. "I'm probably out the door in half an hour but Elton takes a bit longer. He's very self-conscious about the way he looks and very hard on himself." Furnish looks pained. "I get upset when he looks in the mirror and says: 'Oh I look horrible' - he shouldn't beat himself up. He has a fantastic dress sense."

Elton's decision to make Aids the focus of his charity was deeply personal. "In the Eighties Elton and I lost many friends to the disease. I remember Elton coming back from seeing a dying friend and saying that she looked like a newly born bird in the nest - she was that frail. When you lose friends in that way, and you know that there are still 33 million people infected around the world, you just have to do something."

Beyond the money raised tomorrow night, their aim is to push the "safe sex" message.

"We can't just sit back and think that everything is fine now. In the Eighties there was a message that it was a gay disease but actually, almost 50 per cent of new infections are women. I hope people realise that now."

Has he ever had unprotected sex?

"Yes," he says unflinchingly, "but before HIV. I was tested and still have regular check-ups."

So is the perception that gay men are more promiscuous unfounded?

"I don't know the answer to that," he sighs, "because there is always an element of gay society that is promiscuous, but then most of my gay friends are in loyal, committed relationships."

Are he and Elton monogamous?

"Oh yeah," he says, but acknowledges that he is aware of the rumours that suggest otherwise. "Because we are apart so much people say stuff, but in the end people can think what they think. All that matters to me is that we are completely honest with each other."

Their marriage at Windsor Guildhall in 2005, he says, has made a difference in that respect. "It was the happiest day of both our lives, and as it was such world-leading legislation, we knew we could give it a lot of profile by doing it on the very first day it became possible."

Perhaps because of the seriousness with which he took his own vows, he is angered by the recent outcry over the marriage of two gay vicars, Rev Peter Cowell and Rev Dr David Lord, who became the first gay couple to be married in a church. "As a gay man I often feel that Christianity is misinterpreted and used as a stick to beat us with. Religion should be a uniting force, but unfortunately it seems to be turning into a divisive force. Church attendance is on the decline and I think the Church needs to take a good look at itself and recognise that it's now not about love and forgiveness. Christ said 'love people for who they are and what they are', and yet people are being cast out of the Church."

When tomorrow night's Ball is over and done with, "husband and husband" plan to enjoy some quiet time together.

"What we really enjoy doing, and what we'll need," says Furnish, "is a quiet night in. Our favourite thing in the world is to get the box-set of Sex and the City or Six Feet Under and watch six episodes on the trot while eating beans on toast. That, for us, is heaven."

Elton to Sing Happy Birthday to Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela will celebrate his 90th birthday in London on Wednesday at a charity dinner attended by presidents, prime ministers and some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Mr Mandela's personal vision for world peace, written especially for the dinner in Hyde Park, will be auctioned for a six figure sum in front of an audience including Bill Clinton, the actor Will Smith, Oprah Winfrey, and Gordon Brown.

Jussi Pylkkanen, the president of Christie's Europe, will wield the gavel in the auction which will also include a lifesize bronze bust of Mr Mandela's right hand which was designed to reflect the way he has touched the world.

Gordon Ramsey is preparing the banquet for the 500 guests including Sir Elton John who will serenade Mr Mandela with Happy Birthday. The American actor Forest Whitaker, who won the Oscar and Golden Globe as the Ugandan despot Idi Amin in the Last Scottish King, will compere the proceedings.

The continuing crisis in Zimbabwe will overshadow the dinner which is expected to raise £1 million for Mr Mandela's Aids charity. Mr Mandela is under increasing international pressure to speak out for the first time against the excesses of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Gordon Brown and Mr Clinton will make speeches before Mr Mandela responds.

Mr Mandela's AIDS charity, 46664, is taken from his prison number (466) and the year (64) when he was imprisoned on Robben Island. Mr Mandela, 90 on July 18, was freed in 1990 after 27 years.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Big 200

British rocker Elton John celebrated the 200th performance of his "The Red Piano" tour in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday (June 21). The Caesars Palace was the perfect venue for fans of the British rocker as he gave an over-the-top performance at the Colosseum theatre.

The popular and lucrative tour, it debuted in 2004 and consists of Elton John's career hits over the past thirty years. Designed by American photographer/director, David LaChapelle, the sets of the show are elaborate, complete with huge video screens and inflatable props. The first fans to enter the venue were given complimentary red feather boas to celebrate the milestone concert.

Elton looked very dashing in a new tailor made suit and red heart shoes, sporting the words "island girl" with various iconography. Fans within the first few rows were treated to a rare chance to dance on stage just inches from the man himself.

On stage, as Elton raised a toast to the 200th performance of "The Red Piano," he made tongue in cheek remarks about Canadian diva Celine Dion who spent five years at the Colosseum before exiting the venue.

"Welcome to the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace, the ex-home of Celine Dion. We will now have a minute's silence. Oh, I miss that skinny bitch so much. Its just not the same but anyway we do have in her place - Cher and Bette Midler and me. And we love doing the show and we are going to have a great time. This is our 200th performance," said John.

"The Red Piano" returns to the resort's Colosseum theatre for performances that begin on July 23 and again on October 22. In November, John will return to Europe for performances in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and France.

To view a video of the performance see: YouTube.

Elton Sells Out Canada in 4 Minutes

It took a mere four minutes Monday morning to sell 11,500 tickets for Sir Elton's two dates at the Brandt Centre on Sept. 16 and 17. While most of the tickets were purchased online, a handful of people were fortunate enough to buy their tickets in person at the Brandt Centre.

"I think the great thing about this morning was that we ended up only turning away about four people," said Graham Edge, manager of box office operations for IPSCO Place. "With Iron Maiden we sold out in 18 minutes and turned away 20-some people. That's why we wanted to get the word out about the best way to purchase tickets.

"This morning I gave the speech two or three times (to those in line): 'Show of hands -- who has a computer and a credit card? If you do, go home.' I was worried for them. I potentially thought we could serve the first six people and that would be it. The thing that helped us was, because Saskatoon and Winnipeg were also on at the same time, Ticketmaster was moving a little slower than normal. That helped us to be able to serve the people directly in front of us."

Reportedly 30 people lined up at the Brandt Centre with only four people coming up empty.

Tickets for Elton John's return to Saskatoon went on sale at 10 a.m. on Monday. If you didn't have one by 10:10 a.m., you were out of luck.

Every last ticket for the Hall-of-Famer's Sept. 15 concert at Credit Union Centre was sold out in mere minutes. John is touring in Western Canada with a full band this time. The last time John came to Saskatoon was Aug. 30, 2002, for a solo show.

Another stroke of luck came in the form of Sir Elton's stage production. Because the staging won't involve a great deal of backline production, some seats behind the stage were released for sale. While some might frown on sitting in such a location, Edge said fans might actually benefit from these seats.

"Those seats could very well be the best seats in the house because there's not going to be a bunch of backline production," explained Edge. "He's bringing a regular show but he's not filling the back with a bunch of production. The view is going to be fantastic. For example, if you're in (Section) 114, you're looking him right in the eyes because he's going to be on the north side of the stage.

"If you're that guy, you made out like a bandit."
Although the shows were deemed a sellout after four minutes, some determined people managed to purchase tickets as late as 10:20 a.m.

Edge said there was a simple explanation for this.

"We were sold out and everything was in the queue in four minutes but you'll get one guy who says, 'Hey, Section 119 isn't good enough. I'm going to dump these and try for something else,' " said Edge. "He ends up with nothing and those tickets that got dumped back into the system get snapped up by people who kept at it. If somebody's a bulldog about it and hangs in there, they might trip over some gold."

Tickets for the Regina shows are already showing up on eBay and other Web sites. On the My City Rocks ticket exchange, 50 individual tickets for the Sept. 16 show were available for sale, ranging in price from $343 US to $3,048 US. The face value of the tickets is $149 and $99.

Edge did have some advice for people who still want to purchase tickets without paying scalper prices.
"If people monitor our Web site, when tickets are released we will post that information on that Web site," said Edge. "Let's say Elton decides he's only using 20 of his X amount of holds and he releases the remainder, then those will go out to the public. Also, the day of the show, once they set up the stage, they may release more seats once it's confirmed fans can see from those seats.

"I absolutely guarantee it that the day of the show there will be tickets released."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Red Piano Turns 200

British rock 'n' roll icon Elton John is to give his 200th performance of "The Red Piano" show at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas this week.
Harrah's Entertainment Inc. said the popular show's milestone will be reached Saturday.

John's critically acclaimed "The Red Piano" debuted at the Colosseum in February 2004.

"People from virtually every major country have traveled to Caesars to see Elton John's 'The Red Piano,' and long after the standing ovations have ended, they leave us with treasured memories of one of the great performer/songwriters of this or any era," Gary Selesner, the resort's president, said in a statement. "We are deeply grateful to Elton and his talented band for giving so much joy to hundreds of thousands of Caesars Palace guests."

The show is to return to Caesars Palace for additional engagements, starting July 23 and then again beginning Oct. 22.

Later this year, fans in Europe will also have the opportunity to experience "The Red Piano" as John takes the show on the road to England, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and France.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Elton Adds Regina & Saskatoon Dates

For months rumours have been swirling that John would follow in the footsteps of the Rolling Stones and play an outdoor concert at Mosaic Stadium in September.

The Leader-Post has learned that John will play two shows at the Brandt Centre on Sept. 16 and 17.

The Regina dates are part of a growing list of shows in Western Canada, joining Calgary (Sept. 12), Edmonton (Sept. 13) and Winnipeg (Sept. 19). Dates for Saskatoon and Vancouver might also be added in the coming days.

Speculation has been swirling that the big star will hit Saskatchewan, particularly since he officially booked shows in Calgary on Sept. 12, Edmonton on Sept. 13 and Winnipeg on Sept. 19.

Elton will play Saskatoon's Credit Union Centre on September 15. Due to overwhelming demand a second show has been added for Winnipeg, at the MTS Centre on September 20.

John is touring in Western Canada with a full band this time, according to online information. The last time John came to Saskatoon was Aug. 30, 2002, for a solo show.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Elton Returning to Florida This Fall?

Elton is likely to return to to Florida in the fall. He is supposed to play The University of South Florida's Sun Dome in Tampa & The Bank Atlantic Center near Fort Lauderdale.

This could possibly be scheduled during the break between his canadian dates ending on 19th September and his Red Piano Vegas commitments beginning on 22 October.

Red Piano Vegas Closing in April 2009

Elton John's 'Red Piano' Caesars Palace show nears end.

Unless he changes his mind, this is indeed the beginning of the end of Elton John's "The Red Piano," the pop legend's audacious custom-tailored show for Caesars Palace.

Already there's a countdown campaign on the posters: Limited engagements remaining -- see him this summer -- before a scheduled finale in April.

Friday, June 13, 2008

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Good & Bad News

According to a recent interview with David Furnish, Elton will be touring in Brazil as part of his South American Tour around January 15 - That's the good news.

Unfortunately, that means an Australian tour in conjunction with the opening of Billy Elliot in Melbourne on January 15 is off the cards - That's the bad news.

David Furnish will attend the opening as producer and Elton will be there "in spirit". A Red Piano tour of Australia is still possible for 2009 though, it may just be later in the year.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Will Elton Tour Australia Again in January 2009?

As announced previously, Billy Elliot the Musical will be opening December 30 in Melbourne, Australia. Producers have also begun casting in Auckland and Brisbane. Therefore, it is highly likely that During December 2008 and January 2009, Billy Elliot the Musical will become a focus point for the pacific entertainment region.

For the launch of Billy Elliot in Sydney last year, Elton John announced an enormous solo tour of Australia that included every state of Australia. This tour was not only an enormous success for Elton, it provided an excellent source of marketing for the Billy Elliot musical, and thus making it a musical phenomenon down under.

In order to help promote the extension of the Billy Elliot tour throughout the pacific region, it would seen conceivable and highly possible that Elton John may not only attend the opening of Melbourne's show and meet its new cast, he may even help promote it through a tour of his own.

In order for this to occur, three necessities would need to be satisfied. These are; demand, performer availability and resource availability.

As can be clearly observed by Elton's superstar status and ability to sell out 10 performances in Australia in 2007, Demand for tickets to see the legend perform are at an all time high.

It can be stated that after performing in Australia consecutively for three years, the audience may become tired of a similar repeat show. This however is where an entirely new concept of show must come in to play. In order for Elton to maintain a high attraction of audiences for a fourth consecutive tour, the Red Piano experience must be brought to Australia. A repeat Rocketman Tour will simply not be an as salable tour format.

A Red Piano Australian Tour, would provide Australian audiences with an entirely new way of experiencing Elton's music, in a highly visual way - with cutting edge lighting, props, staging and a giant video wall with videos created by David LaChapelle. This would be an instant hit with Australian audiences.

A quick check of Elton's diary shows that he will be available from December 22nd onwards. So therefore this concept is entirely feasible.

The Red Piano show has allready been announced for a touring season in Europe. Therefore, the necessary resources are available and can be readily toured with. The arenas with Australian capital cities are excellent venues for hosting such concerts and Elton has long established ties with them and Chugg Entertainment, his Australian Tour manager.

As a very eager Elton John fan, I have created this concept with hope that one day it may come to fruition, but in order for this to succeed, I require more support from you - the fans. We need to let Chugg Entertainment know how much we love Elton, and how much we want him to tour our beautiful country again. I strongly believe that this would make an excellent tour. Your comments are greatly appreciated.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Free Red Piano DVD

If you only buy one Sunday newspaper tomorrow, and are in Britain, be sure to buy a copy of the Sunday Express. To mark the announcement of all seven British Red Piano dates for November and December, the Sunday Express will be giving away an exclusive, free DVD within the newspaper, featuring clips and great moments from Elton's Red Piano show in Las Vegas, and there will also be a major feature on the Red Piano show.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Elton May Play Greece in '09

Although Elton is playing a plethora of Red Piano shows through Europe this year and a on-off concert in Italy, Greece has been missed off the map.

We'll have to wait for Sir Elton. As it seems Sir Elton John will visit us not sooner than next year. There were not available dates for Greece to "get in" this year. Elton stays in Vegas for now and is ready to take The "Red Piano Show" on the road!

Kallimarmaro will be on the table next year again. The central Councellors Of Newer Monuments has given Sir Elton permission to play in Kallimarmaro in the middle of next July.

Hopefully the Red Piano tour will be expanded to include other European countries such as The Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Spain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

Elton Helps Lily Allen

Elton 61, is known for his kindness and has lent an extravagant hand to celebrity pals incluing Victoria Beckham, 34, and a once-off-the-rails Robbie Williams, 34.

Well if a sojourn at the Rocket Man’s £6 million mansion in Old Windsor, Berks, worked for them, we don’t think Lily will be about to argue.

David thinks she needs a break from the media eye and believes staying with them is a phenomenally good idea. Even Lily, 23 accepts that her well-documented non-stop partying needs to be curbed and Elton wants to take her under his glittering wing.

She was absolutely mortified when she heard people comparing her to the sublimely bonkers Britney Spears, 26.
So much so, she drove to the exhibition with her brother Alfie, 21, and his gal Jaime Winston, 23, so she wouldn’t be tempted to get blotto again.

She spent the night flirting with her ex, A&R man Seb Chew, 31, and even flung her arms around him at one point.

Although they left separately, Seb sneakily jumped into her car when he thought that no-one was watching.

But good news for Lily – at least one person likes her nu-rave pink barnet. It’s just a shame it’s cross-dressing artist Grayson Perry, 48.

He cornered her at the bash to give Lily the original of his limited edition headscarf collection, which accompanies his Unpopular Culture exhibition.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Elton Touring South America January 2009?

According to Argentinian News Agencies, Elton has agreed to perform in Argentina in January 2009. This and the possibility of additional cities is still to be confirmed. It has also ben suggested that James Blunt will tour alongside him.

Elton John and James Blunt: confirmed their visit to Buenos Aires Elton John Both singer-songwriters will arrive at our country in January of 2009 and they will touch together in a stadium to appoint.

Summit meeting of the soft rock sensitive in Buenos Aires: after various months of rumors, was confirmed that Elton John comes to touch to our country in January of 2009, and as "extra" of luxury is brought of support to James Blunt.

The author of "Your song" arrives presenting his last work The captain and the kid, published in 2006. The responsible for that we find us with "You' re beautiful" even in the soup also he arrives with new disk under the arm: All the lost souls, which he is touching at present in a long one tour that carries him for United States, Europe and Asia.

Still he does not know himself where will touch these two successful singer-songwriters. In a first moment was spoken of the stadium of River, although itself was not confirmed.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Billy Elliot Coming to Melbourne, Auckland, Brisbane!

Producers today announced the premier performance of Billy Elliot the Musical- which has a score by Elton John- will be held at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne on December 30.

The hunt for Melbourne's Billy boys will be held later this month.

Audition details will be posted on the show's website in coming weeks.

The Broadway version opens in New York in October, after critically acclaimed productions in Sydney and London.

The Sydney show has sold more than 400,000 tickets in its six months at the Capitol Theatre.

Producer Eric Fellner said he was happy Melbourne audiences would now get the chance to see the world's most recent stage success.

"Billy has now been seen by 2.2 million people worldwide and we are very pleased Melbourne audiences will now have the opportunity too,'' Mr Fellner said.

Based on the feel-good 2000 film of the same name, Billy Elliot the Musical tells the story of a blue-collar kid in England's north who dreams of dancing.

Universal Pictures Stage Entertainment, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions announced
today that the smash-hit Billy Elliot the Musical will conclude its spectacular Sydney season at
The Capitol Theatre on November 23, 2008, where the production will have enjoyed a year-long

The Australian production will move to Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, where performances
will commence on December 30 ahead of its official premiere on January 15.

Billy Elliot the Musical, which opened in London in May 2005 to extraordinary reviews, has
broken UK box office records at the Victoria Palace Theatre. The Australian production opened to
equal critical acclaim in December last year and the Broadway production will commence
performances on October 1st this year.

Performances are also scheduled for Brisbane and Auckland, New Zealand.