Friday, January 30, 2009

F2F Coming to Ottawa


Fear not, rock fans of Ottawa. Despite the downturn in the economy, plans are in the works to announce one, and possibly up to five, major concerts for 2009.

Live Nation Canada, the country's major concert promoter, is holding a press conference Monday at Ottawa City Hall to make an announcement. Mayor Larry O'Brien will be in attendance and Live Nation chairman Riley O'Connor is scheduled to come from Toronto.

But what act warrants this level of hoopla? The promoters aren't saying because they don't want to spoil the surprise, but insiders are guessing that it might be an outdoor event featuring Sir Paul McCartney or AC/DC.

"Take a look at who's got a CD out and what's happening," hinted Ken Craig, the Live Nation rep for the Ottawa area, ruling out the Rolling Stones and the Eagles.

Black Ice, the latest AC/DC disc, was the bestselling album in Canada last year, while Sir Paul's latest is a new release by his experimental side project, the Fireman. Also encouraging is the fact that the former Beatle is booked for a couple of North American performances in the coming months, including an appearance on the Grammy Awards and a benefit concert in New York City on April 4.

Speculation is also pointing to Bruce Springsteen, U2, Elton John and Billy Joel, major artists who have given successful concerts in Ottawa in recent years, and are touring this year. Also on the road and due for a return visit to the nation's capital are Metallica, Nickelback and Radiohead. A Virgin Festival, like the two-day Toronto event last September that featured Foo Fighters and about 20 other acts, is another real possibility for Ottawa.

Rumor has it that Billy Joel & Elton John's Face 2 Face Tour will hit Ottawa on June1 at the Scotiabank Place.

Although the economy has faltered in recent months, Craig said the concert industry in Ottawa has been strong for the past two years. Tickets to coming Scotiabank Place concerts by Brad Paisley (Feb. 14), Mötley Crüe (March 10) and Fleetwood Mac (March 23) are selling faster than expected.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

See Elton's Birthday Greeting for Ellen


During Elton's South American Tour, he took some time out to celebrate Ellen Degeneres' 51st Birthday. Elton's phone message and serenade can be seen at the below link:

Ellen TV

Fargodome & 2nd Toronto Date Confirmed


Sir Elton John & Billy Joel will bring their Face 2 Face tour to Fargo, North Dakota on May 2nd. A second Canadian date has also been finalized for Toronto on May 30th at The Air Canada Center.

All tour dates can be viewed on the panel to the right.

Elton Refuses Rights to New Rocket Man Ballet


The Dayton Ballet’s planned 2009 premiere to music by Elton John, “Rocket Man,” won’t be getting off the ground.

The singer-songwriter’s management, after previously granting preliminary approval to use his music, has revoked the rights.

Dayton Ballet spokesperson A. Diane Schoeffler-Warren said no reason was given. “Sir Elton’s people just decided not to let us use it. We’re all really disappointed.”

The new work was being choreographed for the Dayton Ballet by Washington Ballet artistic director Septime Webre, who began working with the dancers in November 2008.

The premiere was planned for a mixed-repertory program March 19-22. In its place, the company will revive Christopher Fleming’s comic ballet “Play Ball!” Weber’s “D-Construction” has also been added.

Elton's Tantrum with Argentinean President


STROPPY SIR ELTON JOHN stunned Argentine dignitaries by snubbing their president after she kept him waiting.
The pop legend, 61, is said to have “hit the roof” when PRESIDENT CHRISTINA KIRCHNER pushed back their private chat for five hours.

He then left for Chile instead of waiting for the re-scheduled meeting on Friday after his concert in Buenos Aires.

But Argentine commentator Javier Gonzalez said yesterday: “Christina always keeps VIPs waiting.

“It would seem she is as much of a diva as Elton John.”

Elton's Stopover in South Africa


Elton John has taken a keen interest in South African art. The British pop star visited a William Kentridge exhibition and two young up-and-coming artists during a brief trip to Cape Town this month.

His partner, David Furnish, actress Elizabeth Hurley and her husband, Arun Nayar, were among those travelling with John.

He was interested in eight works by twin s and graduates of the Michaelis School for Fine Art, 23-year-olds Hasan and Husain Essop. The pair collaborate, and Husain said that John was interested in their photographic works depicting “South African based issues”.

“It was the best experience,” he said of John’s visit to their Belgravia home. The twin s accepted an invitation to join John and his friends for dinner in Bishopscourt.

“Liz (Hurley) looks exactly the same as she does in her movies, ” Husain said. “Everyone was very interested in our work. Elton. . . understood what we do.”

Husain said it was incredible to think his work might hang inside John’s gallery — reportedly one of the largest private photography collections in the world.

Joe Dolby, director of the South African National Gallery, said John and a group of 14 had viewed Kentridge’s multichannel projected installation, entitled I am not me, the horse is not mine, on January 10.

Prior to their arrival in Cape Town, the group visited the exclusive Royal Malewane Luxury Safari Lodge in Mpumalanga.

Argentina & Chile Set List


Funeral for a Friend
Love Lies Bleeding
The Bitch is Back
Madman Across the Water (mixed with Don't Cry For Me Argentina in piano)
Tiny Dancer
Levon
Believe
Take Me to the Pilot
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Daniel
Rocket Man
Honky Cat
Sacrifice
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues
Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
Candle in the Wind
Bennie and the Jets
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Philadelphia Freedom (con el riff de Day Tripper en el medio)
I'm Still Standing
Crocodile Rock
Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)

ENCORE

Can You Feel The Love Tonight
Your Song

For Photo's please see http://megagalerias.terra.cl/galerias/index.cfm?id_galeria=37841

Friday, January 23, 2009

Face 2 Face Coming 2 Madison, Wisconsin


Classic-rockers Elton John and Billy Joel will be back in Madison for a concert for the first time in more than five years.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Athletic Department and Frank Productions announced Thursday that the two legends will bring their "Face 2 Face" tour to the UW-Madison Kohl Center on May 7.

On their co-headlining tour, John and Joel are planning to open concerts with a series of duets, playing twin pianos and trading vocals. Each artist will then perform a set with his own band. A grand finale will bring the two legends and their supporting musicians back together for a closing encore.

The two piano men first teamed in 1994. Four "Face 2 Face" tours by the duo have sold out. Officials said they expect the Madison show to sell out as well.

Tickets for the Madison show go on sale Jan. 31 at 10 a.m. in person, by phone and online at www.uwbadgers.com. People can purchase tickets over the phone at 1-800-GO-BADGERS or 608-262-1440 or in person at the Wisconsin Athletic Ticket Office at Gate 1 of Camp Randall Stadium.

On Jan. 31, in-person window sales will be available from 10 a.m. to noon, while phone sales will be available until 6 p.m., or while supplies last. There is a six-ticket limit per customer.

Tickets are being sold at three price levels -- $179.50, $99.50 and $54. Most of the tickets available will be in the middle price range.

The last time John and Joel appeared together at the Kohl Center was in 2003, and that show sold out.

Officials at the Kohl Center said they will likely get the high end of the rental fee and that with added fees, it could make around $75,000 to $100,000.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rio Set List


Sir Elton John performed in Brazil, at São Paulo january 17th (Anhembi Skol Arena) and Rio de Janeiro 19th (Praça da Apoteose), with his band. The openning concert was with James Blunt and his band. He didn't play "All the young girls love Alice", but he sang Skyline Pigeon, a song that he hadn't played for a long time, the setlist is:

Funeral for a friend/ Love lies bleeding
The bitch is back
Madman across the water
Tiny dancer
Levon
Believe
Take me to the pilot
Goodbye yellow brick road
Daniel
Rocket man
Honky cat
Sacrifice
Don't let the sun go down on me
I guess thats why they call it the blues
Sorry seems to be the hardest world
Candle in the wind
Bennie and the jets
Sad songs
Philadelphia freedom
I'm still standing
Crocodile rock
Saturday nights alright for fighting

Encore:
Skyline pigeon
Your song

Here are some pictures of the concerts:
http://musica.uol.com.br/album/elton-john-sp_album.jhtm

Elton's in Argentina


The singer and English musician arrived yesterday in the evening at our country, originating from Brazil, to appear tomorrow in the field of Juniors Mouth.

Friday will start off for Chile to continue their Latin American tour. John and his entourage of 8 people, where he stands out its pair, David Furnish, that married by the end of 2005 in the City council of Windsor, 10 musicians, equipment and 22 people arrived yesterday at Argentina, and they will be stayed in Park Hyatt.

Its show will be tomorrow, Thursday 22 of January, and will touch before the Argentine public after 17 years of absence by these earth, in field of Juniors Mouth.

Elton John requested a room with dvd, local newspapers and of English language, more than 50 hangers, plants of two meters, rubber plant, 4 palms, orchids pink and white flowers, dvds, a plasma to see the sport channels and mineral water of French or Italian nationality, among others things.

On the other hand, James Blunt will later arrive a day and that will be stayed in the Sheraton Hotel. Elton John will be presenting/displaying its world-wide tour The Rocket Man and James Blunt will offer a show its better successes.

The concert begins to 21,00 with the action of James Blunt and soon to 22,30 Elton will act John.

After their presentation in Argentina, Elton John and James Blunt, will start off for Chile, where they will offer a unique concert. Elton John will continue its tour by Venezuela, whereas James Blunt returns to Brazil to continue the presentations programmed in that country. After 16 years, Elton John will visit Argentina offering a unique function in the stage Juniors Mouth.

Billy & Elton Coming to Fargo


Pop music's most prominent piano men could be returning to the Fargodome as various local media outlets are reporting that Elton John's and Billy Joel's "Face 2 Face" tour will be here in May.

The Fargo radio station KFGO is reporting on its Web site that the concert production company Jam Productions will hold a press conference on Thursday with details about the concert. Meanwhile, the local Fox TV affiliate KVRR reported last night that John and Joel would be performing at the Fargodome either around the May 5 date in St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center. The piano men previously performed together at the Fargodome in 2003.

The Forum has calls in to Fargodome officials and representatives at Jam Productions. We will update this story as more information becomes available.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Elton & Billy Coming to Toronto


Elton John and Billy Joel are bringing their highly successful Face 2 Face concert package to the Air Canada Centre on May 26, Live Nation announced today.

The veteran pianist/pop stars’ concerts together, including one here in 1995, have sold out venues as large as 79,000-seat Giants Stadium in New Jersey.

Tickets (ranging from $70 to $276) go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster locations, the Ticketmaster and Live Nation websites, and by phone at 416-870-8000.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Elton Wants Amy Winehouse for The Oscars


Sir Elton John is reportedly desperate to have Amy Winehouse perform at his 2009 Oscar bash to ensure its success.

The 61-year-old hosts the party after the Academy Awards every year to raise funds for Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Performers who have obliged him previously have included Mary J. Blige and James Blunt.

And this year, the English singer was said to be eyeing Winehouse to be his chief performer after dubbing her amongst the greatest musicians.

“Elton is aiming to book the best cabaret on the circuit and he’’s really keen to book Amy, Contactmusic quoted a source as telling British newspaper The Mail

Elton in Sao Paulo


Elton played his first public concert of 2009 in Anhembi Skol Arena, Sao Paulo, Brazil on January 17 with James Blunt. 

The big surprizes of the night were - Elton's new Lion King jacket, and a big shock in the form of Skyline Pigeon being added in, instead of Pinball Wizard in the encore bracket.

1. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
2. The Bitch is Back
3. Madman Across the Water
4. Tiny Dancer
5. Levon
6. Believe
7. Take Me to the Pilot
8. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
9. Daniel
10. Rocket Man
11. Honky Cat
12. Sacrifice
13. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
14. I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues
15. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
16. Candle in the Wind
17. Bennie and the Jets
18. Sad Songs Say So Much
19. Philadelphia Freedom
20. I'm Still Standing
21. Crocodile Rock
22. Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

Encores:

23. Skyline Pigeon
24. Your Song


Friday, January 16, 2009

Billy Elliot Melbourne Review


From feel good feature film to hit stage show Billy Elliot The Musical captures the perfect blend of fantasy, poetry, politics, song and dance to inspire us all to follow passion.

Lee Hall’s stage adaptation with a musical score by none other than popmeister Sir Elton packs a pretty punch. Set against the 1984 British Miners Strike - the longest strike in UK history - is the tale of a miner’s son with an impossible dream. That dream is Ballet. Twelve year-old Billy Elliot is surrounded by older men, including his father and older brother hell bent on making his dream a nightmare.

Perhaps Billy Elliot’s appeal is this. It’s a story apropos for any new generation paving a way for youth culture, that eternal quest - the dispensation of outmoded parental beliefs, of long established codes and the collective countering of saboteurs who corrupt young imagination. In the 1980’s Thatcher’s Britain witnessed enormous social, political and cultural change, in its wake came a new generation tired of old Britain Industrial Britain, impoverished by a long entrenched class system that privileged wealthy, aristocratic and heroic males. Send in the poets said youth of the day.

At the heart of the story is a message equally universal in feel - that privilege is not for the few but for the many, that we as individuals create our own destiny, it is not a given, that we manifest our dreams by taking action - we are all privileged to the wellspring that is our own imagination.

On this New Years Eve opening night Dayton Tavares played lead Billy, one of five young men cast in this demanding role for the Melbourne season. Several standing ovations for Tavares' performance are a testament to the stamina, prowess and sheer force this nimble and charismatic actor brings to such a demanding lead role. Tavares is able to hold his own in song, dance, wit and grace as the young lad on a quest - from repressed Geordie lad with a vision to Royal ballet luminary.

Sir Elton’s score meanders the spectrum of musical styles, from rousing workers Anthems to blues, music hall ditties, jazz and a hints of disco. And for this writer, it was the magical sequence of gargantuan floral frocks dancing before Billy and his gay best mate Michael (Thomas Doherty) that was breathtaking, showstopping stuff in a trippy Alice in Wonderland way. Doherty is simply marvelous, hilarious delivery, superb comic timing. Hall’s script evokes a sense of the unnerving activism of workers at the time - men about to be displaced, dispossessed - rubbing up hard against Thatcher’s police state, against privatization policies, floundering in an industry about to change as the global energy industry begins to green.

Billy’s dead mother (Samantha Morley) - a phantom no less - whose spirit awakens Billy and the men in northern England to the golden possibilities held deep within. Morley’s version of the Ballad, Dear Billy, is haunting and touching.

Billy’s dad (Richard Piper) perfectly cast as the father at mid life transformation - from bigoted prig to mentor filled with praise and care, his mercurial character at once engaging, witty, soulful, lovable and fallible. His Geordie voice smooth like honey during a Christmas party scene when he laments the death of his wife.

Mike Smith cast as Billy’s older brother transmutes too - in different ways, as the elder son, apple of his fathers eye - a rebel with a miner’s cause. However, it is the unrelenting passion of younger brother Billy, that brings a call to change, he learns not to follow his fathers footsteps but to find the beat to his own drum. Lola Nixon is a delight as the lapsidaisical grandmother. Genevieve Lemon as the no nonsense and sassy ballet teacher brings Billy and the posse of men to their senses, awakening them to their hearts, and to a society on the brink of change.

A chorus line of tutu trackie dack clad women and men provide lashings of frou frou frivolity. Alongside the leads the company dazzles us pink with a fanfare of chorie sequences auspiced by show choreographer Peter Darling. Billy Elliot The Musical is a generation X tour de force, a musical blend of young and old, naughties new and eighties blue - add to the mix all the foibles of human nature, all the fallibilities of family - and presto! - memorable musical theatre that gets the blood pumping again as a New Year begins. A show for all six senses!

- Australian Stage Online


BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL

Venue: Her Majesty’s Theatre | Exhibition Street, Melbourne
Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm
Matinees: Sunday at 3pm, Wednesday & Saturday at 1.30pm
Tickets: $47.90 - $125.90
Running Time: 3 hours with interval
Bookings: Ticketek 1300 795 012
www.billyelliotthemusical.com.au

EJ & BJ Add Nashville & Auburn Hills Dates



Billy Joel and Elton John’s “Face 2 Face” tour will stop in Nashville on Sat., May 16 at the Sommet Center, Mayor Karl Dean and tour promoters Live Nation announced at a press conference this morning.

“Why a press conference? Two wonderful artists,” Live Nation Music Southeast president Wilson Howard said. “This is more than a concert — it’s a musical event.”

Both of the piano-pop icons have stopped in Nashville for their own arena shows in recent years — Joel headed up a night at Sommet Center (when it was still dubbed Gaylord Entertainment Center) in February of 2007, and his megastar counterpart John headlined the same venue in September of 2005. The “Face 2 Face” tour was last here in Nashville in April of 2001, and remains one of top-grossing shows at the venue.

The team-up is a time-tested one; they’ve shared stages on various tours going back as far as 1994. It’s again and again proved quite the lucrative teaming, too — Billboard’s Ray Waddell wrote in December that sales for previously announced shows on this tour were already “through the roof,” according to Howard. According to a press release, the double Joel/John billing makes up the “most successful and longest-running concert pairing in pop history.”

On past tours, both singers have performed collections of their many mega-hits both alone and together, including the hits that earned both artists their man-ly nicknames: “Rocket Man,” from John, and Joel’s “Piano Man.”

This tour run, due to span over two years, will have a similar approach, Howard said.

“They’ll come out separately; they’ll play separately and together,” he said. “You may hear Billy do ‘Rocket Man,’ you may hear Elton do ‘(Scenes From an) Italian Restaurant.’ ”

Tickets for the May show will go on sale Sat. Jan. 24 at 10 a.m, via Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com and 615-255-9600, as well as the Sommet box office and LiveNation.com. The tickets will run $54, $99.50 and $179.50., and there is a six ticket per customer limit.

Billy Joel and Elton John, heading back out for another round of blockbuster concert dates, will play at the Palace of Auburn Hills on May 21, promoters announced today.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 24 at the Palace box office and through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com or 248-645-6666).

Seats will range from $54.50 to $180. Economic realities may be kicking in for the concert industry: When adjusted for inflation, those numbers are similar to the prices charged for the duo’s last metro Detroit stop, a pair of Palace shows six years ago.

Get Your Limited Edition Elton John iPod Nano


The Elton John Aids Foundation are proud to present the limited edition and exclusive to Selfridges Goldgenie iPod Nano.
Bling with benefits…

You're guaranteed to get 2009 off to a glittering start with one of these stunning Swarovski encrusted iPod nanos.

Goldgenie is delighted to announce a New Year launch for these limited edition pieces which have been designed by Dragon's Den winner Laban Roomes (owner of Goldgenie) exclusively for the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

We know that keeping up with technology and saving your favourite songs and movies means memory so by special demand they are available not only in 8GB but also in 16GB. But don't forget, there will be just 100 of each colour created in black, blue, green, orange, pink, purple, red, silver and yellow so don't miss out on your favourite! As this truly unique gift is only available from the Elton John Aids Foundation (EJAF), Selfridges or directly from Goldgenie.com

The original iconic players are individually set with over 250 colour-coordinated crystals and engraved with Elton John's signature on the rear harnessing the very latest laser technology.

These pieces are stunning and are backed by a full year's guarantee. Join the elite owners of these exceptional items and you are also benefiting the many specialist programmes across 15 countries and 4 continents funded by EJAF. This non-profit organisation will receive at least 12.5% of the purchase price (ex VAT) to help their many projects. The charity was established by Sir Elton John in 1993 to help those living with, affected by or at risk from HIV/AIDS. You can see further information on the charity and it's work on their website at www.ejaf.com.

If you are buying for yourself or a loved one, we are certain that everyone receiving one of these totally unique and rare "Starburst" iPods will be absolutely delighted.

To ensure you don't miss out on this season's must have accessory from the latest creative Goldgenie range you can pre-order in-store but be quick as only 50 are being released before Valentine's Day!

Elton's in Sao Paulo



Elton arrived in Sao Paulo yesterday afternoon. After his arrival at Sao Paulo airport he travelled to a reception that will be held in his honor at Sala Sao Paulo. At the event he will have dinner and will play a short concert for about 1,100 guests.

Elton is expected to stay at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

A Brazilian TV station TV Globo will broadcast Elton's Sao Paulo concert on January 17, 2009.

See the clip above for an interview with Elton regarding South America.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Elton Coming to Minnesota


It's a three-peat for rock's most famous two piano men.

Elton John and Billy Joel will return to the Twin Cities on May 5 to perform at Xcel Energy Center, where they set an attendance record of 20,250 in 2003. They also performed together at a sold-out Target Center concert in 2001.

Tickets to the new X date, part of their Face 2 Face Tour, go on sale Jan. 24 at 10 a.m. for the recession-defying prices of $179.50 and $99.50, plus a small number of $54 seats. The concert was announced with a VIP news conference at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday featuring St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and a "themed lunch" for media representatives.

"I love touring with Billy. I have the greatest respect for him and we're such good friends," Elton said in a news release. The knighted British singer is reuniting with Joel on off weeks from his stint at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Healthy Minds Collapse to Support Sir Elton


Two Methil brothers are primed to hit the big time this year - thanks to Elton John. The superstar has signed-up Andy and Colin Malcolm who, along with bassist Angus Schroder, make up the band Healthy Minds Collapse.

A Christmas Party brought the group south to Elton's London offices, where they met other 21st Artists including Lily Allan and James Blunt. It marks a surreal turnaround for a group which has spent eight years rehearsing in their Dad's garage in Wellesley Road.

Lead singer Andy (28), explained: "It all kicked off when Elton heard our stuff. He absolutely loved it. When you are facing him it's like meeting royalty. It's literally unbelievable!"

The band were asked to support Elton's Perth gig in July 2009 and the heat is now on to put an album together. Andy and drummer Colin (25) were destined to have music in their blood. Their dad, John Malcolm, played with sixties group The Troggs – best remembered for their songs 'Wild Thing' and 'Love Is All Around'. He also entered the qualifiaction competition for a place at the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest as Joey Valentine, losing out to Brotherhood of Man.

Andy said: "There were always guitars lying around the house, so it was only a matter of time before I picked one up. I needed a drummer so..."

Healthy Minds Collapse represent a new breed of thoughtful gritty rock heavyweights, with a sound inspired as much by The Cure as Nirvana.

Billy & Elton Coming to Omaha - Win Tickets!


Win front-row tickets to the music event of the year.

Billy Joel and Elton John return to the Qwest Center stage Tuesday, May 12, for the Face 2 Face concert tour.

Watch KETV First News live from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the Song of the Day.

Then, on Saturday, go to KETV.com to enter the correct songs and your personal information for your chance to win tickets to this event.

Two winners will be drawn on Monday, January 19th. The Grand Prize winner receives two front-row tickets and one other winner will receive a pair of general admission tickets.

Tickets will go on sale through Ticketmaster and the Qwest Center Box Office at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17th.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

BJ & EJ Coming to St Louis


Billy Joel and Elton John are at it again.

The classic pop music performers will bring their long-running Face 2 Face tour back to town, with a show lined up for May 14 at Scottrade Center.

Tickets for the Scottrade show are $54-$179.50, on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ticketmaster outlets, www.ticketmaster.com, www.livenation.com, by calling 314-241-1888, and at the box office.

There is a limit of six tickets per customer.

As on past tours together, the two greats will open the evening performing duets together, then perform their own solo sets before meeting up again for the finale.

In a statement, Peter McLoughlin, CEO of St. Louis Blues Enterprises, said “We are thrilled to have these two music legends performing together on one stage at Scottrade Center. Our facility and the entire city of St. Louis will be rockin’ with the piano men.”

Face 2 Face is a Live Nation tour.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Elton Coming to Indianapolis, Cleveland


Indianapolis - In a big announcement, two music legends are coming to Conseco Fieldhouse together.
Billy Joel and Elton John are extending their concert tour and coming to Indianapolis in May. According to promoters, they'll open on twin pianos and trade vocals on a series of duets. A headlining set by each artist with his own band will follow. The shows will end with an encore featuring both headliners and their backing bands.

The concert is set for Conseco Fieldhouse on May 19th. Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10:00 am.

Tickets sold out for the Cincinnati concert in 32 minutes.

Billy Joel and Elton John are set to co-headline a concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at The Q. Tickets -- $51.50, $100 and $180 -- go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, at the arena box office and Ticketmaster outlets, or charge by phone, 216-241-5555 (Cleveland) or 330-945-9400 (Akron).

The piano-pounding rock 'n' roll icons will perform together as well as separately during the show. Their "Face 2 Face" Tour kicks off Monday, March 2, in Jacksonville, Fla., and includes a sold-out engagement Tuesday, March 10, in Cincinnati, the only other Ohio stop on the itinerary.

Concert promoter Live Nation announced the Cleveland date today during a press conference at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Joel and John were inducted into the Rock Hall in 1999 and 1994, respectively.

"These two guys brought the piano back to the forefront in rock 'n' roll," said Jim Henke, the hall's chief curator. "Their careers are still going quite strong."

Elton at Obama Inauguration Concert?


On Jan. 20 Barack Obama will be sworn in as President of The United States of America.

Chad Brock, a graduate of Dalton High School and Dalton State College, signed on as state student coordinator for the Obama campaign in 2007. He later attended the Democratic Party convention where Barack Obama was nominated, and he will be there on Jan. 20 when Obama is sworn in.

“It has been really rewarding to see the process through to its conclusion. When I first started with the campaign, no one gave him much of a chance of winning the nomination, much less the presidency. It was definitely a long shot candidacy at first,” Brock said. “But I got to see him get the nomination. I got to see him win the election, and now I’ll get to see him sworn in. It has been a great experience.”

“That’s definitely going to be one of the few balls he (Obama) will attend”

City officials have predicted anywhere from 2 to 4 million people will descend on Washington for the ceremonies.

“This is probably the most historic moment that has happened in my life”.

“I grew up in Florida at a time when blacks could not eat with white people. That was the law. I did not go to school with a black person until I was in graduate school,” he said. “It was bizarre. But that was the society I grew up in.”

“At the time we started planning, we had no idea it would be so huge,” she said. “But as it went on, we realized how historic it would be. How many people do you know who can say they have been to the inauguration?”

The students will get there early, so they can attend a free concert and fireworks at the Lincoln Memorial on the Sunday before the inauguration.

“Elton John, Alicia Keyes, Aretha Franklin and Will Smith are all supposed to be there,” Ward said.

She said those attending the inauguration have been advised to be in line to get to the National Mall, where the event will be held, at 7 a.m. The ceremony starts at 11:30 a.m.

Some members of the public will have tickets to the inauguration, and will be close to the ceremony. But others will have to watch farther back on the mall.

Each U.S. senator and House of Representatives member only gets a couple of hundred tickets to give to those who ask for them.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hear Elton Sing Beautifully in French


Below are two versions of Elton's new collaboration with Charles Aznavor. The first is entitled 'Yesterday When I was Young', the English version of 'Hier Encore', the French version of the same song.

Hear both excerpts of this fantastic new song below:

ENGLISH



FRENCH

Elton may Host for Cat Stevens


This February 17, the Women's Image Network Awards will be held at the El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles.

Sir Elton has been invited but has not yet confirmed his attendance.

Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) is the evening's musical guest and Sir Elton has been approached for posible hosting duties.

This year's Living Legend Honoree is Cloris Leachman.

The Kiwi Elton John


The Wellington musician, who has been dubbed the Kiwi Elton John, is playing tonight on Pukekura Park's Hatchery Lawn.
The 26-year-old plans to resurrect some of the British superstar's greatest hits during his two and a half hour set.

"I play top 40 hits for all ages so there is something for everyone in there," Preston says.

This year marks Preston's third year at the TSB Festival of Lights and will feature the song he coined and performed for the city, New Plymouth Like No Other.

"There will be a few visual surprises too."

The pianist has been listening to Elton John's music since he was a kid and sounds eerily similar to the British superstar.

"My favourite album is Captain Fantastic and then probably Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Not so much the stuff later on, as that's sort of when the drugs took hold."

But Preston is not just about cover songs, he is currently working on an album of original music which he hopes to release in May.

"I have tour and travel commitments after May so I'm hoping to get it out by then."

The young singer/songwriter did not start out playing the piano, at seven he started to play the drums.

"I realised as I got older I wanted to do things on my own but you can't accompany yourself on the drums so it was either guitar or piano and as I hadn't seen that many pianists I decided to do that," Preston says.

He taught himself how to play using music books and has been a professional musician for the past seven years.

"I'm a fulltime performer and do about 140 shows a year. Last year I toured New Zealand, Australia and the UK and this year I'm doing the piano bar circuit in London."

Before he heads off though, Preston will be back in town to perform at Americarna.

If wet, Preston will perform at the TSB Stadium.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

More on Elton's Watford Visit


Elton John's trip to the Hornets’ training ground and his show of support for the club’s new regime is “important” in Brendan Rodgers’ bid to create the “old Watford”, according to the Northern Irishman.

After quitting his role as honorary life president in November, Elton made a dramatic return on Friday of last week when he flew into Watford’s London Colney base in his helicopter to meet players and staff.

The singer-songwriter decided he wanted to re-build bridges with the Hornets following the departure of former chairman Graham Simpson and chief executive Mark Ashton and contacted the club so he could be put in touch with Rodgers.

The pair have been in discussions since mid-December and at the beginning of last week, the rock star decided to make an appearance at the training ground before he went away on tour until late April.

Rodgers said: “I think Elton is obviously a big part of the history of Watford and for me, from being someone on the outside looking in before coming here, he is a iconic figure and when people talk about Watford they relate the club to Elton John, so for me it is only a positive thing.

“I want to try and create the old Watford, in terms of us being a community and family club and it is important to have as many friends as possible and Elton is a good friend.”

After arriving in his private helicopter, the 61-year-old met a number of the players and staff as they came in from training, and after around an hour at the training ground, he gave a speech to the players, where he explained his reasons for ending his formal affiliation with the club and how he believes the Hornets have a bright future with new men in charge.

Watford skipper Jay DeMerit said: “He [Elton John] was just solidifying what the board and everyone else has been saying, that we are not here to try and make this season more difficult than it already has been.

“I think we are here to come together and make sure the club are going in the right direction and he solidified that point himself and he said ‘I’m here now and I’m going to try and help out as much as I can’.

“Obviously he is a busy man and we all know that but you do look to him to hopefully add more support if needed and that was his message to us.”

DeMerit added: “He [Elton John] is an integral part of what this club is all about and I think to see him leave was a shock to everyone, but to see him come back is something he wanted, the fans wanted, the board wanted and everyone else wanted.

“To have him back is great, because him just being who he is and being a fan of the club brings a bit of notoriety to Watford Football Club and that is a positive thing in itself.”

The majority of the players had not met Elton before and for Jack Cork, the singer’s visit came on just his second day at the club.

The 19-year-old said: “It was my second day in and he flew in on his helicopter and I have never seen Elton John before but to see someone who my mum and nan absolutely love was weird.

“I saw my mum afterwards and I said to her that I saw Elton John and she was buzzing.”

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Gnomeo & Juliet Confirmed for 2011


Starz Animation, Toronto, is currently in production on Miramax Film's feature animation project, GNOMEO AND JULIET. Directed by Kelly Asbury and with music and lyrics by songwriting team Elton John & Bernie Taupin, this animated feature will be released in 2011.

Starz has posted several jobs they need filled, including openings for a scene prep artist, animator, lead lighter and technical director.

Described as a loose and edgy adaptation of the Shakespeare play, James McAvoy and Emily Blunt will voice lovers from rival gardens. John is producing alongside offscreen partner David Furnish, Baker Bloodworth and Steve Hamilton Shaw, and is pursuing big-name actors for supporting roles as well.

GNOMEO was brought to Walt Disney Feature Animation originally, but was dropped several years later by incoming Pixar execs John Lasseter and Ed Catmull. Miramax President Daniel Batsek, who had been following the project, persuaded Disney Studios chairman Dick Cook to revive the project at the Miramax specialty division in April 2006.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Elton Refused Duet with Alexandra Burke


Elton John refused to duet with X Factor winner Alexandra Burke during his New Year gig, it has been claimed.

According to the News of The World, Elton, 61, ignored pleas from ITV bosses for him to sing with Alex just before midnight in the O2 Arena.

Burke, 20, had been told the collaboration was likely, but Rocket Man hitmaker Elton declined to share the stage with the Hallelujah singer.

A source says, "We were desperate for Elton to do a duet with Alex to boost ratings. But his people weren’t having any of it.

"She was allowed to come on at midnight while he was playing Auld Lang Syne but that was all."

Elton did, however, agree to perform a duet of his classic hit Daniel just before midnight with Pop Idol winner Will Young.

Elton's Rousing Watford Speech


Watford captain Jay DeMerit says Sir Elton John’s show of support for the Hornets’ new regime is something everyone at Vicarage Road “wanted” after the club’s most famous fan gave an uplifting speech to the players yesterday (Friday).

The Golden Boys former chairman gave up his title as honorary life president in November after becoming increasingly frustrated with the way the club was being run by former chairman Graham Simpson and chief executive Mark Ashton.

But yesterday the singer flew into Watford’s London Colney training ground in a helicopter to meet the staff and players.

At the end of his visit he gave a speech to the players explaining the reasons behind him ending his formal affiliation with the club and how he expects the Hornets to have a bright future under new manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Northern Irishman and John have been speaking to each other on the phone in recent weeks and although the multi-millionaire has not reclaimed his title as honorary life president, it is believed he may do so in the near future.

Speaking after today’s victory over Scunthorpe, DeMerit said: “He (Elton John) is an integral part of what this club is all about and I think to see him leave was a shock to everyone but to see him come back is something he wanted, the fans wanted, the board wanted and everyone else wanted.

“To have him back is great not only because him just being who he is, and being a fan of the club, brings a bit of notoriety to Watford Football Club and that is a positive thing in itself and to have him be able to do whatever he can do to help, which he has always been able to do.

“To always have him on your side is something that you want and thankfully now he is back on our side and we can hopefully move forward.”

On Elton John’s speech to the players, the American said: “He (Elton John) was just solidifying what the board and everyone else has been saying, that we are not here to try and make this season more difficult than it already has been, I think we are here to come together and make sure the club are going in the right direction and he solidified that point himself and he said ‘I’m here now and I’m going to try and help out as much as I can’.

“Obviously he is a busy man and we all know that but you do look to him to hopefully add more support if needed and that was his message to us.”

Friday, January 2, 2009

Elton May Return to Watford


Sir Elton John is expected to make a shock return to Watford just under two months after the singer walked out on the club and resigned as the Hornets’ honorary life president.

In October, the 61-year-old expressed his “deep dismay” at the direction the club was headed under the leadership of former chairman Graham Simpson and chief executive Mark Ashton and when manager Aidy Boothroyd left Vicarage Road a month later, Elton decided to end his formal affiliation with a club he has supported since childhood.

But the Watford Observer understands the former two-time Hornets’ chairman has been speaking to new boss Brendan Rodgers in recent weeks and is keen to show his support for the Northern Irishman, interim chairman Andy Wilson and the new board currently being put together.

Although he is not expected to take up a formal role initially, it is likely that Elton will eventually regain his title as Watford’s life president.

However, it is unlikely that the Academy Award winner will be a member of the new board Wilson is trying to build and that, maybe more importantly for fans, it is not thought the multi-millionaire will be pouring significant investment into the club.

The singer has been busy of late, performing his televised New Years Eve concert at the 02 Arena and he is set to fly out to China in the coming days, but was keen to declare his support for the new regime as soon as possible.

Even when Elton stood down in November he stated that he would always be a Watford fan and wished the team “every success in the future”.

But his relationship with Simpson and Ashton seemed to have reached an all time low and it resulted in him not only walking out but also withdrawing all his memorabilia from the Elton John Suite in the Rous Stand at Vicarage Road.

In the statement released before his resignation, the rock star said: “We know from other clubs that when stability and confidence go then there is a danger of plummeting freefall. I fear we could be facing that catastrophe.

“Voices other than my own have already asked the question of what has happened to the money from the sale of some of our best players and the parachute payments. Whatever investment the directors still have in the club is likely to be devalued if stability is not brought back.

“More than anything else, confidence must be brought back to the playing staff and a real sense that there is a future at the club. If the directors do not have that optimism then they should go.”

In the end he got his wish and both Simpson and Ashton have since left the club, and Elton’s likely return could be the first of several this month as Wilson looks to have at least a five-man independent board in place by the end of January.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Billy Elliot Opens in Melbourne! Japan, Germany Coming Soon


AFTER three weeks of previews, the unstoppable stage adaptation Billy Elliot the Musical opened last night at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne.

Starring Jamie Bell, the low-budget British film became a commercial success to rival The Full Monty, and earned three Oscar nominations. After singer Elton John saw it, he sobbed so much that he was compelled to bring it to the stage.

The resulting stage show is a multi-million-dollar production that has played in four cities to more than 2.5 million people.

The show opened in London's West End in May 2005, and is still running there. Billy hit Sydney in November last year, and is one of only three shows to have had a year-long season there in the past decade.

It began in New York in October, and its preview season started in Melbourne on December 13. More than 120,000 tickets have been sold here since August. Melbourne will be its last Australian stop because of the complexities of the set.

Productions are planned for Korea, Japan and Germany.

Among those at last night's opening night were singer Marina Prior, actor Magda Szubanksi, film director Fred Schepisi, tennis great Todd Woodbridge, television host Julia Zemiro and actors Samuel Johnson and Matthew Newton.

The honour of opening-night lead went to the dynamic Dayton Tavares, a 12-year-old Sydneysider. Dayton, who is one of five boys sharing the lead in Melbourne, auditioned for the role in 2006, but was too young to be accepted then.

Elton's New Year's Eve Spectacular


It was supposed to be Elton John's New Year party.

But, as it turned out, it was X Factor starlet Alexandra Burke who stole the limelight as she took to the stage at London's 02 Arena last night.

The 20-year-old led a countdown to 2009 after opening the show, linking arms with host Kate Thornton and fellow singer Will Young who also performed at the event.

But as she lapped up the cheers from the crowds, Elton waited in the shadows side stage ready to launch into Auld Lang Syne, which he crooned to as he tinkled along on his famous red grand piano.

The glitzy evening kicked-off to the sound of Alexandra's hit cover of the Leonard Cohen song Hallelujah, which received rapturous cheers.
After finishing she thanked the crowd and wished them all a happy New Year.

Following her performance, a breathless Alexandra told host Kate Thornton: ' It was amazing. I had the best time. I'm so happy.'

Elton, who has sold over 250million albums, put on the show in an evening which saw him take part in one of the biggest shows of his four-decade career before a 17,000-strong crowd, some who paid in excess of £100 for a ticket.

Speaking to Thornton before the concert started, Elton revealed he isn't really a fan of New Year and so is much more at ease on stage performing.

He said: 'I do not drink anymore. I've been sober for eighteen-and-a-half years so New Year is always a predicament for me because we usually don't do anything.

'I've never really liked New Year's Eve... never enjoyed it that much. I'm a musician and would rather be playing.'

Elton then performed the second song of the evening, Philadelphia Freedom, followed by I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues.

Next up he sang Daniel with Pop Idol winner Will Young - an interesting coupling when Elton's recent comments about shows like X Factor are taken into account.

Earlier in December, as Alexandra was crowned X Factor queen, Elton launched a diatribe against the show while performing a gig at the 02.

He told the audience at the time he would rather have his 'c*** bitten off by an Alsatian' than watch the ITV show. He also said he would be happy to lose his testicles in the process.

Following Elton and Will's rendition, Thornton questioned their pairing together, describing it as a little strange.

Elton looked on sullenly as Will said with an awkward smile, with just a hint of sarcasm: 'We met on the internet. We get on like a house on fire.'

Alexandra was then brought back on to the stage as the countdown began to New Year.

Following jubilant cheers from the crowd as the clock struck 12, balloons were released from the ceiling and a dramatic laser show began as Elton played Auld Lang Syne, followed by Pinball Wizard.

Then he gave an energetic performance of Saturday Night Is Alright For Fighting, which saw members of the audience invade the stage for a boogie.

He closed the event with his 1970s hit Your Song.

The show, which was screened live on ITV1, was conceptualised and designed by acclaimed photographer and good friend of Elton, David LaChapelle.

It proved to be a visual masterpiece which aimed to expresses the ups and downs of Elton’s extraordinary life, making it a personal journey for both him and his legions of fans.