Friday, November 30, 2012

My Melbourne & Launceston Review

Melbourne is my home town. Although not originally included on the tour, it was added to replace a concert in Mackay that was unable to proceed dude to engineering issues. Rod Laver Arena is a great venue - excellent acoustics, versatile design and great location. I have a lot of personal memories from RLA. This is where I first saw Elton live back in 2006.

Schmidt played their last show in Australia. Things started well and the audience seemed to really get behind their groove. It was really sad to see the lead guitar amp failing and the subsequent loss of guitar to a couple of tracks. They rocked the last number and got a fantastic ovation. Such warm, talented people and I look forward to catching up with them again.

Tonight's show was very exciting, Zachary was being held by a nanny on the wings of the stage watching Daddy play the piano. Looking adorable with his little earmuffs on. Elton spoke about showing Zachary the city and what a great day they had together. Zac's presence really boosted Elton's mood and he belted out the hits with real exuberance. Davey handed me a pick and I managed to get a lovely smile and cheeky grin from Elton as he observed my sparkling costume.

It was however very upsetting to hear Elton admit that he is getting old. I knew this day would come but it still surprised me to hear him say 'you know I love it here, I love coming back here. I don't know how many times I will be able to come back, but you know I will.' I really hope he is able to, and that this is not the start of a slow down in international touring that will inevitably come.

Launceston, Tasmania is a lovely semi-rural, semi-urban centre surrounded by beautiful natural attractions. It apparently has a large pharmaceutical industry based around opiate production - something a friendly taxi driver told me, I thought I might share it with you. Both myself and Sir Elton have now played and subsequently watched a concert in every state and territory in Australia. It's geographic isolation while beautiful creates headaches for Elton's logistics team, a delayed ship transporting the production touring trucks was late by enough hours that apparently the 2Cellos act was almost cut too accommodate the delay. Thank god Michael Gomez, Dennis McManus and the load-in crew were able to work like the wind and have everything ready in time.

The Silverdome is a small venue designed for cycling. It lacks many of the facilities larger arena's offer, however it makes up for this with friendly people and an intimate experience. The local audience gave Elton & the band a fabulous sendoff for China and we were rewarded with masterful showmanship and a special adjustment to the set. Sacrifice was swapped out for Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word -  a lovely farewell to the 2Cellos who featured prominently in this track.

An extra special moment came when Elton dedicated Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me to 'everyone that has come to all my shows on the Australian tour'. Thanks Elton! Your recognition means a lot to me. Elton even took the time to sign a poster for me as his bodyguard assisted him on the stage in what seemed to be a very rushed attempt at audience interaction.

As the final chords to Circle of Life dissipated into the Tasmanian air, Elton was off, heading for China. To make the tour even more special for me, Nigel via his drum tech Chris gave me his drumsticks used during the concert. Thanks Chris & Nigel for making my 20th Elton John concert a most memorable event. A special thanks to Rick, Dale, Kim, Davey & John for being so kind and generous to me during the tour too. God bless. Also I should thank Chugg Entertainment for bringing Elton back to Australia for us to enjoy. I spotted Chuggi in Launceston looking excited to see a good friend and great artist at home in Launceston. Cheers Michael and thanks so much for all your hard work.

What a magical tour it was. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all my site followers and friends from around Australia and the world, it certainly will be something I will never forget. Thanks for reading about my travels and supporting my site.

Until next year...

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