Saturday, November 21, 2015

Elton Lands in Wellington

The Rocket Man has landed in Wellington.

Legendary rock star Elton John touched down in the capital at 2.47 this afternoon, ahead tonight's concert at Westpac Stadium.

All the main hotels in the city said this morning they were booked to the brim, with pubs and restaurants expecting a busy night too.

There is no rain forecast for tonight, with temperatures expected to hover around the 15 degrees mark, though there will be fresh northerlies.

The 68-year-old rocker jetted in privately from Sydney, after his last concert in Tokyo. He will leave straight after Saturday night's show for his next date in Hong Kong.

Concert promoter Phil Sprey said only a handful of tickets were left, with a crowd close to 30,000 set to pack out the stadium.

Tonight is the fifth time Elton John has played in Wellington, and Sprey is picking it to be the last. Despite that, it was a challenge to get bums on seats for his final show.

"It's been the toughest concert we have had because there are so much stuff going on in the country. There are so many artists in the older demographic playing. We are well ahead of the game promoting, and Elton is Elton."

Many are anticipating the star will dedicate a song to the victims of last weekend's Paris terror attacks, but his notorious unpredictability meant Sprey had no idea what the song choices would be, though he was sure all the hits would be played.

"What people come for is a great mix of all the classics.

"I could tell you all sorts of things, [but] he will turn up on the night and do something different."

Long-time fan Julie Moss said she had followed Elton's climb to fame while growing up in England. Now living in Invercargill, she has flown up to see her hero play her favourite song.

"Bennie and the Jets is such a great sing-a-long. After you have a few wines. you can really get into it and have a jig around."

New Zealand trio Sol3 Mio are opening the concert, with Elton expected to be on stage about 8.45pm.

The Westpac Stadium was packed to the rafters as fans gathered to watch Elton John perform in Wellington for the fifth time, and according to concert promoter Phil Sprey, perhaps his last here.

Before the concert Wellington was abuzz with people starting to head towards Westpac stadium.

Bars, pubs and restaurants are packed, with one couple saying they were struggling to find somewhere to eat.

"I hope he plays some stuff from the Lion King. I love those songs. And Candle In The Wind, that's a classic."

New Zealand trio Sol3 Mio opened for the concert, with Elton taking over the stage at 8.45pm.

A few sound issues during the first song had meant the concert got off to a shaky start but these were fixed later.

As he was belting out some of his famous hits, Elton struck a chord with the Kiwi crowd when he dedicated Don't Let The Sun Do Down On Me to the late Jonah Lomu.

During Candle in the Wind the stadium lit up with phone torches as thousands waved their phones above their heads.

- Stuff

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