Last Saturday I went to the Elton John concert at Chesterfield’s super new football stadium.
When I was a student in the 70’s I only owned three albums (LP’s!) and Tumbleweed Connection was one of them. Since then I have always enjoyed his music and, whilst I don’t think I would travel any huge distance to see him live, this time he was too close to home to resist.
The previous time I saw him was when he performed in the park at Chatsworth House about ten years ago. It was the middle of June, perishing cold and it chucked it down all day and night. Seats were laid out precariously on the grass and we squelched our way through the mud to find our places wearing a full set of motorcycle waterproofs !!
Last Saturday, the weather was much kinder. Considering the torrential rain we had had the previous few days, the rain stopped mid-afternoon and, amazingly, the sun made an appearance part way through the concert.
First up were these two lads, called the “2 Cellos”. It seemed an odd choice for a supporting act to me but when they played “Highway to Hell” with just the drums to help I was convinced.
Elton did the right thing, played all his oldies and made everyone happy. There was lots of pink on stage – pink drums and Elton’s vivid pink satin shirt – just as it should be.
From my seat I couldn’t see him at all – he was much too far away at the other end of the pitch and I forgot to take my binoculars !! In any case the seats were incidental as the moment he came on stage everyone stood up and stayed standing up. So unless I had my stilts with me there was no way I was going to see anything. Luckily I was positioned with one of those huge screens right in front of me so I didn’t miss a thing.
When he played “Candle in the wind” shivers went down my spine and everyone sang along with him. When he played “Crocodile Rock” the audience burst into life.
Except for one woman, standing opposite me across the aisle. She stood absolutely rigid all night, staring at the screen with no expression at all, not even a smile crossed her face and she never clapped or cheered or tapped a foot. She seemed completely unmoved by the whole thing. There are some strange folk about.
The band were great and if I looked away from the stage towards the crowd, I could easily think I was back in the 1970’s, the sound was that good. Elton sang his heart out and did a fantastic job.
So it was a great night and an excellent venue. Big enough to get the big crowd atmosphere but getting away from the place was easy – much better than the concerts I have been to where there were 50,000 people and it takes hours to fight your way home. Mind you, Elton’s helicopter was buzzing over our heads before I got to the doughnut stall – why does live music always give you the munchies? – and no doubt he was tucked up in bed before I was.
Here’s a sample of the two lads on cellos for your amusement, and my favourite Elton John song ever.