Sunday, November 21. 8PM. Lakeland, FL
My friends Amma, Rose, JD, and I drove to Lakeland to see Sir Elton John. Needless to say, we were beyond excited! Except it felt a little weird whenever anyone asked what I was doing Sunday night, and I just responded, "Going to see Elton John." I mean, who does that? Clearly, we do! And clearly, we had to listen to Elton John songs the entire way there.
First, JD made us stop at BD's Monglian Grill. I wouldn't be surprised if he was really looking forward to that more so than Elton. After a quick dinner, we had about an hour to kill. So we went to a book store. You know you're in grad school when your friends can spend around 45 minutes in a book store and LOVE it.
After the book store, we made a pit stop at Starbucks. Observation of the night: It is NEVER cold enough in Florida to warrant drinking hot cocoa. But it was still delicious!
Then... the show!
Rose had tipped us as to who was performing with him. His name is Leon Russell, and apparently he is legendary (look him up! He has a rockin' ZZTop look going).
Here was the order of the show: Elton came out long enough to prove that we all worship him, and he introduced Leon. Leon Played. Leon Left. Elton Played. Leon & Elton Played together. Leon Left. Elton Played.
I think the coolest thing about the entire show is the relationship between Elton & Leon. Leon has always been Elton John's idol and his inspiration. How cool is that? For somebody as much of a living legend as Elton is, it was really refreshing to see how much he admires Leon, and how mutually honored they both were to record an album and perform together. I'm sure Elton is living one of his dreams of playing with one of his main influences.
Leon was good! I can appreciate his legacy and I recognized one or two of his songs- "A Song for You" is a classic. He is definitely past his prime and his voice is fading, but he was fun to watch.
The two of them playing together was really special. Some of their songs were really good- I recommend "The Best Part of the Day," a song from their album together.
But let me tell you, Elton was unbelievable. Easily one of the coolest concerts and best performances I have ever seen. For being 60+, that man can absolutely kill it! His songs made most people get up and start dancing. He can't hit the high notes like he used to, but his voice was so powerful! One of the favorites was "Rocket Man." Obviously a great song, but the best part was when he busted out into about a 10 minute improv solo. It was remarkable to watch. "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me." "Candle in the Wind." "Bennie & the Jets." "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." "Tiny Dancer." Hit after unbelievable hit. A few notable songs were left out. I thought he was going to end with "Crocodile Rock" to leave everyone on an amazing high. He didn't play it. His encore started with a solid seven minutes of him signing autographs and shaking the hands of those in the front row. Because he's Elton John.
The FUNNIEST part of the show was in between every song, he would stand up and start pointing at random people in the crowd. He seems to have this "I'm Elton John, I was freaking knighted. I can do whatever I want." And it was awesome! During his pointing parades, we would spit out the jokes. "I hope he points at me!" And my favorite- from Rose, "You get a car! You get a car! YOU get a car!"
His encore song was "Your Song." One of my favorite songs of all time. The four of us swayed back & forth belting the words out. Chills.
Words can not describe how amazing this show was.
"My gift is my song, and this one's for you."