Band: Elton John
Venue: Copps Coliseum, Hamilton ON
Date: February 8, 2014
Tour: Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Members Of The Band:
Elton John (Vocals, Piano)
Nigel Olsson (Drums and Vocals)
Davey Johnstone (Guitar and Vocals)
Kim Bullard (Keyboards)
Matt Bissonnette(Bass and Vocals)
John Mahon (Percussion and Vocals)
Comments: (Friday, February 7th) I can not remember the last time I have been this psyched for a concert. Ever since 1973 when a buddy of mine first played me his tape of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, I have been hooked. Immediately following, I eagerly sought out everything Elton, discovering his first album, Empty Sky, his first North American release, the eponymously titled Elton John album, and the highly underrated but personal favorite of mine, Tumbleweed Connection.
The first bootleg album I ever bought was Just Like Strange Rain (right), followed closely by it’s continuation All Across the Havens (left), both taken from the same 1974 Christmas gig performed at the Hammersmith Odeon in London England on December 24, 1974.
Elton and the boys played 25 songs that night. Why do I mention that? Well, if the set lists I have seen hold true to what I am going to see tomorrow evening then 13 of those 25 songs will still be in his set. Not to shabby, if you ask me. Not to mention the fact that two of Elton’s earliest members are still with him; drummer Nigel Olsson, John’s first touring drummer, who joined him for his gig at The Troubadour in Los Angeles, widely agreed upon as Elton’s breakthrough show. Davey Johnstone joined the band in 1972 for the recording of Honky Château and has been with EJ ever since.
Sadly by now, I’m sure your have come to realize that I am having a wicked bad case of digital diarrhea. I am trying my best to fill the time between now and tomorrows show with as much proof of how much and how long I have loved Elton and his music. I guess the only way to finish off for now is with this clip of the venerable British TV show, The Old Grey Whistle Test, who recorded that long ago 1974 Christmas Eve gig. If nothing else, I hope this can give you some sense of what it is that I have been waiting these 40 odd years to experience first hand. More to follow Après-Gig.
(Saturday, February 8th) So here I am on the evening of the show. One hour and 15 minutes before show time. I left in what I figured was good time to grab a bite to eat in Hamilton, grab my ticket from Will Call, peruse the tour merch, buy a program, take my seat and prepare to rock. On the drive I figured it might be prudent to swing by and grab my Will Call tickets first, then go grab something to eat. I even went so far as to call Copps Coliseum box office and ask what time Will Call was available. They were open now, I was informed (now being 5:30) and I could drop by anytime to grab my ticket. Cool shoes.
As I figured it might be, the area around Copps was crazy. There was no where that I could hop out of my car, hit Will Call and jump back in my car again so I looked for a parking spot that has one of those machines where you pay for a ticket which you then place on your dashboard. You see, my thinking was this; buy my ticket for the evening (well, until 10:00pm which was the maximum on the machine), go to will call, grab my ticket and, well, I’ve already expounded upon the rest. I even thought to GEO tag the parking spot, since I wound up three blocks west and two blocks south of the arena. It took me a while to find my way to the arena. Once I did, I hit the ticket office.
“Here to pick up my ticket,” I said, passing over the credit card I used for my purchase along with a piece of photo ID.
“Be right back,” replied my friendly neighbourhood ticket dude.
After a minute or two he was right back. Problem was, he had a sad look on his face, my credit card and ID but no tickets. Well, holy crap Batman.
“I’m sorry, these tickets haven’t been printed off yet.”
My look must have adequately expressed my feelings of Well, print them the fuck off.
“I can’t print them off just yet. They will be available at 7:00,” he hastened to add hopefully.
A quick bought of mental math told me that hanging around to grab my tickets and actually being able to enjoy a semi unrushed meal just weren’t going to coexist.
Reading my mind he quickly offered to try and print them off right there and then. Sadly, there was to be no joy. So, I left, following a route that I hoped against hope was going to see me find my way back to my vehicle. I found my vehicle and made my way to The Keg which is where I find myself now. Still excited, hoping my return trip to Will Call won’t delay me past the start of the concert. I’ve waited 40 years for this night. Surely the gods of rock ‘n’ roll wouldn’t be that cruel.
Funeral For A Friend / Love Lies Bleeding (General Motors Centre, Oshawa)
Grey Seal (Air Canada Centre)
Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting (Copps Coliseum, Hamilton)
Check out about 2:02 until 2:18 in. This is the point in time when I took these couple of photos
Your Song (Copps Coliseum, Hamilton)