Saturday Night’s Alright

Well, that was worth the wait.

Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road finally came to Milwaukee Saturday night and it turned out to be a gorgeous extravaganza of music, showmanship and sweet memories.

My sister Kathy (who, as a little girl, used to take her allowance money and bike downtown to buy records every week) and I loved every minute of Sir Elton’s three-hour show. He played his way through our childhood and we sang and danced along.

At 72-years old, Elton tickles the ivory so vigorously you worry a little about those keys, and he maintains a robust voice. The septuagenarian version of Elton John still winks a lot, but he also seems to be sweetly grateful for all that he’s experienced and confident in the legacy he’ll leave behind.

So. Much. Fun!

“I’ve had enough applause to last me a million lifetimes,” he said and we responded by rising to our feet and giving him some more.

Scampering along beside him on his Yellow Brick Road tour are many of the same excellent musicians who have played with him for 50 years.

We particularly enjoyed the antics of the ageless percussionist Ray Cooper. He, along with Davey Johnstone (guitar and vocals), Nigel Olsen (drums and vocals), Matt Bissonette (bass guitar), John Mahon (Percussion), Kim Bullard (keyboards) and John Jorgenson (guitar), seem like they’re having as much fun as anyone else in the room.

That’s a whole lot of fun.

Elton seems pretty set on this whole retirement thing.

“I have a family now,” he said. “My life is very different. I have to make a change.”

And, when a man takes three years to say good-bye, you figure it’s going to stick. I hope he changes his mind though. I’d love to see him perform again.

Meanwhile, I’m really glad I had the opportunity to see Elton John live. That concert was one of the best I’ve ever seen.

I wasn’t sure what a 72-year old Elton John had to offer. Turns out, a lot.
By the time confetti dropped from the ceiling, we’d seen nearly three straight hours of Elton John, a musician for the ages. I was thrilled to be there.
Candle in the Wind.
Rocket man.
Occasionally, Elton pointed out toward the crowd. My sister Kathy took this personally.
He’d point in our direction. And she’d point back.
“I got you, Elton!” she’d yell. Then, she’d turn to me. “Did you see? Elton pointed at me.” She cracks me up.
Drummer Ray Cooper was almost as fun to watch as Elton himself. They make a great team and first played together at the Royal Festival Hall in 1972.
This is Kathy and me riding high after an amazing show.
Some day, I’ll tell my children I was there when Elton John played Fiserv. (I mean, that day is today because they all four read my blog. But, still, it was one of those Once in a Lifetime evenings and I am so grateful we were able to be there.

Here’s a taste of the magic…

And here’s a taste of his magic fingers…

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