Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sir Elton John

Early September Tracey and I had the privilege of seeing Sir Elton John in person !!

I have always wanted to see Elton John in concert and a few years ago he was playing in London ON, but I wasn’t able to go and I always regretted it.  So when I found out that he was coming to Sarnia, I knew I just HAD to go! Sir Elton John was coming to our area. I just couldn’t believe it.   This is just too good to be true.

Quickly, I called Tracey and asked her if she and Paul wanted to go and I would pick up the tickets when I went to work in Sarnia.  In the midst of our excitement to see Captain Fantastic we come to discover that the day the tickets go on sale, was when we would be at Brentwood for our cross stitch retreat.  The problem; the last time we were at Brentwood – they only had dial-up for the Internet. Crap!  Now what will we do.

Quickly, I called Brooke.  I knew she was going because she is the one I found out from that Elton was coming to Sarnia.   Brooke was only too happy to help me get tickets.  Phhheewwww!

Off to Brentwood we go and I had packed both my new laptop and iPad (yes…I was spoiled rotten on my birthday !) to take to Brentwood.   Even though I knew we would not have Internet, I could still use my cross stitch program on my computer and learn how to use my iPad.  Upon arriving, we discover that Brentwood now has high speed.  Woooo whoooo ! 

Ticket day arrives and warm up my laptop in plenty of time to jump on the website the second the clock hits the top of the hour.  First I had to register with the box office in order to allow me to make purchases and it clearly stated that I could only purchase 6 tickets and no more.

Allow me to make a long story short (too late…)
  • Tickets went on sale at 10am until 6pm and would then be cut off
  • Prices were either $159 or $91
  • Tracey and Paul justified us only spending $91 – because there really are no bad seats in the area; great idea
  • None of the $91 tickets would allow me to complete the purchase so after a few hours,  I made the executive decision to purchase the $159 tickets because I knew I would not regret it;  I told Tracey, if you don’t want them, I’ll be able to sell them; no worries.  She agreed we should get the $159 tickets
  • The website couldn’t handle the traffic and kept crashing all day
  • Multiple times I had tickets ready to purchase and each time I hit check out; it crashed again
  • I opened the iPad and downloaded an app to purchase tickets from a different website
  • Tracey got on the complimentary computer at Brentwood
  • Anita was trying to phone in to get tickets
  • The three of us were attempting four different ways to get these tickets
  • In the frustration of the day, Brooke emailed me and said that she gave up
  • By 5:55pm I finally got a step further than I had all day – and it said I had 6 seats in a suite.  Sweet!!!   I figured with the influx of ticket sales, perhaps they opened up some of the ‘community suites’.  I shook my head and thought…this isn’t right, but I didn’t care: I just wanted my tickets
  • Purchase;  click; confirmed; confirmation mailed; WOOOOOOOOOOOO WHOOOOOOOOOOO!!
We could finally relax.  I finally had my Elton John tickets!!   No more computers!  The rest of the weekend was for cross stitching ONLY.  Tracey and I had a few conversations about the ticket sales and our luck at finally getting tickets just 5 minutes before it closed.  I said to Tracey, “I’m not getting too excited about this until I have the tickets IN my hands”

On the day I went to pick up the tickets, the box office personnel said to me, “There was a problem with your tickets…” – GASP – she must have seen the look on my face and she quickly added…”you still have tickets!” –  Phew! – “There was a glitch in the system and you were not supposed to get tickets for a suite, those are private sales”
I wondered if the suite was a mistake, so where are my seats then?
“Well we have 6 tickets for you, but they are singles”
“They are single tickets.”
“Meaning none of your seats are together”.
NONE of the tickets are together?
“Well we wanted to make sure you GOT tickets”
Well where are the tickets then?
She pointed to 6 completely  different seats in completely different areas.
Are you KIDDING me?
Well we wanted to make sure you had tickets.  You don’t have to take them.
I said, well, I’m not taking them today because the other 5 tickets are for friends – I’ll have to check with them to see what they want to do and I’ll let you know.  And I walked away without the tickets.

I came home and told my daughter and she said, “Mom, don’t lay down on this.  These things are NEVER sold out.  They can fix this!”

Then when all my friends found out they couldn’t sit together, the all opted out of their tickets;   Including Tracey and Paul.  But a voice inside of me said, Don’t give up Bonnie.  Tracey is still going to go with you; I just know it.   Then it just so happened that Tracey had to have a procedure and what was the date – you got it… the same night as the concert.  So I guess I better look at selling those two tickets after all.  Damn, I was so sure.  Then for some reason I dragged my feet on selling the last two tickets.   One night a friend was over and I almost asked her if she and her husband wanted the tickets and a little voice inside me said… no… you just hang on to those tickets.   The next day Tracey emailed me and said, - “They moved my procedure – I can still go to Elton.  Do you still have the tickets??”

Dear Followers:  ALWAYS listen to that little voice inside of you!

Having said ALL that – we got the ticket issue resolved, I was able to sell the other tickets and Tracey & Paul and my friend Theresa and I went out to dinner before the show.  During the dinner, the restaurant was playing one of Elton’s concerts on all the tv’s in the restaurant; pumping everyone up for the show.  (I have since checked out and found the same concert and purchased it)  During the concert, the song 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight came on' and I said, oh... this song.  And everyone was like...What? you don't like this song.  Yes, I like this song, but I am so tired of it.  I heard it a million times when the kids watched The Lion King and I used it in my Aqua-Fit classes and we listened to it 3 times a week for 2 years before I changed the music;  I'm just Tired of it that's all.

Dinner at Norms Pub with Paul, Tracey, Theresa and myself.

I love Elton John;  as a teen in the 70’s – I would sit for hours with his “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album.  It was a tri-fold and it had all the lyrics to every song.  So cool.  Hours and Hours. Who else had this album?  At present, I cannot find mine!!  I cannot imagine having thrown it out; but alas – I have looked everywhere!  Oh well.
Hours and hours spent listening to this album and reading it from cover to cover.

If you look really close - you can see Benny - she's really keen.
She's got electric boots, a mohair suit - you know I read it in a blog magazaaeeeeeene. Oh hoooooe.
Enough Bonnie:  Off to the concert – the followers fans are waiting.   …OH and I forgot to mention, that Brooke decided  to go to the concert after all and she was able to secure tickets on line, 7 days before the show, AND she got fourth row center seats.  Unbelievable.  Lucky lucky girl.  I asked her for some pics for the blog, but she was so disappointed because all of hers turned out blurry. Awwwwwww.

Sir Elton John, AKA Captain Fantastic, arrived on time and as always – in Fashion. Elton opened the concert with ‘The One’, followed by a dedication to his recently deceased band member of 20 years and then a dedication to his young son.   Almost every song he sang, he gave a short introduction to its history.  I particularly enjoyed hearing that 'Your Song' was the song that launched his career and how he knew he just had to find the right melody to go with the lyrics written by Bernie Taupin.  And for whatever song Elton didn't give us the history on... we were fortunate enough to have Paul fill us in.  Paul was amazing us all night with all his knowledge of Elton's song histories.   Well done you Paul !

When he first started to sing I said, "He's got a cold".   And someone snickered and said, 'nooooo he sounds fine'.  But then the next day it was announced that he was sick and had to cancel his show in Peterborough.  We were sooooo lucky that we were able to see him and it's a true testament as to what a committed performer he is. (he did commit to a make up show for the one he had to cancel) 

Did I mention that the entire show was done solo?  Just Elton and his piano and man oh man, while we all know he can play, watching those fingers on those ivory keys was absolutely amazing.  With monitors at different angles – you didn’t miss a thing.   It was fascinating to watch.  (When we left the show, I had said to Paul – “he almost plays as well as Schroeder” – Paul was like… “who?” 

His outfit was, of course, flashy and the entire back was sequined in silver with red sequins spelling out Fantastic.  I have always heard that he puts on a fantastic show and that he did.  He never took a break once and played almost 3 hours straight.  Each time he finished a song he would stand and take a bow and he always made sure he circled the entire stage, waved and ensured that everyone could see him and take a photo of him straight on. 

Captain Fantastic himself.
Can you even believe, that these are the $91 tickets?
How many songs can I remember that he sang?  Oh my goodness... nerd that I am, I actually wanted to write down the name of each song that he sang and I thought...OMG Bonnie, if you do that, do you know how many people will think you are ridiculous?? So I didn't.  Then low and behold, two people asked which songs did he sing?  Did he sing this.... did he sing that...?   Rocket Man, Philadelphia Freedom,  Nikita, Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me, Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word, Your Song, Tiny Dancer (or Tony Danza for all your 'Friends' fans), Candle in the Wind, Sacrifice, Believe, Someone Save My Life Tonight, Levon, I'm Still Standing, ... the list goes on.... and I wished it could have gone on for much much longer.

He entertained a sold out crowd and had everyone on their feet multiple times and I was amazed at the excitement in the area and I just couldn’t imagine what it would have been like had the entire band been on stage.   On my bucket list # 47:  to go to Vegas and see him perform with his entire band.  

When the show was over, he did of course do an encore.   And the song he played... You guessed it.  Can You Feel the Love Tonight.  Well we all looked at each other and burst out laughing.  I know I felt the love that night.  I love Elton John and I am so blessed to have been able to go to this concert with some of my friends that I love most !   When he was finished playing he made sure to circle the stage allowing for pictures again and he shook hands with many fans and then stood for awhile longer while people handed him ticket stubs, t-shirts and even his recent book for him to autograph.  He is a true entertainer.

I spoke with one of my friends who was sitting in the $91 seats and she was right at the aisle where Elton made his entrance.  She said when he left he walked through a set of curtains and he stopped to allow pictures taken with a few young children and he stood for awhile there and gave some autographs, then she saw him get in his limo and leave. 
Dear piggy bank .... Vegas awaits.... let's talk.



The Merry Stitcher said...

That's an amazing opportunity! I'm so glad you all had a fun time at the concert. I remember that album too :)

jayne@~an eye for threads~ said...

So glad everything worked out for you all to be together that evening. Thank you for the story and WOW.

Kerry said...

Hi there,
Glad you had such a good time at the Elton John concert, my cousin Keren who lives in Petrolia went too. She loved it as much as you. She was singing his praises.
Hope all the 4 from Forest and your family's have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Catherine said...

Fantastic night! Too bad you had all the drama before getting there! We saw him perform years ago with Billy Joel. Their pianos back to back. Solo performances followed by both of them performing together ~ you are so right, he puts on a phenomenal show!

Carolyn @ The Baseball Stitcher said...

What a great post! I loved reading it! I used to have that album, too. In 1984, I was living in San Antonio, TX and he was playing in Houston and my friends had an extra ticket and asked me to go with them. I didn't. I regretted later!

Just found your blog and looking forward to reading more!

Lizzy said...

Just found your blog and have been sitting here enjoying all the wonderful stories and lovely stitching ~ so happy you all got to see Sir Elton despite the obstacles ~ just shows what one can achieve with a wee bit of perseverance! Cheers and Blessings~ Lizzy

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