Jane and I attended the Elton John concert this past Saturday night at the Coliseum. We are neither one huge EJ fans, but if Fort Wayne is able to pull in a legend like that - especially on a weekend - then I am all in favor of helping to support that. Plus he played a ton of the most influential radio music of our growing up years, so it was a nice trip down memory lane.
And I have to say, this was a great concert! It was just Elton and a grand piano. Nothing and no one else. There was a plain stage, no backdrop, nothing at all fancy. Just him and a piano. And he rocked it for 2 hours and 40 minutes. No breaks, no extended talking, just played hit after hit after hit. He would occasionally address the crowd between songs. Though brief, it was also meaningful and genuine. I am not easily impressed, but he impressed me immensely.
Apparently this concert set a record for ticket sales and attendance (in the neighborhood of 12,000). We bought our tickets online the day they went on sale (11,000 sold that day), and our seats were way at the top and in the corner. They said they were "limited view", but we actually had pretty good seats. While they were high, we were right beside the stage and were looking directly at him. We were in section 601, row 9, seats 19 & 20. Again, they were high, but they were good seats right over the stage. These tickets were $39, and by the time all the charges were added in it cost us a total of $100. I thought we did pretty good considering some friends were one section lower than us, but further from the stage, and there tickets were $140 EACH.
We had heard that traffic was going to be bad, so we left home at 7 pm. It would normally have taken 15-20 minutes to get there, but as we approached the Coliseum traffic was backed up pretty bad trying to get into the parking lot. We ended up parking waaaay in back (section Q), and after walking straight in and getting to our seats it took us 45 minutes. So it wasn't terrible, but the traffic was a bit nuts for awhile. We decided to leave our seats just before the last song and we listened to it from the concourse. Then when we heard him finish we headed out. So we were one of the first ones out and drove right out of the parking lot with no wait. I could not believe how many cars were parked in the grass and in all sorts of "non" parking spaces.
The people around us were pretty interesting. I didn't think anyone was going to sit beside Jane for a long time, but finally someone came. I think the ushers were just trying to plug people in anywhere they could, and I didn't see an empty seat anywhere. There was an old couple right in front of us - I mean like NINETY-ish looking. I felt sorry for them, because the man was pretty old himself, but the woman didn't really know where she even was. They both held their ears for most of the show. And every time someone from their row needed to get by them the old woman would yell at them and want to know why she needed to move. It was a little funny, but mostly sad. I was actually kind of surprised at the number of old people there, and also the number of redneck-looking people there. Just seemed kind of weird. The only real disappointment to the night was that we didn't ever walk around - just went right to our seats and walked right to the parking lot before very many others left - so I didn't get to people-watch too much. For some odd reason I like looking at crowds about as much as anything at things like this. Oh well, it was still a very nice time, and it was kind of nice to get home at a decent time too. Our friends that were there said it took them 45 minutes to get out of the parking lot.
All told, I thought this was money well spent and would do it again in a heartbeat. It always helps to be there with a beautiful woman too. :)