That's why he was singing the blues
By Jonathan Barnes WHOEVER heard of a rock superstar being on time? Well, Sir Elton John was punctuality itself last night as he signalled the return of stadium rock to Suffolk after a 12-year wait.
By Jonathan Barnes
WHOEVER heard of a rock superstar being on time?
Well, Sir Elton John was punctuality itself last night as he signalled the return of stadium rock to Suffolk after a 12-year wait.
The 20,000-plus fans were still streaming into Portman Road when the slightly rotund figure of Sir Elton appeared on stage precisely on time.
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It set the tone for a thoroughly grown-up evening of rock music, which was sedate rather than raunchy, but absolutely spot on for the audience.
Neat rows of seats on the football pitch were occupied by many Elton John fans who had been with him since the early days.
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Even the man himself has calmed down since the days of outrageous on-stage suits. Last night he was sporting a red shirt and black military-style suit complete with epaulettes.
It took a little while to get the audience dancing in the aisles - half an hour in fact before the strains of Philadelphia Freedom persuaded several hundred to leave their seats and strut their stuff.
The fans lapped it up as Sir Elton played his way through 30 years of hits. It all proved that Suffolk deserves to see Premier League stars like this more often.
Whether we do see more stars of Sir Elton's calibre will no doubt depend largely just how big a positive effect it has on Ipswich Town's bank balance.
Speaking before his Portman Road show, Sir Elton told BBC Radio Two DJ Steve Wright that he was enjoying playing live “more than ever”.
Fresh from four outlandish shows in Las Vegas, he spoke of his enthusiasm for playing a string of major gigs back in the UK.
“I'm just having a great time. I'm really enjoying it, more than ever. There's going to be a time when I don't tour as much, but I've got a new album coming out and I'll be touring that next,” said Sir Elton.
“If you're a musician, you want to play live. I don't want to be mean, but there are a lot of people who are a product of the MTV generation and can't play live. So people like me get more people coming to see them.”
Sir Elton added his band were “itching” to play material off the new album, but would be holding off for the moment.
He also admitted he sometimes forgot the words to some of his best-known hits.
“Sometimes you get tired, thinking about where you're going tomorrow or what time you're going to get up, then think 'What's the next line?',” confessed Sir Elton.
“I've even forgotten the words to Your Song, which is embarrassing as I've sung it so many times.”
The superstar, speaking on Wright's afternoon show, said he now had “20/20 vision” after having implants in his eyes.
“I've got thousands of spectacles. But I now wear non-prescription sunglasses, so they are sitting there doing nothing. I feel an auction coming on,” he added.
Sir Elton also joked about his famous tantrums, saying he would “fly over losing my temper and go straight to rage” and added: “Now people just say, 'Here he goes again'.”
Sir Elton, whose new album is out in November, also has a play soon to hit Broadway and is playing a benefit gig for the Royal Academy of Music next week.