Gallery: Pop superstar Elton John performs to sell-out crowd in Colchester
- Credit: Gregg Brown
I expect if you ask the average Colchester United fan they would admit that there has not been an awful lot of entertainment on offer at the Weston Homes Community Stadium of late.
That certainly changed as Elton John took to the temporary stage at the home of the U’s, with a packed crowd roaring him on from the very start.
The superstar kicked things off with a hat-trick of tracks from classic album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, which is now 40 years old, including epic opener Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding to launch the proceedings.
As he was rattling off pop masterpieces such as Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer and Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting, interspersed of course with some lesser-known tracks from more recent offerings, it was a brilliantly entertaining reminder of one of pops most talented songwriters and enduring showmen.
Wearing a spangly Rocket Man coat, the diminutive star sparkled in the distance, easily spotted by those furthest back in the stands.
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Plastic ponchos, rain coats and wet hair are not quite what Elton’s grown used to in recent years following a stint in Las Vegas but the early-evening downpours couldn’t dampen the spirits of an eager Colchester crowd.
And things took a little while to get going – a shame as some of the set highlights, including a blistering Grey Seal, were at the front-end of the set.
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By nearly two hours into a mammoth set, almost everyone was finally standing for I’m still Standing, followed by a breakneck Bitch is Back and the stadium was rocking at last as Elton and his slick band hit their stride in style.
The encore featured a sing-a-long Your Song and a pumping Crocodile Rock and even after two-and-a-half hours, the crowd still wanted more.
Some over-zealous stewarding didn’t help get people into the party spirit, but overall the organisers seemed to have planned the first ever gig on the pitch pretty well.
A well-known football fan himself, Elton told the crowd he had enjoyed many trips to Layer Road in the past, but like for many shivering on the pitch and for much of the night too self-conscious to get up and dance to the music, it was his first time at the WHCS.
The signs are good that more big names will stop off in the future after such a successful debut concert.
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
Bennie and the Jets
Candle in the Wind
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
All the Girls Love Alice
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
I’m Still Standing
The Bitch Is Back
Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘n Roll)
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting