... "That's where we meet, me and you rendezvous in the club at the end of the street" ...
Leap ahed of the review all in all a terrific evening, would like to conserve it for ever!
Had reservations on Rocket Backstage Passes and Rocket Tickets, so the first thing to do was when I arrived at noon at the Cologne Arena to check for the Tickets, but no one there knew something about the Rocket Tickets and Backstage Passes, they told me to return at fore evening ticket counter, they will have them. So I spend I nice day sightseeing Cologne, and returned to pick up the Tickets and Passes.
The tickets where in the middle of the second row (turned out to be the best tickets I ever had, Thanks to eltonjohn.com!!) With the Passes came a nice little piece of paper on which was written where to meet for the Backstage Hospitality Room. Entering the Arena, no one of the Arena personal exactly knew where that should be. But finally we stood there in front of a door with a sign on it that Rocket Members meet here for Hospitality Room. Everyone was exited, some had been to the Hospitality Tent in Hamburg and told what had happened there. The door opened and we were led to a dressing room (the cologne Arena is use for sport events too). There was a table with some soft drinks and some snacks, the eltonjohn.com placard didn't want to stick at the wall and was fallen down. We were informed by a German Lady that the "master of ceremonies" (sorry folks I'm not good at remembering names) will tell us what will happen and whether we would need her help for translating because all the persons that will talk to us speak only english. Everyone sad it is okay without translation, and so she left to pick up the missing Rocket Members that still were expected. The "master of ceremonies" looked around recognizing that some of the crowd has been to Hamburg too. He joked about that and said that for them he might repeat himself but the others hadn't heard the story, he told us that he will go around and try to find some interesting people to bring them in and we were asked to feel free to ask them questions, and to fill out a questionnaire, that will be used to make eltonjohn.com even better. First he brought in Clive Franks, the man responsible for the sound, and touring with Elton John since 1972, everything that we hear during the show is live no tapes ore hidden musicians, because of the special piano he can generate and mix the sound. After that he brought in, he's the flower and gift boy he joked, and the question that might have been on everyone's mind was asked: What happens to the flowers, cards and gifts that are given to Elton John? Answer: They are put into Elton Johns quick changing room, so he sees them, and he takes what he likes the rest of the flowers is used by Suzy for decorating the next events dressing room if the flowers make it till there. The rest of the other gifts is put in a box and tour with the crew. He also is responsible for the logistical part of the tour (or was it the next person I'm not sure). The next person introduced to us, tunes Eltons piano, he tours with elton since the mid 80'th, the piano is about 9 years old, they have 12 Trucks to transport everything. He also explained how the electronic signals are generated, that are used by Clive. Underneath the piano keys are small electronical contacts, and when a key is pushed not only the string of the grand piano is hit by a wooden hammer but also a etectronical signal is produced. He is the one to bush the button that switches the grand piano to an electronic one, Elton has no influence on that. The last person brought in was one of the lightning crew, that told us because of the indoor situation here we will be able to see the whole light effects that get lost during open air locations, when it is not dark, and that the heavy parts of the American stage decoration they cant ship to Europe because of the weight. Okay hope I did remember everything right. After that we were told to stay closely together because we will go out for a backstage tour. We went to Clives mixing console, and to the steps up to the stage. We were allowed to take photos of the empty stage. The persons that had been to Hamburg know now that's it, the tour is over. Suddenly we were told to return to the Hospitality Room and everyone was starting to get nervous what does that mean? It was pretty late 15 minuets before the concert should start. It's too late to meat Elton, that can't be. But it's never to late! The tension was sensible. Everyone crowded behind the Hospitality Room door and when (I think it was Eltons Manger but I'm not sure) came in he nearly was scared because of the crowed, so close to the door. He asked us to step back and told us that it would take 5 minutes till Elton John would come in, he isn't dressed jet. We were told to form two groups against two different walls of the rooms, Elton will come in and a photo of each group with Elton will be taken, that we can download from eltonjohn.com. A German security guy came in and told us how to behave, we shouldn't ask for autographs, or tell him what we always wanted to tell him, there is not enough time for such things. The security guy's last words were: we are all grown up, so behave like that. And than finally the door opened and Sir Elton John stepped in and said hello into the round. What he wore you can see on eltonjohn.com, a scarlet suit, with the sparkling letters Medusa on its back, a glittering silver shirt underneath, yellow framed glasses and bright yellow shoes (no earring). Everyone behaved brave and the photos were taken. As quick as he came in he stepped out. The persons close to the door had the chance for some quick words and a handshake. We were escorted out of the Hospitality Room and went for our seats.
The seats couldn't have been better right angle to look at Eltons Face, watching him pull faces. The show started 10 or 15 minutes later as scheduled. The Audience was a little stiff, but the "real fans" tried to electrify them. Elton did a little bit of talking during the songs especially before Ticking. No one was allowed to stay at the stage but persons with gifts were allowed to hand them to Elton. After Burn Down The Mission People rushed to the stage for autographs, and Elton started to sign. One of the security guys tried to push people away (and I mean that physically)and shouting: only people with gifts the rest sit down, to one girl he threatened: sit down or I throw you out of the arena. A other security guy stood motionless beside him obvious overtaxed with the situation, him I asked whether or not it is allowed to get an autograph he told me to try and I did get the cover of my Made in England LP signed. After that everyone sat down again. Having such a good few at Elton sometimes was nearly irritating, when I had the intention that he directly looked at me, I was afraid of staring at him, and hoping that he sees how much fun we had. Would like to book that seat for every Elton John concert in the future. For Take Me To The Pilot Elton played a long opening, great fantastic, unique! After that song the fans ran for the stage, not only the fans but that fury security guy, too. He pushed people around trying to get them away from the stage. Renate a friend of mine was not the only one having a dark blue effusion of blood the other day, on here right leg from that guy. It had to be Eltons Personal to get the guy away. The guy went of and the fans had there time. For the second encore Elton returned in a whit and blue jogging suit. It was visible that Elton had really fun playing that night. I took photos but unfortunately they are not developed jet and I wont have a chance to scan them in till the middle of august.
The Greatest Discovery
Someone Saved My Live Tonight
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Carla / Etude / Tonight
Burn Down The Mission
Take Me To The Pilot
Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me
Circle Of Live
Bennie & The Jets
Candle In The Wind
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