Farewell Yellow Brick Road, a Longer Review

First, some more WordPress 5.0 grousing. I wonder if there’s some way to add, you know, visible lines outside this typing area. It feels weird just typing into a void like this.

I’ve seen most of my San Antonio concerts at the Tobin Center, the Majestic, or the Alamodome. My only times going to the AT&T Center have been for San Antonio Rampage hockey games, and one Spurs game. As a result, I thought that leaving an hour before the concert would certainly be enough time when travel time was only 20 minutes.

It totally wasn’t. After driving for nearly 50 minutes, the Uber left us off outside the building at 7:55 and then we had to get in line for security. And when the Uber dropped us off, there were lots of cars still trying to get in and when we were in line, there were lots of people in line behind us. One person behind us asked if we were sure the show started at 8 and that wasn’t when the doors opened.

I looked up the show at Setlist.fm it turns out that the first song we heard (while we were looking for our section), Bennie and the Jets, was the first song of the concert. So we didn’t miss much. I also think that a mohair suit sounds itchy.

I’m not going to go over the concert song by song, that’s what sites like Setlist.fm are for. Sir Elton’s voice is deeper now than it was when he first recorded most of these songs, courtesy of surgery on his vocal cords in 1987 and, of course, age has affected his voice as well, but he still gave an amazing concert.

He seemed to still have such joy in performing. I know he’s retiring from touring to spend time with his husband and kids, but I hope he continues performing. During one of the extended jam sequences (Levon, I think?), I wondered how someone who could play music like that could take drugs. I love music, listening to it and playing it (I sing and play the flute and piano and also have played in church handbell choirs) and I’m not amazing, but I always enjoy music so much that if I played anything like as well as Sir Elton does, I don’t know if I’d need any other high.

One of the most pleasant surprises of the night was Ray Cooper. Cooper is a multi-instrumentalist musician whose specialty is percussion. Sir Elton has gone on tours with Cooper where it was just Sir Elton on the piano and Cooper on percussion. He’s just that good. I was blown away and, as I mentioned in my last post, when Sir Elton introduced his band, I joined the people who gave Cooper a standing ovation.

I learned several things about Sir Elton that I hadn’t known before. The biggest one was that he hadn’t intended to become a rock star at all. He and Bernie Taupin (And why isn’t he Sir Bernard yet? Sure, Sir Elton is the face of the organization but the words are Taupin’s) had intended to be professional songwriters, but no one bought their songs, so Sir Elton sang them himself. Also, Taupin writes the words and then gives them to Sir Elton, who writes music to go with the pictures that Taupin’s words draw in his head.

I don’t know if it’s a Texas thing or an artifact of the fact that I’ve been focusing on seeing artists from my youth and so the other attendees are around my age and thus more . . . mature? old? boring? but I usually end up sitting among people who are not nearly as enthusiastic as I am to be there. The people behind us, for example, didn’t even applaud and when I looked back at them, their facial expressions looked like they were just waiting for the concert to end so that they could audit Sir Elton’s taxes or something.

So here’s the question. Should I: a. shell out more money for the next old person that I don’t want to miss and sit closer to the front? b. go to the next Reggaeton concert to come to town* and sit near where I usually sit and see if they’re more excited? c. go to see an old person somewhere else** and sit in my usual seat?

Gratuitous Amazon link time. This time, given the subject and the theme of the tour, I’ll choose Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. Also, this is the album that has my favorite of his songs, Candle in the Wind, on it.

*Nicky Jam is playing in Laredo in March. Since I think I’d have to go by myself, I don’t know if I feel comfortable spending two and a half hours on I-35 so that I can be the only 50-year-old white lady at a concert in a strange city where I don’t know anyone. Though I do hope to do more of that kind of thing once I leave Texas, so maybe I will. I have a couple of months to decide.

**Cher is on tour this year. Unfortunately, the closest she’s coming to Texas is Omaha. At least if I end up going to Omaha by myself, I might not know anyone but I know the city. I wonder if they’re running a shuttle from the Even Hotel like they did for Lady Gaga?

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