It was a wet and dreary F1 U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas this year, but the weekend went out with a bang when Sir Elton John took the stage to close out the event on Sunday night!
Fans braved the mud on the new festival lawn located in the Circuit’s north infield to watch a turbocharged set featuring all of the iconic hits and classic album tracks spanning Elton’s incredible five-decade career. Whether they had been there all day for the race or came late just to see Elton, concert-goers were loud.
Accompanying Elton on stage was his band featuring, Nigel Olsson on drums (part of Elton’s original three-piece band) as well as musical director Davey Johnstone (who first recorded with Elton in 1971 and joined the band full-time a year later) on guitar, Matt Bissonette on bass, John Mahon on percussion, and Kim Bullard on keyboards.
The two hour set began with “The Bitch is Back” from Caribou, followed by three songs from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: “Bennie and the Jets,” “Candle in the Wind” and “All the Girls Love Alice.” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” came later.
Dressed in a navy blue suit coat, bedazzled with yellow and red flames, he had Rocket Man spelled out on his back. At age 68, Elton is as good as ever. The screens gave us a close-up look at the piano keys, which allowed us to watch the master at work. One of the most amazing musicians of our time, he never tired.
The set continued with “Levon,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Daniel,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues,” and “Rocket Man.”
Elton has always been so gracious at his shows, standing between songs to rile up the crowd and bow to each corner, usually giving a big wave to those sitting furthest away.
After dedicating “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to all the Grand Prix drivers, especially winner (and fellow Brit) Lewis Hamilton, he ran straight into “I’m Still Standing” and the crowd went wild before dancing along to “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting).” He left the stage, but only briefly before he came back to wow us with the encore – “Crocodile Rock.”
As the sun set on the stage, the crisp, beautiful night was a fitting end to an epic weekend.
By Elaine Krackau