Countdown begins for Elton John show

NOT ANOTHER rock concert but this event has created enough excitement and anticipation in its own way. Especially among the thirty-plus and those older. Elton John, the blues and ballads singer, may be a bit past his prime at 55, but has plenty of fans among the older lot.

Chances are he may win over many younger fans after Saturday's concert, "One Night Only", in Palace Grounds.

Since his Lion King numbers are known to the sub-teens, some parents may have to buy tickets for the whole family.

Born on March 25, 1947 in Middlesex, England, the singer changed his name to Elton Hercules John for his profession. He has been around long enough. Candle In The Wind, which he sang for Princess Diana's funeral, was originally composed by him when Marilyn Monroe died 30 years earlier.

He became an icon of the day with the release of Your Song that became a hit in 1971 and was popular as a live performer. The U.S. saw him first in 1972 and for three years he enjoyed an unprecedented run of seven consecutive No. 1 albums in America that placed him equal to the teenage idols of the day such as Bob Dylan and Brian Wilson.

Sir Elton is scheduled to fly into Bangalore in his private jet on Saturday afternoon. He will stay at the Windsor Sheraton.

Palace Grounds, where the concert will take place from 7 p.m., is decked up with three large enclosures to accommodate 30,000 people. At least 7,000 are likely to be from other cities. Since it will not be a rock concert, seats will be provided. Tickets are priced at Rs. 3,000, Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 1,000, and you can be sure only serious music buffs will turn up.

In addition to tickets being sold in Bangalore, the organisers, DNA Networks, have arranged for tickets and special package tours from cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Chennai.

The last time such tours were arranged was for the Roger Waters/Pink Floyd show. But that was a different crowd. The concert will last two hours and 45 minutes, and Elton has agreed to sing from a repertoire of 28 all-time hits and not just the most recent.

There will be five projectors and giant screens across the venue so that those in the back rows are not left out.

By Satyamurty K.

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