Last night, I went to celebrate Elton John’s 60th birthday at his concert in Madison Square Garden. I’ve seen Elton in concert many times before, but this was by far the best one yet. There were a multitude of celebrities on hand, and we got to rub elbows with them thanks to a serendipitous twist of fate (well, that and $10).
We knew our seats weren’t going to be good, but we didn’t realize just how awful they were until we got there. We were wayyyy up high in the “nosebleed section,” and our aisle seats had major line-of-sight problems. We couldn’t see 3/4 of the stage, or the big screen above it. My husband pulled aside an usher, slipped him ten bucks, and said, “We can’t see anything from our seats. Is there anything you can do?” The guy swiftly brought escorted us out into the hallway, where another employee sat with a stack of extra tickets for folks who were in a similar situation. The usher we greased gave him a look and said, “Take care of these folks,” and boy, did he ever!
Next thing you know, our old tickets were traded in for two primo seats in the lower mezzanine, about 30 feet from the stage. We were seated one section away from all of the celebrities in attendance, including Rosie & Kellie O’Donnell, Pierce Brosnan, Robin Williams (who kept bouncing around in and out of his seat like a little kid–the man can’t sit still!), Karl Lagerfeld, Sharon & Ozzy Osborne, Elizabeth Hurley…so many stars. We couldn’t believe our luck!
Bill Clinton came out and introduced Elton right on time at 8pm, and for the next 3 1/2 hours, Elton played a mix of old, obscure songs (Roy Rogers), and newer songs that rocked the house. He dedicated, “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” to his partner, David Furnish, and sang many of his big hits (Burn Down the Mission, Saturday, Philadelphia Freedom, Daniel and so many more).
The highlights for me were when he sang “Empty Garden”, his tribute to John Lennon (he said it just didn’t feel right singing that song in any other venue but the Garden) and when Bernie Taupin came out on stage to sing Happy Birthday (along with Robin Williams and Whoopi Goldberg). The band sounded great, and of course, so did Elton. It was an incredible night!