Last night Grace and I were invited to watch Elton John perform in the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai. Our driver dropped us off at the backstage lounge at 7 PM, where Credit Suisse organized a small pre-concert cocktail reception.
At the pre-concert cocktail reception with Elton John glasses
We had a couple of glasses of Dom Perignon champagne and some excellent finger food, had our pictures taken, got Elton John sunglasses and talked to some friends who had also been invited. Our banker told us that Elton John did not want to come over for a meet and greet with the guests, but that the good news was that he would start on time today.
Backstage before the Elton John concert
Fifteen minutes before the concert started we walked into the stadium, took a look at the stage and then went over to our seats. We were in the 6th row, right in front of Elton’s piano, so we had a great view during the concert.
Exactly at 8 PM Elton appeared on the giant video screens announcing 2Cellos as the opening act. They started with Smooth Criminal, that made them famous on YouTube last year. It’s amazing what these guys can do with their cellos, watch them on YouTube or Tudou. During their second song the band members of Elton John came on stage already and joined the cellists in their performance. Right after that the band started playing the firsts notes of “The Bitch is Back” and Sir Elton jumped onto the stage. A great song to start the concert!
We had been informed that we would not be allowed to stand during the concert, but the moment Elton sat down behind his piano the whole floor stood up from their seats already. It took 2 songs before security managed to get everybody to sit down again. Of course during the rest of the concert lots of people started dancing at their seats, how can you expect people to only sit during such a performance?
The concert was completely sold out
The set list only consisted of famous Elton John classics, from the 1970s until the early 2000s. From Bennie and the Jets to Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters and from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road to the 12-minute Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding. Of course he also played many of his famous love songs, among others Your Song, Daniel, and Candle in the Wind. The total performance lasted almost 3 hours and ended with China favorite Circle of Life.
We had a fantastic evening with Sir Elton John in Shanghai, thanks for the invite Credit Suisse!
More pictures of the concert here on this set on Flickr.