Monday, November 23, 2015

USGP: Mother Nature can't stop Elton John from putting a Smile on our Faces at Circuit Of The Americas

Sir Elton John. (Source: Bing Images)
After two straight days of heavy rain, the weather finally cooperated for the Formula 1 Circuses biggest show with Sir Elton John dazzling the remaining throng with Hit after Hit...

Following Sir Elton waxing eloquently with thy Young Louise 'JAGUAR Hamilton during the Post-race Podium Winners interview, naturally being smitten with his fellow Brit Hamilton's victory. We began extracting ourselves from thy sodden grass vantage point prior to beginning our Madcap adventure of getting to the concert!

The winning race time reported was One Hour and 53-minutes, giving Sir Elton and us nearly two hours before the Post-race concert began at 6PM, which surely would be way too Mucho time, right? (Afterwards learning that it was estimated 40,000+ spectators stayed for the concert!)


, NOPE! It was simply Chaos everywhere, as I've never seen so many people staying for the Post-race concert ever before!

And having waited a half hour, we managed to obtain a ride in one of the very limited ADA Carts, albeit our courteous male driver told us he had NO idea where the ADA entrance to the concert was? thus he dropped us off and we ended up hopping aboard a second  Cart.

My only complaint with COTA the entire weekend, (Besides the Mud, Obviously!) was when sitting in front with the very friendly female Cart Driver was hearing her radio announce we're NOT taking any more ADA requests! And tell them to walk to a Pick-up spot! As one person replied back on the radio I've got a double amputee here!

Finally after driving 'N driving, stopping and starting for busses, a police motorcycle escort, throngs 'O people, etc. Our driver said this is as far as I can take Yuhs without getting Stuck in the Mud!

Then we joined the throng of bodies being slowed appreciatively by the Mud-bog chicane, where Claudio told me to take a really B-I-G' step, now another! As I almost hooked myself on the adjoining fence post? As NO idea why COTA couldn't have put down the plywood some track volunteer had pleaded for over the radio whilst riding in said Cart...

Then we walked 'N walked some more and started asking several volunteers at various checkpoints if they knew where the ADA seating was? As we got three separate, indifferent replies of ask the next "Checkpoint Charlie!" So we finally gave up and walked up a sodden hillside and set up thy lawn chairs on this grassy knoll.

And in less than five minutes after sitting down Elton John's band went BOOM-BOOM-BOOM! As a virtual sea 'O people came rushing down the hillside to get a closer peak at Sir Elton, which reminded me of the time at the Gorge in George (Washington) when the crowd went flying downhill over the cliff to get up close 'N personal with Eddie Vetter and Pearl Jam; Aye Karumba!

As Claudio told me I'd better put my (folding) White Cane back up in order to use as a beacon to show the never ceasing crowd pushing their way forward as Elton belted out The Bitch, The Bitch is Back! Whilst being the only two persons seated in this sea of adoring concert goers.

Blocked from seeing the video screen in front of us by the wall 'O bodies, it was funny how a stray note would escape every now and then when a hole opened up in the wall 'O Humans in front of us momentarily as the crowd shifted, giving me a slightly different pitch or tone blasting out from the excellent sound system.

Funnier yet was when Claudio would sporadically fall upon me whilst dozing off during the concert as his lawn chair was leaning towards Mwah; WUMP!

Elton was an absolute master of thy keyboard and tickled thou ivory amazingly, giving us multiple long AWESOME piano solos during various songs, including Benny and The Jets! which I think was his second song?

"Elton jammed at length on the piano during different points in the song. (Levon) Elton showed he could still bring the improvisational skill and passion that has always made him a mad man on the piano. Unlike his contemporary, Billy Joel, Elton plays extended riffs and jams on the piano."

Whilst I groaned my displeasure as Sir Elton publicly thanked Uncle Bernaughty, nee Messer Charles Bernard Ecclestone for his Hospitality; YUCK! Actually hearing one loud vociferous BOO!

Then Elton's third song played was the Hit Song All the Girls love Alice, just one of the many off of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. As apparently his current concert tour is known as All the Hits in deference to celebrating his smash double album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road from some forty years ago.

As Elton later mused when taking a break between songs. I first came to America 46yrs ago and NEVER thought I'd be playing a Grand Prix! Thus, there's still even things that surprise me in life...

Although I didn't try keeping a mental tally of Elton's set-list, just Head-bobbing along totally enjoying the AWESOME show! Nonetheless, I was really impressed by how strong and beautiful his voice was when singing another crowd favourite 'bout Norma Jean; Err Marilyn Monroe.

Know I've belabored the point ceaselessly but. Really appreciated Elton just singing in his normal vocal range and NOT trying to sing upper octave falsetto from 40yrs ago! Unlike Geddy Lee who still thinks he can sing the High Notes...

Then in the midst of his countless classic Hit songs, he played what was his lone "New Song," albeit having been released in 2003. Noting it was from an album he recorded with the legendary Leon Russell who he'd always wanted to collaborate with. As the song was titled Hey Ahab!

The song made me instantly smile - having just read that classic novel Moby Dick! As Elton crooned: You've got to Hoist that Sail, and Ride that Whale, Hey Ahab!

VIDEO: Hey Ahab!

Sir Elton and his band Mates, which included his Drummer Nigel Olson from Bloody England, (Age: 66)  who joined the band in 1969! And Davey Johnstone of Scotland (Age: 64) on Guitar who's ROCKED with Elton for 42yrs; CRIKEYS! Also featured excellent Bass, Keyboard and Percussion accompaniment by Matt Bissonette, Kim Bullard and John Mahon respectively. As A-L-L were simply FANTASTIC!

Towards the end, when the wall of bodies ahead of us thinned out, I marveled over the fact that not only could I see the video screen, I could actually S-E-E Sir Elton's face during the numerous close-ups!

Afterwards, Claudio informed me that he was wearing a black suit with the words Rock 'N Roll on its back along with a pair 'O small black glasses.

As I still recall first being enamored by Elton's eyewear during the 1970's when one picture on an album showed him sporting eyeglasses with miniature windshield wipers on them!

I found the Band being completely "Tight" throughout the entire concert, playing for a solid two hours before one final encore song, which Me Thinks was Crocodile Rock? In apparently what was their final North American concert for the year. As reputedly Elton wishes to reduce his touring in order to spend more time with his five year old sons...

Assorted Songs
The Bitch is Back, Bennie and The Jets, All the Girls love Alice, Candle in the Wind, Your Song, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Rocketman, Daniel, (Song) Saturday Nite's Alright for Fighting, Hey Ahab, Levon, Honkey Cat, Funeral for a Friend, Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters, Burn Down the Mission, Tiny Dancer, Sad Songs Say So Much, Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word and Crocodile Rock.

And although my sentiments towards this year's Grand Prix was simply summed up by saying I survived Austin; Yeehaw! For Mwah, Sir Elton John's Post-race concert was thee highlight of the USGP! And was a total Coup by COTA!

Elton's mix of Sad, Happy, Upbeat, Medium and Slow Songs not only were the perfect tonic towards an interesting weekend at the racetrack, but an excellent portrayal of Mother Nature's constant manipulation of the weather during said event while COTA tried their best to cope with the adverse weather conditions caused by Hurricane Patricia...

As I tried choosing a few select videos portraying Sir Elton's current vocal sounds, for which at age 69 sounded Damn good!

(Quote from Back of Crowd Concert Reviews - Barclays Center Jan 2, 2015)