By Jaritza Mendoza | Staff Writer |
Sir Elton John closed out Jimmy Kimmel Live with a performance that brought fans back to the past on Jan. 19.
Before the concert, the show’s representative requested the audience to please put aside their phones to solely focus on the performance rather than their screens, a request which is rarely asked.
With the absence of smartphones, the song acted like a machine, transporting fans to the past where concerts were meant to be experienced, not recorded.
A crowd of around 200 waited for hours in order to see the famous “Piano Man.”
The concert took place at Kimmel’s live stage in Hollywood as part of John’s promotion for his new album “Wonderful Crazy Night,” set to release Feb. 5.
He performed the single “Looking Up,” from his upcoming album.
A young Elton John fan, Mildred Saldana, arrived four hours before the initial check-in time.
“Some people come here at 8 a.m., or sleep over,” said Saldana.
While waiting to receive purple wristbands allowing access to the stage, fans tried to predict the singer’s set list.
Many hoped John would perform “Bennie and the Jets,” a song released in 1973.
“Actually, anything old I’m happy with, ’cause I haven’t heard anything new. He can play anything and I’ll enjoy it but I hope he plays some of his older songs,” said devoted fan from Mission Viejo Dayna Lewis.
Kimmel stood with the crowd as he introduced the icon to the viewers at home.
John sang two classics and one off his new album, “Blue Wonderful,” which had a music video released that day.
As the five-time Grammy winner sang the classic “Rocket Man,” many fans sang along, waving their hands in the air.
“I darn near cried, when I heard him start to play ‘Rocket Man’ on the piano, you can’t compare listening it live and listening at your house,” said young fan Maritza Mendoza.
John closed his set with one of his iconic hits, “Bennie and the Jets,” bringing fans to dance and shout “Bennie” throughout the song.
The singer has been in the music industry for over 50 years, gathering fans from different generations.
When asked when she became a fan of John, Dayna Lewis, who brought along her daughter Taylor to share the unique experience, jokingly said, “sad to say 41 years.”
“For me it goes back to the “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” that album ’cause I saw him live 75′ at Dodger Stadium. My very first concert, it was amazing,” said Dayna.
“I’m going to say about 10 years, I was just born knowing he was such an icon so I guess I’ve always been a fan,” said Taylor.
Saldana said, “I guess since I saw ‘Lion King,’ so when I was around 3 years old.”
When asked what she expected from this concert, Taylor continued, “honestly just getting to appreciate him perform live, because that’s like a freaking gift. Plus, I get to be able to say I got to see Elton John perform live and for free. I feel like you have to see them while they’re still here.”
After the death of famous musician David Bowie, Saldana said, “this is my first Elton John concert. Ever since David Bowie, I don’t wan’t to miss a star, I don’t want to regret that.”