Is it worth $200 - $300 to see Elton John in concert?
That’s the question I’ve asked myself several times over the past year, as Sir Elton tours the world one (long) last time, on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
You see, even though Elton’s Greatest Hits cassette tape was the first recording I ever bought and I’ve performed his songs countless times since then, I’ve never seen him in concert. So when tickets for his Madison Square Garden shows originally went on sale months ago, I eagerly logged into the Ticketmaster website 30 minutes before tickets went on sale to the general public, only to discover they were already sold out the instant they supposedly became “available.”
“Well...” I consoled myself. “… at least I’ve saved $200 - $300 per seat today.” And I found comfort in the fact that the seats were overpriced and I could now put the money to better use – like paying bills!
So it was with mixed feelings that I recently read that several new NYC-area shows were added to the tour, for next April. To quote a famous classic rock song… “Should I stay or should I go?”
$300 is a lot of money to pay for a few hours of entertainment. I began reflecting more about this, too. As musicians, we can get a lot more per dollar by going down to the local club each Friday night for months, immersing ourselves in many hours of great music played by world-class musicians. What’s more, we can get close to them and watch how they play, and even get to know them. And wouldn’t it be great to support local music like this?
We can also get a full year’s worth of piano lessons for less than a typical seat at an Elton John concert.
I’ve never seen Elton perform live, and also, my kids have grown to love his music too. Since this is his last tour, they’ll never have another chance to hear him in person, and they’ll remember a night like that forever. It’s a connection with a great musician. I don’t want to repeat the mistake I made when I was 16 years old and Count Basie played at my high school with his jazz band and I stayed at home. Sure, I knew he was a legend, but $15 ($15!!!) was a lot of money for a concert ticket, right? (In those days, $7 would get you in the 20th row for Cheap Trick or Yes.)
So I went online once again, and splurged on Elton John tickets for the whole family.
Which brings us back to the question: Is it worth $200 - $300 to see Elton John in concert?
The answer came to me as soon as I logged onto the internet this morning, in two words:
As you may have heard, the legendary classic rock drummer Ginger Baker has passed away. He is best known for having been 1/3 of the rock group Cream, along with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce.
Here's an obit:
Ginger Baker was a jazz drummer with a rock reputation
I never saw Baker live, although I did go to a wonderful Jack Bruce concert (which was coincidentally the day after John Lennon was shot.)
While I never heard Count Basie, John Lennon, or Ginger Baker in concert, I’m looking forward to sitting in my upper-level seat at Madison Square Garden next April, singing my heart out to “Rocket Man,” Bennie And The Jets,” and yes, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”
For one evening at least, the price of Elton John tickets will be worth every penny.
Enjoy the journey, and “let the music flow!