More ticket stubs, found in the recesses of the desk that I no longer use as a desk.
I accompanied a writer from one of our local papers to this concert. It was, by every performance measure, a really good show – one of the tours where it seemed that Elton had realized there were more people who wanted to hear his moldy oldies and album cuts than dreck like “The One” and “Something About the Way You Look Tonight.” The resulting set list was heavy on songs like “Burn Down the Mission” and “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters.” To my surprise and eventual horror, I could see from our seats that Elton was using a tele-prompter that was constantly scrolling the lyrics. It was located to his left, beside the piano and out of view of the majority of the audience. My concert companion shrugged it off: Maybe it’s just a safety, in case he forgets a line of a song. I was inconsolable.
I almost knocked Shelby Lynne over as we turned the corner of her touring bus on the way into the venue. She was hovereing halfway between the bottom step and the parking lot pavement, on her way out of the bus.
At this show on The Rising tour we had great seats, about fifteen rows up stage left, adjacent to the set. The Civic Center was not full. Someone told me later that this was the only stop on the tour that did not sell out (another dubious achievement, courtesy of Birmingham, Alabama). Just before the lights went down, a group of six or seven people came to our aisle, entered, and excused themselves past us: it was Birmingham native Emmylou Harris and some friends. Toward the end of the show, Emmylou rose from her seat and excused herself past us again. A couple of songs later, she walked onstage and sang “My Hometown” with the Boss.