SATURDAY night was more than alright for Chesterfield when Elton John played the town’s biggest-ever concert at the home of the Spireites.
Fifteen thousand people packed out Chesterfield FC’s B2net Stadium for the venue’s debut gig - and the enormous crowd was treated to almost two-and-a-half hours of hits from the legendary singer’s four-decade career.
Wearing a pink shirt and black suit decorated in sequins with the letters ‘EJ’, Sir Elton barely paused for breath as he reeled off a spectacular 24-song set, backed by a slick 11-piece band.
The group included support act Two Cellos, who played novelty classical versions of Michael Jackson and U2 numbers before the Rocket Man himself took to the stage.
Fears Elton’s voice might have been diminished by a recent bout of pneumonia were dispelled with strong versions of Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting, I’m Still Standing, Crocodile Rock and Your Song - the volume so loud that residents on neighbouring streets comfortably enjoyed the proceedings from their gardens.
“I never thought I would play in Chesterfield but here we are in this fantastic stadium,” Elton told the audience to huge cheers.
“Thank God for not raining.”
Fans stayed out of their seats and danced in the aisles for the entire concert, Elton spurring them on by regularly leaving his piano and punching the air.
Before the encore he also took time out to sign autographs for the front rows and remarked that, at 65, he was enjoying performing ‘more than ever’ because of followers continuing to buy tickets for his shows.
“I’m getting a bit old now but it’s because of you that I love doing this now more than ever,” he said.
By Richard Blackledge