Rock legend Elton John played the second of two nights of concerts in Maine in Bangor on Saturday, to an ebullient, all-ages crowd at the Cross Insurance Center, performing the hits as well as lesser known fan favorites from his nearly 50-year career.
John’s first-ever show in Bangor — and his first in Maine in nearly a decade — had been sold out since the day it went on sale in May. His show on Friday night in Portland was also sold out.
The hit-packed concert — the last in the Northeast U.S./Canadian leg of his 2017 tour — featured songs that spanned his full career. John didn’t shy away from his biggest singles, playing songs from “Tiny Dancer” and “Rocket Man” to “I’m Still Standing” and “Take Me To The Pilot.” The crowd of 7,000 was on its feet for most of the show.
Sporting his trademark sparkling glasses and a rhinestone-encrusted cerulean blue suit with “Fantastic” emblazoned across the shoulders, John told the crowd that, at 70 years old, he enjoys performing now more than ever.
Though John played several tracks from his most recent album, “Wonderful Crazy Night,” he mostly stuck to the songs for which he’s best known, such as “Bennie and the Jets,” “Crocodile Rock,” and an extended jam on his gospel-tinged 1971 single, “Levon,” backed by his flawless five-person band.
Attending the concert meant a lot to lifelong fan Kate Bither, 35, of Houlton, and her mother, Cliasta Bither. After a difficult fall for them due to illness in the family, the mother and daughter managed to find tickets to the sold-out show. Elton John was Kate Bither’s first concert when she was 10 years old, and 25 years later, she got to see him again.
“My mother and father brought us up blaring this music when we were kids. We knew every song. It means so much to get to see him,” said Bither, before the concert began. “My mom had every record, 8-track, CD, tape, everything that man has ever made, we know every word. We’re probably going to cry the whole time during the show.”
John wrapped up the concert with a high-energy rendition of “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” before coming back out for an encore of “Candle in the Wind,” which in 1997 became the best-selling single of all time.
John’s two-night series in Maine, booked by Waterfront Concerts, is the last show of the concert promotion organization’s 2017 slate of events in Bangor. More concerts for the 2018 season will be announced in the coming weeks.
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