His set was done and dusted within 40 minutes, but Elton John's intimate performance in Sydney last night may just be the best of 2017.
The iconic musician played at Hordern Pavilion as a special treat for those attending Brandcast 2017; YouTube's annual showcase giving opportunities for Australian companies to meet and learn strategies with creators and industry executives.
Hosted by Gold Logie winner Waleed Aly, the room was packed to the brim with punters streaming in well after the proceedings kicked off.
The crowd were treated to talks from big-name industry leaders like IAB Australia and Google, as well as some hugely-successful YouTube creators such as Wengie (a cheeky 8.7 million subscribers, but who’s counting?) and US acapella sensation Mike Tompkins, but the real highlight from the night’s formal proceedings was a live performance from Australia’s own L-FRESH The LION. The Western Sydney hip hop artist took to the stage in conjunction with YouTube’s Creators For Change initiative to perform his powerful new single, Raci$T/Our World, which premiered this past weekend at the inaugural Tribeca TV Festival in New York.
Fresh simply owned the stage and almost made the crowd forget they were at a YouTube showcase and not his own headline concert. Check out his new clip below.
After a dinner break, the audience (with some prop Elton John sunglasses in hand) shuffled back into the Hordern which was no longer filled with rows of chairs and instead shined just one spotlight on the stage and on that piano.
Barely 10 minutes after doors opened, John was introduced onto the stage at just after 10pm to rapturous applause. Making his way out solo and wearing his signature sparkled glasses and a black sequined jacket with gold cuffs, the legendary songwriter gave a smile to the crowd and ripped straight into Tiny Dancer.
Though he’s in the middle of a regional headline tour right now, John showed no signs of wariness, often improvising his way around the piano and gesturing for the crowd to get louder, always with a cheeky grin on his face. The audience knew this wouldn’t be a traditional gig and John did too, who wasted little time while on stage. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues and Rocket Man blew the Hordern away, so much so that during the sing-a-longs, punters actually stopped themselves just so they could really soak in the fact that Elton John was in the same room as them, playing his hits… on a freakin’ Tuesday.
If people weren’t already teary from the experience, they were a complete mess when an image of George Michael appeared on the stage’s backdrop as John began Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – a nod to their 1991 live cover.
It wasn't even 10.45pm before it was time for the final song as John gave his goodbyes with Your Song. If people weren’t already delirious by that stage they were screaming every last word. As he hit the final notes, John yelled out this was our song, before giving a wave and taking his leave.
Wanna see a masterpiece in one hour or less? Just ask Sir Elton John.
Check out John's YouTube-supported project, The Cut, here.
When L-FRESH met Elton.
This piano was spotted backstage last night. Anybody know whose it is?