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World Famous Elton John Wows Crowd at Sold-Out Vermont Concert

Elton John Essex Fairgrounds

Elton John at Essex Junction, Vermont? Yep!

Burlington, VT – On July 21, 2008, music legend Elton John performed to a sold-out crowd at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction, Vermont. The concert was part of John's “Rocket Man: Number Ones” tour, in support of his then-latest compilation album, Rocket Man: Number Ones.

Fans were treated to a career-spanning setlist of Elton John's biggest hits and classic songs. The night kicked off with “Bennie and the Jets,” as John emerged dressed in a sequined tuxedo jacket and his signature oversized glasses. He had the crowd on their feet immediately singing along to the funky piano riffs.

All the Elton John Hits You Know and Love

Other first set highlights included “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Rocket Man.” John thrilled the audience with his masterful piano playing and energetic showmanship, often standing on top of his piano bench during instrumentals.

After a brief intermission, Elton returned to the stage for an emotional second set that included ballads like “Candle in the Wind” and “Your Song.” During a rousing rendition of “Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” John draped himself in a Vermont state flag thrown onstage by an audience member.

The night ended with an epic three-song encore of “Crocodile Rock,” “I'm Still Standing,” and “Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting.” John invited the crowd to clap and sing along during the enduring classics.

In all, Elton performed a whopping 28 songs, showcasing his incredible catalog of chart-topping hits. Fans said the intimate Vermont venue provided an unforgettable concert experience and close-up view of a music icon still in his prime. Elton John promised he'd be back soon, thrilled by the warm reception from Vermonters.

Note: As of 2024, he hasn't returned to Vermont so it's doubtful that will ever happen

Elton John Vermont Concert Review

Thankfully, the rain held off during a fantastic Elton John concert at the Essex Junction fairgrounds on July 21, 2008. The concert started off with an old classic, Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding and continued on at full steam for the rest of the night. For a guy in his sixties, you wouldn't know it. Elton John still has a few acrobatic tricks left and he didn't hesitate to use them. The music itself was fantastic and his voice only began to show signs of wearing out during the beginning of the finale. His voice was a bit hoarse on his last DVD, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case during this performance.

Sneaking in a Video Recorder

I managed to sneak one of those new Flip mini camcorders into the show. They were one of the first tiny camcorders but the video quality was so-so (yet pretty good back in those days). For that reason, the video resolution and recording time isn't all that great. I guess I was just lucky to get any video…period.

Near the end of the concert, I was down front shooting some video near the stage. All of the sudden, all hell broke loose and the crowd rushed to the front of the stage. A lone security guard tried to restrain people but he was soon overwhelmed by the crowd. I was actually pushed to the front of the stage by the crowd but unfortunately, my video camera battery died just as I was 6 feet away from Elton John, preparing for some close-up shots. Close enough to grab the legs of his piano stool, my damn Flip mini cam died. Damn, if I had only had an iPhone!

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Photos by William M. Alexander

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