Nepal | June 05, 2020

Elton John delivers message of tolerance at first, last Montreux show

Reuters
Share Now:

MONTREUX: Elton John made his first and last appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival on Saturday, delivering a slick and energetic performance that ended with a message of tolerance and love.

The British singer’s 2-1/2-hour show, part of his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour begun last year, opened with “Bennie and the Jets”, followed by early 1970s hits including “Tiny Dancer”, “Rocket Man” and “Your Song”.

“I’ve wanted to play this festival for years and years. I’ve watched it on DVD and television. I never thought I would be playing it, but it is an honour to be here,” the 72-year-old told a sell-out outdoor crowd of 15,000 who braved a heat wave.

The five-time Grammy winner, seated at the piano centre stage, wore large black frame glasses with his name spelt out in rhinestones and a black jacket with sparkling trim.

“Sorry”, “Someone Saved My Life Tonight”, “Candle in the Wind”, “Daniel” and “Saturday Night’s Alright” were other signature songs, accompanied by his band including longtime drummer Nigel Olsson and guitarist John Jorgenson.

John performed at La Saussaz stadium overlooking Lake Geneva, rather than the famed Stravinski Auditorium, an intimate venue renowned for its acoustics, where he was initially booked for two nights when the tour was first announced.

“This was imposed on us,” a Montreux insider told Reuters about the first-ever open-air concert of the Swiss festival.

Festival goer Sebastien Cordey (37) said afterwards: “I’m not a big fan of Elton John. But he had great energy on stage and his voice is still incredibly strong.”

Sting on Friday opened the 53rd edition of the festival which runs through July 13. Its eclectic line-up includes Janet Jackson, Chick Corea and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

John said on Friday he was deeply upset by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s comment that liberal values were “obsolete” and had been rejected by the majority of people in Western nations.

John, who is gay, accused Putin of hypocrisy for saying in the same interview that he wanted LGBT people to be happy. Russia has reportedly censored gay scenes in the movie “Rocketman” based on his life.

“I am sick to death of hatred, of racism and homophobia,” John told fans. “I am sick to death of people who claim to be religious and close to God and are far from God.”

“We should appreciate each other, we need to embrace everyone even if we do not agree with each other,” he said.

Fans paid from 185 to 450 Swiss francs ($189.55 to $461.00) for the show. Former co-director Quincy Jones calls the festival the “Rolls-Royce of festivals”.

John said he met Jones before the show.

“I love him very much, the man and the musician. … He is still as vibrant as a teenager”, John said, dedicating the song “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” to the legendary American producer.


Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Traders defy lockdown as patience runs thin in Nepal

Durbar Marg shops to open from today Other traders, businesses also defiant KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 With no end in sight to the nationwide lockdown imposed on March 24 that has effectively halted all economic activities for the past two-and-a-half months, traders, firms and industries have be Read More...

Mahakali Hospital isolation ward filled with COVID-19 patients

KANCHANPUR: At least fifteen COVID-19 patients have been admitted to the isolation ward of Mahakali Hospital in Bhimdattanagar Municipality, Kanchanpur district. The isolation ward has a capacity of 20 beds. The hospital has started treatment of COVID-19 since Tuesday. Seven persons — reside Read More...

The office of the prime minister and council of ministers, OPMCM

Evacuation of Nepalis likely to begin Friday

KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 After the plan to evacuate stranded Nepali citizens from several countries was approved by the Cabinet a few days ago, the government is gearing up to bring them home on priority basis from Friday. Narayan Bidari, secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of M Read More...

Home isolation for asymptomatic, mild Covid cases

KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 The Ministry of Health and Population has directed hospitals to send home patients infected with the novel coronavirus who show mild or no symptom of the disease so that hospitals can treat severe cases of COVID-19. Hospitals treating COVID-19 patients have also been told to Read More...

Nepal govt may declare state of public health emergency as coronavirus cases rise steadily

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Health and Population is mulling over proposing to the Council of Ministers to declare state of public health emergency in the country following a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Section 48 (2) of the Public Health Service Act states that if public Read More...

COVID-19 curve flattening in Narainapur

NEPALGUNJ, JUNE 3 The COVID-19 spread seems to have come under control in Narainapur Rural Municipality, Banke, which had emerged as a coronavirus hotspot after a number of people tested positive for the virus here earlier. According to the district’s corona focal person Naresh Shrestha, it Read More...

Frontline workers to get hazard allowance

KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 The Government of Nepal has published ‘Hazard Allowance Management Order for Human Resources Involved in the Treatment of COVID-19 Infection’ in Nepal Gazette for its implementation. The order aims to provide hazard allowance to the human resources involved in the identif Read More...

Kathmandu Medical College sealed

KATHMANDU, JUNE 3 Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital in Sinamangal has been shut for an indefinite period after two of its health workers contracted COVID-19. The hospital’s Medical Director Dr Mukunda Raj Joshi issuing a notice today, informed that the hospital would be closed for Read More...