The Elton John Band, Capital Centre, Largo, MD [06.30.76]

The Elton John Band Louder Than Concorde But Not Quite As Pretty, Capital Centre, Largo, MD [06.30.76]

1) Grow Some Funk Of Your Own
2) Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
3) Island Girl
4) Rocket Man
5) Hercules
6) Bennie And The Jets
7) Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
8) Love Song
9) Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
10) Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me
11) Holiday Inn
12) Empty Sky
13) Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy
14) Someone Saved My Life Tonight
15) Philadelphia Freedom
16) We All Fall In Love Sometimes
17) Curtains
18) Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting

19) Your Song
20) Pinball Wizard

For the longest time I always thought that this was the first rock concert that I attended but I realized back in 2002 that that particular distinction belongs to the Harry & Tom Chapin concert that I saw two weeks before, if you can call what the Chapins put down as “a rock concert.”  Singer-songwriters can be great, artful, moving…and yet, still NOT rock.  Elton John is definitely a singer-songwriter but as much as he loves to croon in June with a spoon and sing emotive ballads, the dude has rocked out many times in his long and storied career.  He kinda lost me for good in the eighties after the cocaine zapped him of the ability to keep self-indulgent boredom off the record racks.  However, back in 1976 I was determined to go see a rock concert for my twelfth birthday because I had recently missed seeing Paul McCartney and Wings when they passed through town and I was determined to use whatever leverage I could muster for my “one day out of the year” and that I was gonna make the most of it as imposing upon either of my parents for the indulgence of going to a loud rock concert was not their idea of a good time. But how else was I to get to the arena?  I would soon be exploring that question through any and all leads until I was 16 and able to manage my own transportation.  In the meantime I talked my dad [Arthur Clyde Jackson] into taking me and he bought 3 tickets for the 2nd of 3 performances at the Capital Centre.   My parents were starting to legally separate from each other and this fact was brought home all the more by the fact that Arthur had his friend Ellen accompany us to the concert.  She actually was quite the Elton John fan; she encouraged me to take notes on the songs that were played and to write them down in my program.  It is a habit that has stayed with me to this day.  I knew just about every song that was played during the concert but in the few instances where I got stuck Ellen knew the title.  She wasn’t A.C.’s generation.

As for the music, the mix was kinda muddy but you could enjoy the songs.  Elton had the band that recorded Rock Of The Westies and Blue Moves.  The Louder Than Concorde But Not Quite As Pretty tour was in support of the Here And There album.  Elton John had just had two back-to-back LPs that debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 Album Chart at Number One [Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy & Rock Of The Westies].  This was the first two times in history that this has occurred.  There was nowhere else to go but down.  Cindy Bullens opened the show.