22 January 2019, Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Elton John just completed the six-show Los Angeles run of his very long worldwide farewell tour – Elton’s never done anything in small measure – and how very thankful I am that I saw a concert, because it was a glorious and preciously poignant occasion indeed. Elton’s signalled his intention to quit touring before – I’m pretty sure there was at least one “farewell” tour some years back – but I really got the impression he means it this time.
11 November 2018, Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, WA
There was hugging and kissing and gratitude and wide-eyed wonder at the Joe Walsh-organised Vets Aid concert on Sunday night, and I’m not talking about what was going on in the Tacoma Dome audience of 20,000 or so. It was on stage, and it was genuine, as music veterans paid tribute to war veterans and as Joe’s friends gave kudos to Joe for caring enough about the vets to start a charity and mount a concert and raise $1.4 million dollars in the event’s second year.
2 November 2018, Agua Caliente Casino, Rancho Mirage, CA
A couple of years ago when the huge Desert Trip festival was staged in the Coachella Valley, I was happily not there. When the mammoth line-up was announced with great fanfare, it was a relief to me that none of my favourite acts was on board and I didn’t want to see any of the acts on the bill badly enough that I would subject myself to a weekend in a vast dusty field in the desert with many thousands of people.
12, 14 and 15 September 2018, The Forum, Los Angeles, CA
Finally I saw the Eagles play in the band’s hometown. After seeing them fifteen times before, in Sydney, Brisbane, London, Vancouver, Las Vegas, Seattle, Detroit and Portland, at last I saw the Eagles play in the city where they formed, in a venue of great significance, where the sound was pristine, where the entire venue was decorated as a monument to the band, lit up and inscribed, so nobody had any doubt who was in residence. The most successful American rock band of all time, which holds the honour of having the biggest-selling album of all time, was home.
12 August 2018, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
When you are in a fairly packed Hollywood Bowl audience and can hear a pin drop, you know you are in the presence of something very special. I have never been in an LA audience that was so hushed and reverent at the same time as so joyful.
28 May 2018, Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA
It was a cold night at the Hollywood Bowl as it usually is in LA in May, but my heart was full of warmth as I watched and listened in wonder at Paul Simon. My mouth must have been wide open in amazement too often through the nearly three-hour show, as I woke the next morning with a sore throat and chesty cough that I am still trying to shake. But how could I not be breathing in the brilliance? How could I not smile widely and sing along with everyone else?
22 May 2018, Moda Center, Portland, OR
It was a wild crowd at the Moda Center in Portland last Tuesday night. Boisterous, talking, singing, hollering, on their feet, snapping every moment of the show on their mobile phones, videoing away despite omnipresent burly security men. Rarely did they take the cue to quieten down. At one point Don Henley looked as though all he could do was surrender to it. So he smirked and said, “Must be the coffee.”