CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Elton John comes rocking into the Charleston Civic Center on Wednesday, promoting his new album “The Diving Board.”

John last played Charleston in 1997 and tour manager D. C. Parmet told MetroNews on Tuesday the world-renowned entertainer specifically asked to kick-off the latest leg of his tour in the Capitol City right before he headlines the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee.

“He wanted to do a few shows in the neighborhood just to get warmed up, because we’re just coming off a six-week break. He wanted to play here, Virginia Beach and Charlotte, specifically,” Parmet said.

The crew arrived in town Tuesday morning and immediately began rigging a new lighting system.

“We’re loading in a day early because we have a new lighting design. So we’re going to use today to figure out everything, make sure it works and make sure everything is ready for the show,” said the tour manager.

It takes a lot of time and a lot of people to put up the stage, rig the lighting and make sure Elton’s grand piano Nina is tuned to perfection. There are 30 full-time crew members who travel with John around the world and another 30 they brought in locally to help with the set up.

“We all work together with the common goal of creating a great evening for the fans. Because to us it’s more than a job. The product we sell is fun,” Parmet said.

The show was not quite sold out by Tuesday, when only a few tickets remained. John will perform classics like “I’m Still Standing,” “Candle in the Wind” and “Crocodile Rock,” along with some deeper cuts from his past albums and a few songs from his new record.

“The great thing is at the end of the night when everyone leaves happy and tired from clapping and hoarse from yelling that it was a great night,” Parmet said. “That energizes us and helps us carry on through the night and to the next city.”

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  • cheryl stewart

    i've been to many concerts in my 56 years. the elton john concert was the best and most enjoyable one in my life. thanks elton for a great powerful, energizing concert!

  • katrina null

    Great concert! My husband Michael and I enjoyed every minute....the songs were @ their best and he sang perfectly! Good luck to him and the band on their tour and God's blessings on them.

  • Fan

    Elton John is a legend..,The fact he "chose" Charleston is amazing.. There are so many other venues he could have chosen and made more money..hundreds of thousands more. I'm honored he chose us. I was there screaming with the other 10,000 fans. Best show ever.

  • DC

    If good old Troy Sexton wasn't too busy getting arrested for abusing his kids, getting in drunken fights at Cincinnati Reds games, and driving while intoxicated, he would have seen a great show. But knowing how Troy hates blacks, Hispanics, and gays, he'd probably give a lame excuse for not wanting to see the show.

    Coo coo. Coo coo. Fruit loop. You gotta be a fruit loop to be married to Troy Sexton.

  • Ed

    For "Pete's Sake"!!! Will both social engineers go to their corners and shut up!! The man is an entertainer. A living legend. Can't we enjoy the talent and enjoyment he brings where ever he appears. Back Off! Both straight and gay.

    • Tom

      I don't accept the lifestyle, and won't support it.

  • Tom

    I'll pass in favor of straight rights.

    • Dan

      That's too bad for you. Elton John is a great entertainer. Sit at home mulling over your "straight rights" or lack thereof with a six pack of Old Milwaukee.

  • BNK

    Hey arp are you for real or just out for lunch. Besides most people don't care what the population is, they just want to see a great show for the price they pay for their ticket.

  • arp

    He may have wanted to come to Charleston because of the large gay population here.

    • Verdun

      Good ol ARP... Still making friends with his rightwing politics all these years later.. lol

    • really

      Lol. 10% of the population everywhere is gay or bi. But maybe you meant LARGE in a different context. We do have a large gay, bi and hetero population here, well above the national average in fact.

      • Randy

        That could mean we are all well endowed(guess that could bring some tourism bucks to the state) or we are a bunch of lard asses. With no internet police to provide evidence otherwise, I'll claim the former.

  • Pattycake

    What "bugs" does he need to work out? Just saw him recently in was perfect. He plays the entire time--no intermission..Occasionally gets up and speaks to the audience.

    For the last several months Charleston start getting better caliber entertainers..then people want to down them. Simply amazing...

  • Randy

    Should we be honored that he wants to play here first or offended because he's using us to work the bugs out?

    • JJS

      Well Randy...hhhhmmm hhhmm hhhmmm. Elton put on a hell of a show!! I have never seen him in a live performance, and gay or not, strait or not, working the bugs out or not!! You missed the best show of your life, but im sure you watched the news of the highlights of the show. Oh yea, I was on the news that nite waving at your ugly A** sitting on your ugly A** couch, sorry you couldnt afford to go...Hope you had a good night with your DOG on the couch.

      • Randy

        Well assface. Actually my comment was sarcasm. And I am an Elton John fan. I support most gay rights. I don't have a dog. My finances aren't the best. Most importantly at the end of the day-You Are An Assface.

  • rose

    Elton has to be one of the biggest rock stars of all time!
    And one of my favorite: )