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.”