He’s sold 300 million records, and he’s coming to Billings.
Elton John is set to play the Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark Oct. 7.
Tickets go on sale Saturday, May 30, at 10 a.m. at the MetraPark box office and Tickets.com.
It’s John’s second recent trip to Billings after playing a sold-out, nearly three-hour show here in April 2011, the first concert in the arena after its roof had been twisted off by a tornado the year before.
John had raised hopes of visiting in 2009 when he played two shows in Missoula, along with shows in Bozeman and Casper, Wyo., but not Billings.
However, this trip to Billings may be John’s last.
He’s calling it his “Final Curtain” tour and said he plans in the future to play fewer shows and only larger venues.
“I want to spend more time with my family and less time touring,” John said in a press release. “I am all too aware of how precious the time ahead is. My sons are growing up so quickly, their early years are just flying by, and I want to be there with them. So this final Billings concert will give me one last chance to say farewell.”
The superstar has enjoyed playing smaller venues during the years, his tour manager DC Parmet told The Gazette recently.
“In some of the smaller markets, the fans seem to really appreciate that he would come to see them,” Parmet said. “And, the more the audience is vocal and positive in their applause, the more Elton and the band kick it up a notch. Smaller markets have seen some of Elton’s best shows.”
Fans in Billings can expect to hear the hits, Parmet said, but not all of them. John has had at least 58 top 40 singles, and his “Candle in the Wind” is the world’s most popular single, selling more than 33 million copies.
On top of that, he’s won six Grammy Awards, a Tony, an Oscar and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Oh, and he’s been knighted by the queen.
“He’d be there all night if he played everyone’s favorite song,” said Parmet.
But, don’t expect John’s Billings show to be entirely a nostalgia act. The 68-year-old entertainer loves to dig deep into his vast catalog. In the past few years, he’s trotted out obscure songs like “Skyline Pigeon” and “Your Sister Can’t Twist (But, She Can Rock ’n’ Roll).”
“He’s got to please the audience with the hits,” said Parmet. “But, he loves the challenge of trying new things, maybe adding a song to the set list that’s never been played live before.”
Sir Elton is just one of the big names headed for MetraPark this year. The Eagles play June 2; Trace Adkins, June 25; Motley Crue, July 26; Awolnation, Lynyrd Skynyrd with Blue Oyster Cult and Martina McBride play during the MontanaFair in August; and Miranda Lambert is set for Sept. 25.
With Elton, Eagles and Motley Crue, three of the five top grossing shows of all time at MetraPark will be here this summer, said Ray Massie, MetraPark’s marketing and sales director.
“We’re certainly being more aggressive with pursuing more acts,” Massie said.