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Back in the day, Nov. 3, 1999: Elton John performs third Omaha concert in three decades

Back in the day, Nov. 3, 1999: Elton John performs third Omaha concert in three decades

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Elton John

Elton John has played Omaha multiple times through the years. 

From concerts to championships, the CHI Health Center has hosted it all.

Twenty-two years ago today, Elton John made his third concert appearance in Omaha in three decades.

It was the kind of jaw-dropping performance that was so good you had to pinch yourself to make sure it was still Omaha, and it still was the Civic Auditorium Arena.

Yep. And it was still John, who played for nearly three hours on what had to be one of the simplest stage sets ever assembled at the arena. It was as if the 52-year-old pop star was playing his first gig.

"Tonight, it's just me and the piano," John informed the sellout audience of 10,079. He was exceptionally relaxed and gregarious, motioning to the crowd between each song as he took sips from a Diet Coke resting in an ice bucket near the singer's black Yamaha grand piano.

Tickets to see John were much higher ($49.50 and $59.50) than they were in 1982 ($11.50), the last time the Englishman performed in Omaha.

The jazzed crowd gave John several well-deserved standing ovations. John delivered two encores that included "Circle of Life," complete with clips from "The Lion King," as well as "Bennie and the Jets."

In the end, John came back once more, this time dressed in black for the poignant show closer "Candle in the Wind," the Marilyn Monroe version.


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