Sir Elton John officially opens the new First Direct Arena in Leeds on Wednesday – and it’s an occasion that is sure to stir memories for music lovers of a certain age.
The arena concert is the first time that Elton and his band have played in the city since 1984.
But, turning back the clock even further, the Rocket Man of pop also strutted his stuff at the Grand Theatre in April 1976.
And one man who definitely remembers the night well is Yorkshire Evening Post photographer Steve Riding.
He was the paper’s man at the concert and took a series of pictures that perfectly captured Elton’s unique brand of musical stagecraft.
Asked for his recollections of the gig, Steve said: “Elton played for two-and-a-quarter hours without a break, so it was a long night!
“I remember he threw his piano stool off the stage at one point and he even managed to fit in a jokey Highland jig.
“The songs were the thing, though. From memory, the setlist included Bennie and the Jets, Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting and Pinball Wizard.
“It was an amazing concert, let’s hope tonight is every bit as good.”
Elton’s gig this evening kicks off the £60m arena’s full opening season.
It comes a few weeks after Bruce Springsteen played a spectacular pre-launch concert at the venue.
The 13,500-capacity arena has been developed by Leeds City Council and is being operated by private firm SMG Europe.
Experts estimate the venue will generate £25m a year for the city’s economy.
* What are YOUR memories of Elton John’s concerts in Leeds down the years?
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