Elton fans lapped up a concert in Bangalore, India, on November 2, 2002, and then complained that Indian performers simply can't match the British pop star's global appeal, reported Agence France-Presse on November 3, 2002.
More than 20,000 Elton fans turned up for the concert in the grounds of a British-style palace in this southern Indian city, and many said the performance highlighted the sorry plight of the country's music industry.
"It is a sad state of affairs," said Sanjeev Dange, a businessman.
"There is no comparison between him and our singers. Elton John is a diamond while Indian singers are only gold.
"There is actually no basis for comparison. The Western music is original and here in our movies we copy all their tunes," Dange told AFP.
Elton sang 28 songs, including his greatest hits Nikita, I'm Still Standing, Circle of Life and Sacrifice, while playing his custom-made piano.
Kunal Dewan, a student, said no Indian musician could bring off such a performance with just one instrument.
"He is so good with the piano and has a great voice and the lyrics are better than most I have heard," Dewan said.
"I can relate to Sacrifice, which is my most favourite. In India we have none who can play a piano with such elan as Elton John does."
Pramod Naidu, an advertising executive, said he went to the concert to get away from the "rubbish" tunes featured in India's Hindi movies.
"It is a great relief to sit back and listen to Elton John. Though I like Beatles and Boney M this setting and audience is hard to find in India. It is a great relief from those rubbish tunes of late which our movies have," Naidu said.
The complete set list of the Bangalore show, November 2, 2002:
- Your Song
- Border Song
- The Greatest Discovery
- Someone Saved My Life Tonight
- Ballad Of The Boy In The Red Shoes
- Honky Cat
- Rocket Man
- Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters
- I'm Still Standing
- Tiny Dancer
- I Want Love
- Philadelphia Freedom
- Candle In The Wind
- Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
- I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
- Original Sin
- This Train Don't Stop There Anymore
- Take Me To The Pilot
- Bennie And The Jets
- Crocodile Rock
- Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me
- Circle of Life