BWW Review: Kenny Metcalf Rocks the El Portal in the Ultimate Elton John Tribute Show
Elton John has been a powerful name in music for more than 40 years, and is currently enjoying another wave of popularity. Now, more than ever, there is demand and desire to step back in time and experience the sights and sounds of this amazing artist. In tribute to his greatness, Kenny Metcalf has wowed international audiences during live performances, often in his hometown of Los Angeles with or without his band, and is known for performing a technically accurate Vegas style production, featuring the wildly popular music, costumes and antics of Elton John. And he never disappoints!
"Elton" as portrayed by Kenny Metcalf, has the voice and appearance of Elton John when he was young. From rhinestones to sequins, every detail has been meticulously recreated. Iconic costumes including the infamous Los Angeles Dodgers uniform designed by Bob Mackie and glasses (created for Elton himself) by Ray Winston finish the illusion.
Those fortunate enough to have seen Elton perform live experience a sense of "Deja Vu" while watching the captivating performance given by Kenny. Audiences and critics alike leave with a sense that they "saw" Elton and his band. Caleb Quaye Elton's first producer and original lead guitarist states that witnessing this performance is like re-living infamous shows such as the one Elton performed at Dodger Stadium in 1975.
During his solo acoustic performance on piano at the El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood on 10/1/19, Kenny shared how 14 years ago he was diagnosed with an incurable auto immune disease and was at death's door when he had an epiphany that turned his health around. And witnessing his amazing energy and perfect presentation as Elton John, you would never guess this brilliant entertainer was anything other than a successful musician.
Dressed in red and white striped slacks, a sequined blue jacket with tails, with stacked heel boots covered in silver sequins, Metcalf took a seat at the grand piano center stage and began the evening with Elton's songs from 1970. After the first few, he put aside the written order he was going to play and took requests from the audience for the rest of the show, attacking the piano with great skill and enthusiasm while filling the theater with Elton's signature vocals.
The evening's songs included "Take Me to the Pilot," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Rocket Man," "I'm Still Standing," "Philadelphia Freedom," "Funeral for a Friend" into "Love Lies Bleeding," "Crocodile Rock" during which he invited two girls up from the audience to sing the refrain along with the rest of us, "Honky Cat," "Tiny Dancer," "Levon," I Guess That's Why They Call it the Blues," "Candle in the Wind," "Bennie and the Jets," "Daniel," "Pinball Wizard" during which he rocked the audience to its feet, "Yellow Brick Road," and then ended the night with "Your Song" before which he shared the above story about turning his life around.
Kenny Metcalf has been touring worldwide as Elton John, usually with his The Early Years Band, for many years and after his performance at the El Portal in North Hollywood, he played at Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center. The following night before flying out to Connecticut for a one-night performance, he will then fly back to San Diego this Sunday to play in La Mesa at the annual Oktoberfest. Be sure to a catch him when you can to enjoy his top-notch Elton John tribute show!
Follow Kenny on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter for more information about his upcoming shows. Videos of his performances can be found on You Tube.
Photos provided by Kenny Metcalf