Elton Dan and his Rocket Band perform at the Lobero on April 12. | Photo: Courtesy

Elton John seems to have it all — the flashy outfits, songs, dancing, die-hard fans. Even a tribute band. Elton Dan and the Rocket Band, based out of Kansas City, Missouri, is bringing some ’70s pop-rock right here to Santa Barbara’s Lobero Theatre on April 12, the kickoff show to their 75-80 show tour. 

“It’s the kickoff of our western United States tour. The thing I like about that theater is it has an incredibly warm sound. The sound in there is as good as anywhere we played in the country. I think there’s going to be a lot of energy and enthusiasm and excitement. Being the first show on the tour is a lot different than being the last,” said Elton Dan (whose given name is Dan Gasser). 

Pull out your sequined jumpsuits, rhinestone glasses, and fur coats to enjoy a tribute to John’s seven iconic albums from the ‘70s and ‘80s and even get a little history into his life. 

Don’t miss Elton Dan and his Rocket Band at the Lobero Theatre on April 12. | Photo: Courtesy

“We pay tribute to Elton John and his music. Hopefully people, when they’re there, they feel like they’re watching Elton’s past. We talk about some of the songs, and we share Elton’s comments on certain songs.”

And if Elton John means as much to you as it does to Elton Dan, splurge for the VIP experience, where you get preferred seating, early entry, and an hour to talk with Dan and his band about how the instruments and sound work and even get some Elton Dan stories. 

To hold you over while waiting for the big night, Elton Dan shared that he had the pleasure of meeting David Furnish, Elton John’s partner, one night in Kansas City. A few nights earlier, Dan had played a show on John’s birthday, where he bought huge inflatable birthday cakes and got the entire crowd to sing “Happy Birthday.” He showed Furnish, who most definitely showed it to John.

“David was also fascinated with some of the things we do through donations, and Elton has really influenced me on that. We’ve raised over $300,000 for the Kansas City Dream Factory through performances or live broadcasts or getting corporate sponsors to contribute to a grant. And we’ve raised $170,000 for Children’s Mercy Hospital. And that all comes because of Elton…. Elton has influenced me to carry on that piece of him, and I love doing that,” said Dan.

Dan enjoys being able to play the music he loves to an extended audience: the children he’s helping. Elton Dan is expanding John’s fan base and weaving these already tightly knitted fans closer together. 

“He appeals to so many generations. He’s got five decades of hits,” said Dan.

See Elton Dan and the Rocket Band perform at the Lobero on April 12. | Photo: Courtesy

I asked Elton Dan if he has a favorite memory from all his years being in this band. He has the look and the performance down, but can he pinpoint all of this to one specific night? He most certainly can. 

“A favorite show memory for me is when we played at an outdoor festival in Iowa on Lake Obichoke. There were about 8,000 people and they all were on their feet singing ‘Crocodile Rock’ and ‘Your Song.’ It gave me goosebumps just hearing people, looking out seeing the smiles, singing every word with me.”

Join Elton Dan and his Rocket Band in Santa Barbara, along with so many Elton John fans, to enjoy a night filled with music and showmanship. And make sure to know all the words to “Your Song” — it’s Elton Dan’s favorite. 

“There’s only one Elton John, and there will only be one Elton John,” said Dan. “He’s the man.”
See Elton Dan and the Rocket Band at the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) on Wednesday, April 12 at 8 p.m. For tickets and more information, go here.


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