Kenny Metcalf as Elton and the Early Years Band comes to Temecula theater

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TEMECULA – Down to the very last rhinestone on a perfectly recreated jacket, when Kenny Metcalf and The Early Years Band is onstage, audiences swear they’re being serenaded by Elton John himself. Having performed Elton John hits across the country to sold-out shows and earning the endorsements of Mark Cuban, Ryan Seacrest and John’s original producer and lead guitarist Caleb Quaye, the California native has made a name for himself as the best Elton John impersonator in the business.

Metcalf brings his Elton: The Early Years show to the Old Town Temecula Theater Friday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m.

What made Metcalf decide to dedicate a tribute band to Elton John?

“I was a drummer in high school and one day a classmate sat down at the piano in the drama room and played “Benny and the Jets.” Every girl in the room crowded around the piano and sang with him and I thought to myself: ‘I’ve never had that effect on a girl playing the drums,’” he said.

Metcalf said he went home and learned “Benny and the Jets” on his mother’s piano and formed his own band while still in high school. He toured with the Christian heavy metal band Stryper in the 1980s and left in 1986 to spend more time with his wife, who was his sweetheart since junior high, and their two daughters, who were 2 and 3.

Ten years ago, Metcalf decided to form a tribute band and perform. Playing Elton John was the logical choice, he said. Becoming the British musician, songwriter and singer is a matter of not breaking character onstage.

“Everyone in the band is the character they are playing,” Metcalf said. “It’s like watching a live play. The minute I walk onstage I’m British.”

There are also the details. Metcalf has a seamstress for his costumes, and he adds the details. The same guy who made John’s glasses also makes them for Metcalf.

“The illusion has to be there,” he said, adding he’s the only Elton John tribute act with a pinball wizard costume.

Tickets are $20-$35 and may be purchased at www.temeculatheater.org, by calling (866) 653-8696 or at the theater box office. Old Town Temecula Community Theater is located at 42051 Main Street, in Old Town Temecula. The show is appropriate for all ages.

Submitted by city of Temecula.