Covelli Centre comes through for Elton's biggest fans

By Elise Franco


Amber and Tom

Stewart hoped attending tonight’s Elton John concert would be a memorable way to spend their sixth wedding anniversary.

What transpired in the day leading up to the show only sweetened the deal.

Amber, 29, responded to an online query by The Vindicator to find the singer’s biggest local fan. She contends she is it.

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve listened to his music,” she said. “I have every CD and DVD.”

Amber said she and Tom, 33, of Bessemer, Pa., purchased tickets for the concert as soon as they went on sale but were able only to get individual seats.

“It’s perfect timing because [today] is our anniversary,” she said. “I thought if we can at least go together, even if we’re sitting separately, we’re still here.”

Amber said she and Tom bought green glow sticks they would wave so they could connect during the show.

The couple arrived at the Covelli Centre on Friday afternoon expecting to be photographed and interviewed. But when Eric Ryan, the center’s executive director, and Tracey Biery, box-office manager, caught wind that the couple wouldn’t be sitting together, they wanted to help.

Thanks to a handful of additional seats that opened up today before the show, Biery was able to trade the couple’s tickets for two floor-level tickets so Amber and Tom could enjoy the concert — and their anniversary — together.

“Eric said The Vindicator called about the couple and asked if it was possible to do,” Biery said. “I said sure, for a wedding anniversary, absolutely. Why would we want them to sit apart?”

Amber was moved to tears when Biery handed her the tickets.

“Thank you so much,” she said. “This is one thing to cross off our bucket list” of things to do in their lives.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the sold-out Elton John concert is expected to begin promptly at 8.

Tom said he’s happy to see Amber so happy.

“I know how much she likes him,” he said. “It’s our six-year anniversary, so doing this together is big.”

The couple said they listen to Elton John’s music constantly. Their children, Aydan, 3, and Makenna, 1, are quickly becoming fans.

“It’s very emotional and inspirational,” Tom said.

Amber said what stands out the most about the singer’s music is how she can relate each song to a memory in her life. She especially remembers her uncle who was a lifelong Elton John fan and died eight years ago.

“Music to me is everything. Music is memories and life,” she said. “If I hear an Elton John song, it reminds me of growing up as a kid.”

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