BY ELENA VALDEZ
The final goodbye is often the hardest to say. Elton John does so in a marvelous way.
Announced in early January of this year, “Farewell to Yellow Brick Road” is musical legend Elton John’s final tour. After nearly half a century of touring and songwriting, he has decided to call it quits.
He explained that goodbyes to his family were becoming harder and harder to say. John and his husband, David Furnish, are the fathers of two young children. His motives are simple– he wants to spend more time with his family. He explained the thrill of stage lights and screaming crowds simply do not compete when compared to spending time with them. The tour is planned to last more than three years, with John performing at over 300 stages across the world.
The crowd seemed to come together at this moment. The realization seemed to kick in that this was John’s final flight.
The concert began with arguably his biggest hit, “Bennie and the Jets.” He proceeded to play a mix of his most well-known hits and his personal favorites. With extravagant stage decor and intricate lighting, John created a different atmosphere for each song played.
Throughout the concert, John would stop to storytell, from honoring the soulful Aretha Franklin to thanking his longtime fans in a heart-touching fashion. The crowds fell silent as he approached the microphone to express his utter gratitude to the people who have stayed by his side through the long journey of his life.
A particularly outstanding part of his performance occurred towards the middle of the show. “Rocket Man,” another extremely popular piece of his, started off with a countdown and glaring blue lights. The ever-changing screen behind him flashed intergalactic images as he sat at the piano and played. The crowd seemed to come together at this moment. The realization seemed to kick in that this was John’s final flight.
His intermission occurred during “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,” an entirely instrumental masterpiece, where the piano glided from one side of the stage to the other as the stage drowned in fog and dim lights. John exited the stage for a costume change from his sequin tailcoat to a floral sports coat.
Other performances included “Indian Sunset,” “Border Song,” “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” “I’m Still Standing,” “All the Girls Love Alice” and “Believe.”
It was an experience nothing short of spectacular; John’s sincere gratitude and bits of wisdom were heard throughout the stadium.
The concert lasted for roughly three hours, including the encore of “Your Song” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” John bid his final farewells to the audience and thanked them once again for the unconditional love and support his fans have shown him.
He also personally introduced and thanked each of his bandmates: Davey Johnstone on guitar, Nigel Olsson on drums, Ray Cooper on drums and other percussion, John Mahon on drums, Kim Bullard on the keyboard and Matt Bissonette on the bass guitar.
It was an experience nothing short of spectacular; John’s sincere gratitude and bits of wisdom were heard throughout the stadium. The live performances truly brought the stories within the songs to life, with John taking time to reach out to the audience and explain and expand upon his songs’ true meanings and motivations. A psychedelic timeline of his life was presented as he took the audience on a tour from the beginning of his performing career in 1969 to the end.
The concert may have ended as he vanished into black, but John as a person never will. The “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” concert was an amazing showcase of his life as a musician. Sir Elton John, though he soon plans to sit, is still standing after all this time.
- Song variety was diverse and personal
- Iconography was fantastic and eye-catching
- Started with “Bennie and the Jets,” late-comers missed a vital part of the performance
Photo courtesy of iHeart Radio