Elton John

Elton John Says Farewell to Philly

Last ‘Saturday Night’ was ‘Alright for Fighting’ because Elton John brought his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour to Philadelphia on Nov. 9. This was the second time John brought his farewell tour to Philadelphia (he had two consecutive sold out shows on Sept. 11 and 12, 2018) and it attracted back-to-back sellout crowds.

This tour was John’s most technically ambitious one yet. The stage featured a huge screen that went from the ceiling and down to the floor.

In the front was John and his piano, which moved on a pedestal from each side of the stage.

Although John has an arsenal of hits, he wisely mixed the night with both bops and deep cuts. He opened the show with ‘Bennie and the Jets,’ then simmered the crowd down with the lovely ‘All the Young Girls Love Alice;’ a one-two punch from his album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

Some of the hits John sung in the first hour-and-a-half included ‘Tiny Dancer,’ ‘Rocket Man,’ and of course, ‘Philadelphia Freedom.’ He sprinkled some gems in too, with tunes like ‘Take Me to the Pilot’ and ‘Indian Sunset.’

The second half kicked off with the best part of the evening: John switched outfits and sung his epic ‘Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding.’ It started with a thick fog that made it look like John was walking on water when he came out. They played the over-ten-minute song in its glorious entirety, which got the crowd moving (even though many struggled to get up the stairs).

John sung some treasures like ‘I Want Love,’ that featured a nice video of the work he’s done through his AIDS foundation, and ‘Sad Songs.’ But John packed all the hits at the end, from ‘Crocodile Rock’ to ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.’

At 72-years-old, John still has a ton of energy on the stage. John and the band strung out each song longer than it had to be with dazzling solos that sometimes made you forget what song they started with.

Plus, after every song, John got up from his bench and got the crowd pumped up by throwing his arms in the air and pointing. John could’ve played the most depressing song ever, yet he’d still jump up from the bench and yell “C’MON” while pointing at every person in sight.

It’s clear that the stage is a part of John’s DNA. While he plays, John seems so free and pours everything he has into every song. From playing the piano like he has 20 fingers to the passionate singing, you couldn’t help but think, ‘It’s gonna be hard saying farewell to such a legend.’

John also struggles to say farewell. Not only was the show lengthy (which was great), but so is his tour. This is currently John’s third leg of his farewell tour, with three more to go. Last Saturday, John said he was touring until, ahem, NOVEMBER 2021, but on his website it says the tour ends on Dec. 17, 2020 in London.

Fortunately, we have another chance to see him next year. John will play in  New York City, Brooklyn, and Newark from April 6 to 17. If you get a chance, it’s worth going down that Yellow Brick Road one last time.

IMAGE TAKEN from 6ABC Philadelphia