Elton John kicks off farewell tour with flair

Updated September 12, 2018 - 7:37 am

PHILADELPHIA — After 90 minutes of nonstop singing and piano playing — which had the audience on their feet and desperately waiting for more — Elton John returned to the stage dramatically, and epically.

There was the sound of loud thunderstorms, dark blue, smoky lights surrounding the arena, and a grand, candle-lit chandelier on the large screen — all while music in the vein of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” played in the background.

A strong light beamed from the ceiling to John’s piano as if he were Batman. After all, his performance was heroic.

The Rocket Man, who kicked off his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour about 60 miles from Philadelphia on Saturday, sang like a confident, electrified pro in the City of Brotherly Love on Tuesday. It was the second show on his 300-date tour set to reach five continents, stretching into 2021. He will retire from the road after the shows.

John’s custom Gucci blazer was covered with pink flowers and green stems — which matched his pink shoes and green glasses with rhinestones — when he emerged to sing again, as his piano smoothly moved from one end of the stage to the center.

His performance throughout the night was so rousing that concertgoers, ranging from thirtysomethings to people about John’s age (he’s 71), reacted in various ways: Some recorded every moment with their cellphones like anxious teenagers, while others danced without a care, yelled every lyric and played the air-piano. Others calmly took in the energy from their seats — after all, it was a school/work night.

The nearly three-hour concert began with “Bennie and the Jets,” as John pounded away at the piano and took in a long applause at the song’s end. He was backed by an equally talented six-member band at the Wells Fargo Center and said Tuesday’s show marked an anniversary: he first played in Philadelphia on Sept. 11, 1970.

&nbsp7

“There’s been one common denominator throughout (my musical) journey — you guys out there,” he said to the fans. “You bought the singles, the albums, the 8-track, the cassette, the CD, the DVD, the merchandise, but most of all, you bought the tickets to the shows.”

“You have no idea how much I love to play live,” he continued. “Ten years ago, if you said I would be doing a farewell tour, I would have said you put acid in my drink.”

The Oscar, Grammy and Tony winner performed two dozen songs, including classics like “Your Song,” ”Tiny Dancer,” ”Rocket Man,” ”Saturday Night’s Alright (for Fighting),” ”Candle In the Wind” and “I’m Still Standing.”

He wore a black tailcoat blazer with shiny gold lines and red glasses with rhinestones. The earring in his right ear would put even a fancy wedding ring to shame.

John didn’t speak much throughout the night — quickly jumping from song to song. He did give a shout-out to Bernie Taupin, his writing partner of 50 years who was sitting in the audience. When he sang “Border Song,” which was covered by Aretha Franklin, John said he wanted to honor those who had a profound impact on his life, including musicians, politicians, athletes and everyday people. The Queen of Soul, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone and Stephen Hawking were among the famous faces that appeared on the screen. A photo of John and his grandmother closed the performance.

The performer also highlighted the success of his Elton John AIDS Foundation, saying he started the organization after getting sober in 1990 and realizing he “hadn’t done enough to address the AIDS epidemic during its terrifying rise in the 1980s.”

“Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined how far it would grow,” he said of the foundation, which John said has raised $400 million and reached 100 million people.

“And if there’s one thing I learned in my life, it’s about the extraordinary healing power of love and compassion and caring.”

He closed the concert with “Goodbye to Yellow Brick Road,” this time in a robe and heart-shaped glasses. John took off the robe to reveal his tracksuit, ascending into a secret-like door above the stage. Just like a superhero.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Buddy V - Sep 21 Confidante
Famous Infinity Mirror Room is open in Las Vegas
Yayoi Kusama's "Aftermath of Obliteration of Infinity" mirror room is open at the Bellagio in Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Glittering Lights dazzles Las Vegas
The Glittering Lights holiday display is shining at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. (Mat Luschek/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Skybar at Waldorf Astoria lets you sip your way through Las Vegas history
Skybar At Waldorf Astoria Lets You Sip Your Way Through Las Vegas History (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Stan Lee in Las Vegas for Madame Tussauds unveiling
Stan Lee Las Vegas speaks with the Review-Journal's Chris Lawrence about his love for his fans and shared universes. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ultimate Belgium Waffle Sundae at Lavo
Lavo at the Palazzo serves a 16-scoop ice cream sundae that costs $800. (Rochelle Ricahrds, Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip
A New Zip Line Is Opening On The Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel lLas Vegas Review-Journal)
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip
You'll need a keen eye to find this secret bar on the Las Vegas Strip (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"The Lion King" roars into Las Vegas
New music club 172 brings loud luxury to Las Vegas
New music venue at the Rio brings rock ’n’ roll and food together at intimate club. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Fans fear for Zak Bagans’ safety in Las Vegas Halloween TV special
Fly Linq zip line time lapse
Fly Linq zip line timelapse
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Shaq opens Las Vegas restaurant, Big Chicken
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu
Robert Deniro And Chef Nobu Talk About The Success Of Nobu (Al Mancini Las Vegas Review-journal)
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center
Nevada Ballet Theatre rehearses for "Dracula" at The Smith Center (Janna Karel/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Recycled Art and Cute Dogs at Summerlin Festival Of Arts
Recycled Art, Cute Dogs Abound At Summerlin Festival Of Arts (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show
Bellagio Patisserie Creates Life-size Sculpture Of 20th Anniversary Of Cirque Du Soleil Show (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains
10 Most Iconic Moments At The Bellagio Fountains (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like