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
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
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table.
This Banana Split In Las Vegas Is Made With Fire And Liquid Nitrogen Right At Your Table. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster
Pixar Pier At Disneyland Is Open With New Food And A New Roller Coaster (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland
Here's What It's Like To Ride The New Incredicoaster At Disneyland (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
"Pawn Stars" fans visit Richard Harrison's memorial at Gold & Silver Pawn
"Pawn Stars" fans from around the world visit the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas following the passing of Richard "Old Man" Harrison on Monday, June 25, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like