Sir Elton John bids the Yellow Brick Road adieu with one last concert
All good things come to an end someday, but that doesn’t make them any easier to accept. However, adding some sequins and piano certainly cushions the blow—something Sir Elton John knows well. The singer played his last North American show last night at Dodger Stadium, the finale to three nights at the stadium commemorating the end of his farewell tour, aptly named “Farewell Yellow Brick Road.”
Wearing (among many other costumes) a Dodgers-themed bathrobe that exuded both flair and relaxation, 75-year-old John performed to a crowd of nearly 50,000 tiny dancers. Many of the audience members were gussied up in their own John-inspired sequined and feathered looks, per AP entertainment reporter Andrew Dalton, and the singer himself noted the style throughout the crowd.
“Thank you all for dressing up,” John said, “it makes me so happy when you wear the most fantastic costumes.”
Throughout the nearly two-hour set, John hit on all the hits spanning his 55-year career—“Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Benny and The Jets,” “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting,” and of course, “Your Song” were all on the menu. Naturally, he closed the performance with “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” the track that gave his farewell tour its name. (Read The A.V. Club’s ranking of John’s greatest hits here.)
The “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour first began back in September 2018, boasting a monstrous list of 300-plus dates around the world. It was suspended in 2020 amid COVID-19 pandemonium and resumed in 2021. John will head back out on tour in January, stopping in Australia, New Zealand, Britain, and Europe. He’s set to conclude his tour in Sweden in July but has made it clear that will only be the end of his traveling days, not his music-making career.
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Per John himself, the final Dodger Stadium concert—which was streamed live via Disney+—was his 103rd performance in Los Angeles. John regaled the audience with tales from his early days playing L.A.— according to the singer, his first performance in the City of Angels was back in 1970, at a club called the Troubador.
It was also a night of guest stars from across John’s career. Kiki Dee came out to join him for a performance of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart,” during which John hopped off the keys and got to dancing. Brandi Carlile donned her own spangled suit to perform a duet of “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (and an unspoken tribute to one of John’s treasured colleagues, the late George Michael).
Dua Lipa also joined John onstage during an encore to perform their 2021 hit “Cold Heart.” Afterward, John reflected on his wide span of No. 1 hits before segueing into his first ever hit, 1970's “Your Song.”
“I can’t tell you how it feels to be 75 years old and to have the No. 1 record around the world,” John shared. “And this was my very first hit, 52 years ago.”
Despite a lengthy list of luminous collaborators, perhaps the biggest reveal of the night was that of lyricist Bernie Taupin. Taupin is John’s longest-running collaborator and the scribe behind most of the Rocket Man’s biggest hits.
“We’ve been writing together now since 1967,” John shared as he wrapped Taupin (dressed in far more muted attire) in his arms. “We still love each other more than we’ve ever done before.”
John also made a point of making his final show a family affair, and highlighting the support system he’ll be returning home to after his last curtain call. In the final minutes of the show, John welcomed his husband, David Furnish, and their sons, 11-year-old Zachary and 9-year-old Elijah, to the stage. The trio wore matching Dodgers baseball jackets that read “Elton” across the back as they excitedly waved to the crowd.
“I want to spend time with my family because I’ll be 76 next year,” John shared before his family joined him. “I want to bring them out and show you why I’m retiring.”