Paris, 2022-11-21 08:52:55. Elton John: Retire at Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles –
Forty-seven years after he took to the stage at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium in a sequined baseball uniform as the world’s biggest pop star, Elton John walked to the same stage Sunday night in a dazzling Dodgers bathrobe, a uniform more suited to A 75-year-old man about to retire.
The 50,000-plus crowd cheered the moment that came in the final minutes of the last concert in North America from a tour John says will be his last.
“I want to spend time with my family because I’m going to be 76 next year,” he said, “I want to bring them out and show you why I’m retiring.”
He hugged and kissed his husband, David Furnish, while his two sons, 11-year-old Zachary and 9-year-old Elijah, in matching Dodgers jackets with “Elton” written on the back, waved gleefully to the crowd.
John then broke into “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” the inevitable final song that gave “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” its name.
Filled with rocket men and rocket women, blue jeans babes and L.A. ladies, many of John’s age but a lot in their twenties, thirties, and forties, the crowd swayed and sang as they did throughout the two-hour show during songs like “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer.” Some wipe tears.
Many wore sequins and glitter, sparkly glasses, top hats, boa feathers, and in a few cases, Donald Duck suits, marking stages in John’s 55-year career.
“Thank you all for dressing up,” John said, “I feel so happy when you’re wearing the most amazing costumes.”
When that last song was over, John threw off his robe and revealed another retirement outfit, a green and red tracksuit, and climbed into a small, conspicuous elevator that lifted him to a hatch in the background. He can then be seen on a giant video screen walking down a yellow brick road in the distance.
Many others joined John for the occasion.
Kiki Dee took to the stage to sing their duet “Don’t Break My Heart”.
“In 1975, this woman was here with me, and we sang this song,” John said, bringing Dee out. “I asked her to come and recreate that amazing moment.”
John jumped up from his usual spot at the keyboard, grabbed a microphone and sang and danced with Dee while practice pianist Adam Chester banged keys in his place.
John played “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” as a tribute to four of his bandmates who died during his run, and after the first verse he brought in another guest, shouting, “Ladies and gentlemen, Brandi Carlile!”
The moment was an unspoken tribute to another late collaborator, George Michael, who, along with John, sang the same way in the song in 1991.
Carlisle, who played a pivotal role in Joni Mitchell’s recent return to the stage, wore a sparkling Dodger jumpsuit. She belted her verses and said, “Can you believe this?!” Face to the crowd as John put his arm around her and broke into applause.
A drum machine pounded as Dua Lipa, in a black dress that contrasted with everyone else’s glamor, appeared on her debut, “Cold Heart,” her 2021 hit with John.
John said afterwards, “I can’t tell you what it feels like to be 75 years old and have a number one record all over the world.” “And that was my first hit, in 52 years.”
He started strumming the piano chords and sang, “It’s a little funny, that feeling inside”, the opener to 1970s hit “Your Song”.
“That Was Your Song, Los Angeles!” exclaimed after.
Roughly two hours earlier, after taking the stage in a tuxedo with sequins set off into a flame design and opening the concert with “Benny and the Jets,” he explained the importance of the city to his music.
“Well, this is a very special night for me, a very emotional night for me, and it’s been a long journey, and I came to America for the first time in 1970 to the City of Angels, Los Angeles, and I played a club called the Troubadour.”
The concert, which was broadcast live on Disney+, was the last of three nights at the stadium (and its 103rd show in the Los Angeles area, he told the crowd). The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour kicked off in September 2018 with the first of 300+ dates scheduled. It was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic and resumed in 2021.
In January, John heads to Australia and New Zealand, and then moves on to Britain and Europe. It’s set to be finished in Sweden in July, though he made it clear that he’s only finished traveling, not making music.
Many of his backers have been in his band since the beginning, or near it, including Nigel Olson, his drummer since 1969, and Davey Johnston, his guitarist since 1971, who fronted the stage at the age of 71 and led the band through A ripped copy of “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”.
John also provided a rare onstage glimpse of a longtime collaborator, the man who wrote most of the lyrics the audience sang all night long, poet Bernie Taupin.
“We’ve been writing together now since 1967,” said John, hugging Tobin, who could not have contrasted more with his writing partner with his bald head and simple earth-colored coat. “We still love each other more than we did before.”
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