It’s not long now until the legendary Elton John returns for Australia for what he promises to be the last time, in his swan song, “Farewell, Yellow Brick Road” tour. It’ll see him take in a mountain of dates across several months – with both major city and regional appearances.
So what do Australian fans have to look forward to on this run? We caught his show earlier tonight at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada. It was his final night of two shows – making it what is likely to be his last ever show in the city. It’s a city he reflected on as having played 26 times, with another 25 shows played elsewhere in the province. It’s also a city his husband, David Furnish, is from – which is what made it heartbreaking to hear on stage that David’s mother Gladys had passed away the night before.
The news had come after an emotional John said, “I’ve had enough applause to last me a billion lifetimes, but I will miss you, and I will never forget you. Thank you for all the love and support over the last 50 years.” And he spoke of the love for his family which is why he’s ending a 50 year life on the road, saying, “They need me”.
He dedicated the song “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me” to Gladys, and it proved a rather emotional moment; all the more remarkable to see him pushing on through the show with that going on behind the scenes. The show must go on, as they say. And with Elton, it was a magnificent show indeed, with favourites like “Rocketman” and “Tiny Dancer” played early, and “Crocodile Rock”, “Saturday Night…” and “Your Song” are saved until the end. And “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” proving the epic closer as it had been designed. Hell, he opens with “Bennie and the Jets”, so it really is all guns blazing for the whole show. And a shout out to “Levon” for being a jam-filled highlight of the night.
Elton plays with a six piece band; emotive percussionist and backing vocalist Ray Cooper was often the star of the show on screen; Davey Johnstone the band leader and electric guitarist, also had his moments to shine, especially during “Levon”.
If you were hoping a for a tonne of Almost Famous -esque sing alongs, you might be disappointed; Elton only really gets the crowd singing back to him in “Crocodile Rock”. But it’s a flawless performance, by now no doubt the same production run all over the world, every night – and that level of detail and skill shows. But you’ve got some surprises to look forward to, and it’s beautiful to see Elton talk about a few of his songs along the way. You have some good banter to look forward to; though he manages to avoid letting it get in the way of the show’s tight 25 song, 3 hour set. And while he can’t quite hit the high notes like he used to, he barely misses a beat the whole way. It’s truly a world class production, fronted by one of the world’s best musicians and performers. It’s not to be missed.
Elton John plays in Australia running from November 30th in Perth through to March 7th in Sydney. And everywhere in between. For tickets and more details head HERE.
This piece covered the show at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on 24th October 2019.