LOS ANGELES — The sun has set on by Elton John last North American show in the place where it all began – Dodger Stadium.
“Tonight is a very special night, a very emotional night for me,” John said after playing “Philadelphia Freedom” on a grand piano wearing a dazzling jacket with tails and sunglasses. “It’s been a long journey.”
John, 75 years old, wrapped up their Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour in North America on Sunday, a goodbye made even more poignant since Dodger Stadium was the famous setting for John’s stadium concerts in 1975.
More than 47 years ago, John’s two electrifying, sequin-packed concerts at the historic ballpark confirmed the rising star’s supernova status.
“Elton John Live: Dodger Stadium Farewell” was streamed live on Disney+
“We’re making history tonight, the first-ever worldwide stream on Disney+,” John said. “And hello Dodger Stadium!”
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Still impacted by a hip injury which forced the postponement of the tour to September 2021, John didn’t walk across the stage with ease, let alone hop on his piano like he did in 1975.
But his piano numbers didn’t lose a beat as he showed with an extended riff at the end of “Levon.” After finishing the song, John collapsed on the piano in (perhaps) exaggerated exhaustion, only to get to his feet to demand more applause.
The departing superstar had the help of musical guests. Brandi Carlile sang the role of George Michael alongside John for “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me”. Holding a gold microphone, Carlile never lost her giddy expression from being on stage. British singer Kiki Dee joined John to sing their classic duet “Do not break My Heart“, 47 years after the two played the same number.
“We decide to re-enact this amazing moment,” John said.
Dua Lipa and John performed their hit remix “Cold Heart” (on the same night the song won a American Music Awards for better collaboration).
A group of Hollywood stars attended, some walking down a red carpet before the concert, including JoJo Siwa (wearing a “Rocketman” devil costume) Heidi Klum, Angela Bassett, Courtney B. VanceKirsten Dunst, John StamosConnie Britton and “Top Gun: Maverick” star Miles Teller. Jude Law, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Neil Patrick Harris were in the audience.
Britney Spearswho recently collaborated with John on their single “Hold Me Closer”, did not make an appearance.
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For his encore songs, John returned to the stage wearing an outfit reminiscent of his dazzled (and comfy) classic Dodgers baseball uniform from 1975. The 2022 version was a silver glitter Dodgers dress with the number one on the back. The dazzling blue baseball cap remained the same as the 1975 version.
John brought his singing partner Bernie Taupin on stage (“If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here.”) before calling his family to join him.
“I want to spend time with my family, I’ll be 76 when I stop filming next year,” John said as his partner David Furnish brought out their sons Zachary, 11, and Elijah, 9. . “I want to bring here to show you exactly why I’m retiring.”
The music superstar who was originally powered by the Los Angeles crowds thanked local audiences for their vital support.
“You created me. Without America, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “Thank you for all these years of love and generosity. I wish you health, love and prosperity.”
“Be nice to each other,” John added. “And farewell.”
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John ended his final concert of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour with his classic “Goodbye Yellowbrick Road”. At the end of the song, he threw off his silver robe to reveal a tracksuit and rode an elevator which lifted him onto the stage. An animated John was shown on stage screens walking down a heavenly yellow brick road.
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