Elton John delivered an astounding 24-song setlist on Saturday night (September 8th) for the opening night of his three-year “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. Rolling Stone reported that the show at Allentown, Pennsylvania’s PPL Center featured a dazzling string of original video projections for nearly every song — including new clips by photographer David LaChapelle and the late-animator Alan Aldridge.
Elton gave a heartfelt thanks to the crowd, saying, “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve given to me these past 50 years. But I have the most beautiful family and I really need to spend more time with them. I know you understand since a lot of you have children of your own. I just want to be there for them and that’s why I’m doing this tour. It’s to say thank you and say goodbye to touring.”
The show is certainly among the most hit-packed shows hitting arenas today, featuring no fewer than 17 Top 20 hits — 13 of them Top Tens. Elton dedicated “Border Song” to Aretha Franklin and “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” to rapper Mac Miller.
Elton told us that his live career is far different than nearly every one of his peers in terms of sweat and actual miles logged across the decades: “I’ve been working constantly. I’m not this person who does tours, like, every couple of years. I’ve been on the road every year since I made it in 1970 — apart from one year when I got sober, I took a year off — I’ve been a constant working musician. I don’t often play big cities, I go out and play middle cities; little places — Montana, Vermont. All those kind of places, which I wanna go to and play to people that normally can’t get a chance to see me. But this is a 300-date tour. In the press today in England, of course they say that I’m retiring because of ill-health and if you’re going to do 300 shows, you’re not in ill-health. And I thought the time is right to say thank you to all my fans around the world. It doesn’t mean to say that I’m still not going to be creative, but I’m not going to travel anymore.” ”
“Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me”
“The Bitch Is Back”
“I’m Still Standing”
“Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting”
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”
Photo Courtesy of David LaChappelle