Concert Review

Elton John says Goodbye to Pittsburgh…for now

“He’s giving fans exactly what they could want in a final hurrah: some of his all-time biggest hits, played with his classic gusto!” – Billboard

The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour kicked off to a sold-out crowd on September 8 in Allentown, PA. Taking the audience on a magical journey through his career, the show features some of Elton’s most beloved songs from his legendary catalog including, “Bennie and the Jets,” “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Philadelphia Freedom.” Elton’s music has taken him to many places, opened many doors and inspired many passions in his life. The audience experiences a rare glimpse intoElton’s life and the deeply personal meaning behind some of his greatest hits, with mesmerizing, never-before-seen photos and videos shown throughout the show from his incredible 50-year career.

Last night’s performance in Pittsburgh was no exception, Elton was enigmatic, personal, and vibrant, very impressive for a man who has had such a long illustrious career.  Opening with “Benny and the Jets” in a minimalistic fashion that focused on Elton and his piano, the music man got the crowd singing along from the first note.  His stage was an elaborate set with faux dark gold brick surrounding the stage that built up to a beautiful facade that had key moments of Elton’s career sculpted into it.  The gigantic screen behind him plays through the show with various designs at times, dark at others, pre-made film specific to the music, and iconic pictures throughout his historic career.  Song two went into the groundbreaking number of “All The Girls Love Alice,” a tune that was one of the first to openly speak about lesbianism.  At the opening of “Border Song,” Elton spoke of his writing partner Bernie Taupin and how ecstatic they were when Aretha Franklin decided to cover the song, creating a lifelong relationship between the Queen of Soul and the Rocket Man.  It was a very touching moment and a great personal introspective to Elton.

Speaking very lovingly of Pittsburgh, Elton showed true sincerity and vulnerability throughout the evening along with his backing band drummer Nigel Olsson, guitarist Davey Johnstone, and percussionist Ray Cooper.   The greatest hits just kept coming as he rolled through  “Tiny Dancer,” “Philadelphia Freedom, ” and “Rocket Man” with great gusty, showing off that honky-tonk style he sometimes added to his playing.  Every song was a massive hit except maybe for the exception of the rarely played “Indian Sunset,” a gorgeous song from Madman Across the Water (1971).  The song was written after lyricist Bernie Taupin’s first visit to America.  “Take Me to The Pilot,” “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” and “Levon” were all amazing and pure kinetic energy.

The pace slowed down just a bit for the classic “Candle in the Wind”, the song originally written for Marilyn Monroe and then made even more famous when adapted for Princess Diana in 1977, his second best selling single of all time.  There were so many songs in the  24 song setlist it seemed he could go on forever.  Some other highlights include, “Daniel,” “The Bitch is Back,” “Crocodile Rock,” and of course the closer, “Yellow Brick Road.”

This may be Elton’s last tour, a planned three-year jaunt, but you can catch him back in Pittsburgh next November 2019 on the 13th.  Get your tickets now (on sale Oct 19) because they will sell out again!

All photos AWeldingphoto  ©2018