Elton John began his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour in September 2018 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The first leg of the tour saw two mesmerizing sold-out shows at the American Airlines Center in Dallas two months later in December.
On Thursday and Friday night, John gave what will officially be his final performances in Dallas proper, though North Texas will have one last chance to see the legendary singer-songwriter again at Globe Life Field in September before John does. his last farewell to Europe and Oceania.
In 2018, John gave a sprawling performance highlighting hits and deep cuts such as 1971’s “Indian Sunset.” Crazy through the water and “All the Girls Love Alice” from 1973 goodbye yellow brick road. For John’s last show in Dallas, however, the showman gave a more streamlined set that jumped right into the good stuff.
The arena was packed. Hundreds of fans of all ages donned their chic Elton John best – some in sequins, some in dazzling jumpsuits and others in bright sunglasses that could be seen from the ground when the lights went out.
John entered the small staircase in a long, shiny coat bearing his initials, limping a little from a recent hip injury. Still, the crowd rose as the great rock ‘n’ roll pianist sat down in front of his grand piano.
The video backdrop behind John at the start of the concert gave the audience a glimpse of the real blood, sweat and tears the singer shed on his way to this moment. It displayed a revised version of the goodbye yellow brick road album cover, showing an older John walking into green pastures. Behind him was a young John, sitting in his iconic sequined Dodgers jersey among empty, crushed beer cans. On the other side, we could distinguish a fallen “Goodbye”, replaced by a “Farewell” in place of the title of the album. On the letters there were splatters of blood.
To say the concert was moving is an understatement. The whole night was underlined by the thought that John would never perform in front of a Dallas audience again, and hearing the singer go through decades of hits so many of us were raised on was as nostalgic as it was tragic. John’s music will be with us forever, sure, but hearing his voice falter slightly and watching him rise to his feet at times, one can’t help but think there’s more to this tour than a farewell to the music industry.
The video backdrop would further serve to heighten the emotional gravity of the night. Whether it’s the LGBTQ-centric video for “Philadelphia Freedom,” people of color being lifted during “Border Song,” or Marilyn Monroe’s beautiful depiction of life in “Candle In The Wind,” each video has shed light on the many causes John has defended throughout his turbulent and distinguished career.
Still, all the strong emotions aside, John remained in wonderful spirit throughout the night’s 22-song setlist. Despite his hip injury and his age, John still stood up at the end of almost every song to greet audience members from front to back, smiling and thanking them for coming as if people didn’t. hadn’t planned their presence at the Friday Night Show in years. John even joked about his age in the first encore song of the night, “Cold Heart,” which recently made the singer the first artist to break into the top 10 in six decades thanks to the collaboration with Dua Lipa.
“I’m not going to lie to you,” John said wryly, “It’s great to have a hit when you’re 74.”
While John may not be the superhuman singer and performer he once was, his latest performance in Dallas proved he doesn’t have to be. Watching a legendary singer of John’s stature isn’t about seeing the greatest spectacle or showman on Earth. It’s about reliving all the times John’s music served as the soundtrack and cheering on the man who made it all possible.