Elton John said goodbye to the US with an emotional concert in Los Angeles

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The crowd of more than 50,000 at Dodger Stadium roared as the singer arrived. “I want to spend time with my family because next year I will be 76 years old, I want to bring them out there and show them why I am retiring”

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Elton John said goodbye to the US with an emotional concert in Los Angeles

Sir Elton John performed live at Elton John's last North American show of his “Farewell Yellow Brick” tour Road" (REUTERS/David Swanson)

Forty-seven years after taking the stage at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in a sequin-studded baseball uniform as the world's biggest pop star, Elton John took the same stage Sunday night in a glitzy Los Angeles gown. Dodgers, a more appropriate uniform for a 75-year-old man on the verge of retirement.

The crowd of over 50,000 roared as he arrived in the final minutes of the last North American concert of a tour that John says will be his last.

“I want to spend time with my family because next year I will be 76 years old,” she said. “I want to bring them out there and show them why I'm retiring.”

She hugged and kissed her husband, David Furnish, while their two sons, Zachary, 11, and Elijah, The 9-year-olds, wearing matching Dodgers jackets with “Elton” written on the back, cheerfully waved to the crowd.

Elton John said goodbye to the US with an emotional concert in Los Angeles

Elton John performs "Bennie and the Jets" (REUTERS/David Swanson)

John then began singing “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, the inevitable final song that gave the tour its name “Farewell Yellow Brick Road”.

The crowd filled with Rocket Men and Rocket Women, babies in blue jeans, and L.A. ladies, many John's age but many in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, swayed and sang as they had during the show. two hours with songs like “Rocket Man” and “Tiny dancer”. Some wiped away tears.

Many wore their own sequins and sparkly glasses, top hats, feather boas, and in some cases Donald Duck costumes, representing stages of the John's 55-year career.

“Thank you all for dressing up,” said John, “it makes me so happy when you're wearing the most amazing costumes.”

Elton John said goodbye to the US with an emotional concert in Los Angeles

Fans enter to watch Elton John perform, dressed in the iconic Dodgers suit in tribute to the singer (REUTERS/David Swanson)

As the last song finished, John removed his robe and left the He changed into another retirement outfit, a green and red tracksuit, and got into a small transparent elevator that took him to an opening at the bottom. He could then be seen on a giant video screen walking down a yellow brick road in the distance.

Many others joined John for the occasion.

Kiki Dee took the stage to sing a duet of “Don't Go Breaking My Heart”.

“In 1975, this woman was here with me and we sang this song,” John said as he pulled out to Dee. “I asked him to come over and recreate that incredible moment.”

Elton John said goodbye to the US with an emotional concert in Los Angeles

“Thank you all for dressing up,” John said in the middle of his repertoire, “it makes me so happy when you're wearing the most fantastic costumes”

John jumped up from his usual place at the keyboard, grabbed a microphone and she sang and danced with Dee while her rehearsal pianist, Adam Chester, pounded the keys for her.

John played “Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me” in tribute to the four bandmates who have died during his career, and after the first verse he brought in another guest, yelling, “Ladies and gentlemen, Brandi Carlile! ”

The moment was an unspoken tribute to another late collaborator, George Michael, who dueted with John in the same way on the song in 1991.

Carlile, who was central to Joni Mitchell's recent return to the stage, wore her own sequined Dodgers-themed outfit. She sang her verses and did a “Can you believe this?!” She faced the crowd as John put his arm around her and was soaked in applause.

Elton John said goodbye to the US with an emotional concert in Los Angeles < /p>A fan enters to see Elton John perform, wearing a crocodile-shaped hat (REUTERS/David Swanson)

A drum machine boomed as Dua Lipa, in a black dress that contrasted with everyone else's sparkles, stepped out for the first of the encores, “Cold Heart,” her 2021 hit with John.

“I can't tell you how it feels to be 75 years old and have the number 1 record in the whole world”, John said afterwards. “And this was my first hit, 52 years ago”.

He started playing piano chords and sang: “It's kind of funny, this feeling inside ”, the opening line of “Your Song” from 1970.

“That was your song, Los Angeles!” he yelled afterwards.

Elton John said goodbye to the US with an emotional concert in Los Angeles

In January, John heads to Australia and New Zealand, then moves on to Britain and Europe. It's scheduled to wrap up in Sweden in July, though he's made it clear he's only done touring, not making music

Roughly two hours early, after taking the stage in a sequined tuxedo that lit in a flame design and opening the concert with “Benny and the Jets”, he explained the importance of the city to his music.

“Okay, this is a very special night for me, a very emotional night for me, and it's been a long journey, and I first came to the United States in 1970 to the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, and played at a club called the Troubadour.”

The concert, which streamed live on Disney+, was the latest in a three-night adventure at the stadium (and their 103rd show at the Los Angeles area, he told the crowd). The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour kicked off in September 2018 with the first of over 300 scheduled dates. It was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic and resumed in 2021.

In January, John heads to Australia and New Zealand, then moves on to Britain and Europe. It's scheduled to wrap up in Sweden in July, though he's made it clear he's only done touring, not making music.

Elton John said goodbye to the US with an emotional concert in Los Angels

Poster image of his last concert to be broadcast on Disney+

Many of his backers have been in his band from the beginning, or very close, including Nigel Olsson, his drummer since 1969, and Davey Johnstone, their guitarist since 1971, who at 71 stood at the front of the stage and led the band through a harrowing version of “Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting”.

John also provided a rare onstage glimpse of an even older collaborator, the man who penned most of the words the crowd sang to all night, lyricist Bernie Taupin.

“We've been writing together since 1967,” said John as he hugged Taupin, who couldn't have made a more contrast to his writing partner with his bald head and plain earth-toned coat. “We still love each other more than ever before”.

(with information from AP)

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