Last night (4 December), Sir Elton John visited Adelaide for the sixteenth time in his touring career, for his last hoorah as part of the ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road' world tour.
He opened the evening with ‘Bennie And The Jets’ as the sun slowly set behind the 13,000-strong crowd at Adelaide's Botanic Park, backed up immediately with a dramatic change in tempo keeping us all on the edge of our seats with ‘I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues’.
Throughout the night he shared stories of how he turned his life around, getting sober and staying clean in 1991 accompanied by what he describes as his most personal song ‘Someone Saved My Life Tonight’.
The concert featured so many radio favourites that have been heard in cars, shopping centres and movie soundtracks for decades including ‘Tiny Dancer’, ‘Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time)’, ‘I'm Still Standing’, ‘Sad Songs (Say So Much)’, ‘Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ and ‘Daniel’, which always reminds me of his magical work that defined one of my favourite animated movies, 2000 DreamWorks sensation ‘The Road To El Dorado’.
Through the 26-song set, and almost 3 hours of pounding the ivories, Sir Elton (who is 72) didn't appear to break a sweat.
Personal favourite ‘Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters’ unfortunately did not make the cut, but I wondered on the drive home how he even managed to keep the set as low as 26 tracks with a lifetime of work to choose from. He shared another of his proudest accomplishments with us, the Elton John AIDS Foundation and being able to use his place in society as a proud gay man to improve the lifespan of those afflicted by the disease since its launch in 1992 – more than $450 million has been raised with one million people treated; a lot of this he puts down to loving each other and doing whatever we can to support and help one another, put simply in his song ‘I Want Love’.
He thanked us all sincerely for our dedication over the last 50 years and for coming out and watching his final concert, "the greatest thrill for me as a musician is to play live for all of you.
"Thank you Adelaide, I won’t forget you guys, how could I ever forget you. . . and I have had enough applause to last a lifetime."
He returned to the stage alone in a robe and strawberry-shaped glasses to perform the heartfelt 1970 ballad ‘Your Song’, before his band reappeared to see out the night in the most fabulous fashion (only words appropriate for Sir Elton) with ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’.
And just like the lyrics from ‘Candle In The Wind’ – performed with vision of the one and only Marilyn Monroe earlier in the evening – even though you are dousing the flame on your touring candle, your legend and the memories from this night will continue to burn well into the future. Thank you Sir Elton John.