On behalf of the British Commonwealth, the weekend of October 8th – 9th 2022 in Santa Clara, CA shall be an event marked in time to the greatness of Sir Elton John – said this over-imaginative writer-commoner.
While the first leg of John’s three-year long “Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Final Tour” did reach Oakland and San Jose in 2019, the second leg resumed after the COVID lockdown and John’s hip injury.
By mid-2023, Sir Elton shall complete his last shows in Europe and dutifully commence his own public edict to serve as full-time family man to his husband, David Furnish, 60, and two young sons.
Furnish and John were in a civil partnership in 2005 and legally married in 2014. They first met 29 years ago.
The almost final stretch of the tour
The command celebration of Sir Elton’s generations of hit songs that have etched into our collective consciousness was in full visual and auditory effect at Levi’s Stadium this past weekend.
John’s artisan ivory key performance and baritone voice was joyful and nostalgic. John used to be more a tenor voice with a three-octave range in his younger days, but it was really none to notice in a still wonderful performance.
Regardless, to the gamut of generations from Baby Boomers to the Gen Zers, it was John’s church of music and celebration piercing through time backward and forward.
The stage of smooth flowing black contours and shiny black floors was adorned with streaming lights of complimentary colors adjusting appropriately to each mood. Around the stage were the mandatory giant screens to the left, right and top to supremely accent the performance.
Though limited in movement, the 75-year-old John belied the energy and exhilaration of his showmanship and performance for over two hours.
From John’s solo show opening with one of his timeless 1973 hits “Bennie and the Jets” to a more recent 2021 smooth beat duet “Cold Heart with Dua Lipa (via animated video), John showed his continued depth and breadth in the music world to the next generation of fans.
With no opening act, John faithfully owned the entire evening performance of crescendoing hits and playful energy and heartfelt words.
From his many other songs like “Rocket Man,” “Candle in the Wind,” and “Levon,” to “Take Me to the Pilot,” “I’m Still Standing,” and “The Bitch is Back,” John and band, including three of his long-time cohorts (guitarist, Davey Johnstone; drummer, Nigel Olsson & percussionist, Ray Cooper) flexed their proficiency and ageless presence.
Like a bridge in a song, there were times in the performance for societal reflection to songs like “Have Mercy on the Criminal,” “Burn Down the Mission,” and an adjoining film expose’ to “Tiny Dancer” featuring a young woman in the gritty Los Angeles streets carrying a red, white and blue colored urn.
“Tiny Dancer” was co-written by collaborator Bernie Taupin when he visited California in 1970. Taupin was inspired by a women who epitomized the spirit and freedom of California. In 1973, Taupin described that the song was about his once wife and seamstress, Maxine Feibelman.
“I first became successful in America,” said John after a beautiful performance of another hit, “Your Song.”
“I owe everything to this country,”
“It’s been such an amazing journey for me. Thank you for the love, the kindness and graciousness. I would not be sitting here if it wasn’t for you. I wish you love, health, happiness. Good night!”
With the actual final song of the evening “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” the crowd sensed and knew the end of the memorable night was upon them. And quite possibly, the true end of Elton John live performances as we know it.
In apropos fashion, with the band finally gone from the stage and the queue for the audience the show was really over, another upbeat duet song, “Hold Me Closer” (w/ Britney Spears) provided the ending theme of the night as fans exited.
A happy hand-off and exit to a future that can always include any Elton John song to relive about any key moment, emotion, and celebration in life throughout time.