Jake’s Take’s Concert Reviews: Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road

Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” Tour will play six sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden. (Photo property of Jake’s Take)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Sir Elton John is one of my all-time favorite performers! I have been a fan of his music since I first saw The Lion King at the now-defunct Movies 10 in my hometown of Overland Park, KS in 1994. I have performed many of the legendary songs that he co-penned with his iconic writing partners, Bernie Taupin, and Tim Rice, for karaoke, middle school show choir, and high school choir concerts such as “Your Song,” “Circle of Life,” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.”

However, I never saw the Grammy, Oscar, and Tony-winning Kennedy Center Honoree perform live in my life. When I reported for Enstars earlier this year that Elton would go on a one final world tour, I had to get tickets for one of his shows.

It was worth every penny! I attended the second of six sold-out shows at New York City’s music mecca, Madison Square Garden. There was no opening act, it was Elton John and his band as they captivated the audience through an outstanding concert that started around 8:15 PM and did not end until nearly 11 PM EST.

From the roaring opener “Bennie and the Jets” and the first act closer “Saturday’s Night Alright for Fighting” to the two encore songs: the always poignant “Your Song” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” Elton John and his amazing band of musicians delivered an epic set.  The audience were out of their seats for the classics such as “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Crocodile Rock,” and “Sad Songs (Say So Much).”  Some surprising moments of the evening included “Indian Sunset,” which featured celebrated percussionist Ray Cooper and “Believe,” which highlighted the Elton John AIDS Foundation work across the globe.

The former Las Vegas headliner also shared stories with the audience from his past. He revealed the thrill that he and Bernie Taupin received when they heard that Aretha Franklin recorded their 1970 hit “Border Song” in 1972.  Elton also thanked the audience for the dedicated support that they gave him over the years and also added he appreciated their understanding as he goes on his ‘final tour.’ Before John began his encore performance, he brought out his sons, Elijah and Zachary, to the stage.

In addition to the phenomenal performances, there were excellent videos that accompanied some of the songs.  Some standouts include a Looney Tunes/Dr. Seuss-inspired animated video for “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” NASA-quality graphics for “Rocket Man,” and a plethora of drag queens who transformed into the cast of Dynasty for “The Bitch is Back.” Also, keep an eye on two retrospective collages that feature Elton John’s media appearances and concerts when “I’m Still Standing” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” is performed.

Final thoughts & grade: If you are a true music fan, you should not miss Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. It celebrates Elton John’s legacy as an outstanding artist and performer, and you will truly enjoy every minute that he is on the stage. A+

Full Setlist: “Bennie & The Jets,” “All The Girls Love Alice,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues,” “Border Song,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Indian Sunset,” “Rocket Man,” “Take Me to the Pilot,” “Someone Saved My Life Tonight,” “Levon,” “Candle in the Wind” (Elton only), “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,” “Burn Down the Mission,” “Believe,” “Daniel,” “Sad Songs (Say So Much),” “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down on Me,” “The Bitch is Back,” “I’m Still Standing,” “Crocodile Rock,” & “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” Encore: “Your Song” & “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

Comments

  1. Michel Couturieux says:

    Great review, Jake! I’m really glad you got to see Sir Elton, I was a big fan going back to the first live album, 11-17-70. Sounds like it was amazing. Thanks for letting us read all about it. Really good take on the show, that the man himself would be happy to read. Cheers from Rhode Island

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar