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The Stylus

It’s been a “long, long time” but Elton John is back on the road


After two years of cancellations and postponements, Elton John has returned to his now-lengthy Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. I’ve been holding on to tickets for about two and a half years, and I was finally able to see a show on Long Island on March 5.  

As a lifelong fan of Elton John’s music, I have been dying to see this show. The first CD I ever remember playing when I was young was the first Elton John Greatest Hits album. I can’t hear “Crocodile Rock” without vividly remembering my childhood.  

Needless to say, I was excited, especially after anticipation built over the course of two years. I was not disappointed.

I’ve been fortunate to see a lot of classic rock artists over the past few years; the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel to name a few. Although I am writing this soon after the concert, I have to say Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road might be the best concert I’ve ever seen. The setlist contained a perfect variety of hits and some deep cuts thrown in to please the die-hard fans. Songs like “Rocket Man,” “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” and my personal favorite, “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,” were presented with amazing production value. The show incorporated a giant video screen, a large variety of lighting and stage effects to create an extremely immersive concert experience.  

Last year, Elton John’s remix collaboration with Dua Lipa called “Cold Heart” was a massive hit.  The song was built by mashing up old Elton John tracks, including “Sacrifice” and “Rocket Man,” and adding techno sounds and vocals from Dua Lipa to create a more modern sound. Presumably, due to the song’s massive popularity, Elton John added it to the encore for this leg of the tour, immediately preceding “Your Song.”  

Although I enjoyed the song, it did feel a bit out of place among the rock classics that surrounded it in the set. It was made stranger by the fact that Elton John sat and sang nonchalantly to parts of the song while a track played. He faced away from his piano, and the band was completely absent from the stage. A bit awkward, but not a total blunder.  

Outside of the awkward inclusion of “Cold Heart,” the show was damn near perfect. After two years of rest, Elton John’s voice sounds nothing short of amazing, very full and clear. The band was tight and well-rehearsed, and the show had a nice flow. The show was also quite a bit louder than I expected. Had it gone longer than its nearly-two-and-a-half-hours, the excessive volume may have gotten painful, so it was a perfect length in that regard.  

Elton John will be touring for most of this year, playing his final shows in the U.S. in November at Dodger Stadium, where his historic 1975 concerts were held. He will be playing near Brockport at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse as well. 

After a lengthy amount of traveling to Uniondale on Long Island, I figured I might be disappointed by the show, that tends to be my luck. But I wasn’t, not even a little. If you get the chance to see Elton John one last time, don’t pass it up.  

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