I’ve been to a lot of concerts over the years, but never one in a professional football team’s stadium. Thus I approached going to Charlotte with my husband and my kids for the Elton John concert last week with trepidation. This is Elton’s last concert tour (called Follow the Yellow Brick Road tour), and that man must have the constitution of an ox! Hew’s 75 years old! And he is on tour, except for brief breaks over the holidays, until next July!
I apologize for my own photos – so hard to get anything in that arena!
The Bank of America stadium holds about 75,000 people and I think, given they had to block off the seats to the back and the far sides of the stage, there were at least 65,000 fans there. Our seats were on the field and far enough away that the people on the stage looked small, but there were two enormous screens at the front that projected Elton and his band, along with some fabulous graphics.
The noise from the crowd singing and dancing along was loud, but the sound system was great so we could hear everything. Sequins and boas and red and blue flashing glasses worn by the attendees were the most interesting part of the night. Elton, as has become his current tradition, wore a very fancy (but conservative for him) tux-like jacket with lots of beading. He changed into another one midway through the concert.
We were treated to almost all of his most loved songs along with some newer ones and some incredibly riffing on the part of his guitarists and percussionist as well as the man himself on the piano. Think: Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me, I guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues, I’m Still Standing, The Bitch Is Back, Crocodile Rock, Candle In The Wind, Bennie And The Jets, Tiny Dancer, and my very favorite, Rocket Man. Elton played for TWO solid hours, which I know from attending another of his concerts in the 1980s at a much smaller venue, is his want. At the end, he sang a Rocket Man mash-up with Dua Lipa who appeared on video.
A long encore followed, when he reappeared in a bathrobe and sat at his piano again.
The concert ended with him being raised up on a platform to disappear into the gloom, only to reappear on the screen in graphic form, walking down a yellow brick road.
Elton John will definitely be missed from the live music arena, but it’s more than time for him to take a final in-person bow and receive the admiration of his fans, owing to his age. He’s been singing for more than fifty years! however, he will still be composing and making albums for us.
Might I have liked a smaller venue? Probably. But the music and the crowd and the graphics made the concert a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If you want to see this concert for yourself but don’t want to pay the ticket price, Disney+ will broadcast an exclusive livestream of Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium on Nov. 20. But it won’t be the same…