Emotional Sir Elton John thanks adoring fans as he ends Farewell Tour in Sweden
Sir Elton John gave an emotional speech to the crowd as he closed out the final show of his farewell tour.
After a tearful rendition of Your Song and before his final track Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, he told the thousands in the crowd: ‘The last one and we’re ending it in the beautiful city of Stockholm in Sweden. My very first (show) Sweden was July 7 1971, so more or less 52 years ago to the day.’
He thanked his superfans who have seen him dozens and some hundreds of times, adding: ‘You have no idea how much that means to me.’
Reflecting on his life, he said: ‘I’ve had the most wonderful career, beyond belief. 52 years of pure joy playing music, how lucky am I to play music? But I wouldn’t be sitting here if it wasn’t for you. You bought the singles, albums and CDs and more importantly you bought the tickets to the shows and you know how I love to play live.
‘It’s been my lifeblood to play for you guys and you’ve been absolutely magnificent – thank you. I will never forget you guys. I’ve played so many concerts, how could I forget? You’re in my head, and my heart and my soul and I thank you so much.’
He confirmed that he will ‘never be touring again’, but revealed he may do a ‘one-off thing’ sometime in the future – adding that would be ‘miles away’.
His whole concert was a wild ride of emotions from start to finish, with Sir Elton kicking things off by telling the crowd they ‘better make it a good show’.
The 76-year-old musical megastar has been travelling around the globe performing his Farewell Yellow Brick Road show since 2018, and his second night at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm on Saturday finally brings the 330-date run to a close.
In classic spectacular fashion, The Rocket Man singer donned a black suit jacket with colourful beading on the lapel as he took to the stage to open with his hit Bennie And The Jets, which first appeared on the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album in 1973.
After a rousing rendition of Philadelphia Freedom, he riled up the audience by waving and said: ‘Good evening, Stockholm. Well, this is it.
‘This is it. I’m very glad to be in Sweden and this beautiful country… We better make it a good show. Here we go.’
He then launched into I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues.
The veteran musician dedicated the next track on his set list – Border Song – to the late Aretha Franklin.
He recalled to the masses that when his self-titled second album came out in 1970, he and his long-term songwriting partner Bernie Taupin ‘could not believe our luck’ when she covered the song.
Sir Elton said that he went on to meet and record with the soul singer and that she insisted on performing for his Aids Foundation six months before she died in 2018, despite being ill.
After the poignant anecdote, he dedicated the song ‘to the legacy of the queen of soul’.
He followed it up with a vibrant performance of his hit song Tiny Dancer, Have Mercy On The Criminal, and his classic Rocket Man – the song that lent its name to his biopic, with Taron Egerton playing the singer.
The emotions were strong tonight, as Sir Elton hailed his 1975 record Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy as ‘one of his favourite albums’ ahead of playing one of its singles – Someone Saved My Life Tonight.
He then moved into a lively version of his song Levon, which was released on his 1971 album Madman Across The Water.
As he struck up the chords to his emotional track Candle In The Wind, video clips of an actress portraying Marilyn Monroe were shown on the big screen behind the singer.
Sir Elton performed the song at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997 – adapting the lyrics to reflect her life.
Proving some serious budget has gone into this tour, Sir Elton went on to create a dramatic atmosphere in the stadium as the stage was flooded with dry ice while sounds and images of thunderstorms played across the big screens to allow him time for a costume change.
He returned wearing a white suit jacket with diamond-style trimming on the lapel paired with a blue sparkly pair of his signature sunglasses.
As he sat behind his piano, it glided across the stage and he joined his band in a musical interlude before launching into Love Lies Bleeding.
Of course, he took time to thank his band and crew, dedicating his hit song Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me to them and his family.
He told the crowd in Stockholm that after finishing his shows, he is ‘going to go away for a while but I want to pay tribute to these musicians because they have been incredible’.
Sir Elton wished them and the crew, some of whom have been with him for more than 40 years, a ‘great rest’.
‘I wish you so much love, I hope I see you soon, I love you very much,’ he added.
He also revealed he had people who had flown in from across the world from locations such as England, Australia and the US to ‘say goodbye’ with him, including family members from both his mother and father’s side.
The star’s tour was paused at various points due to the pandemic and shows in Europe and the UK had to be rescheduled due to the veteran singer sustaining an injury to his hip after he suffered a fall in 2021.
His Stockholm show marks the end of Sir Elton’s touring career after around 50 years on the road which has included more than 4,000 performances in over 80 countries since launching his first tour in 1970.
It is also one of the highest-grossing concert tours since records began with Billboard reporting that it is the first to do $900million (£701million) worth of ticket sales, with Sir Elton saying more than six million people have come to watch him.
Announcing the end of his touring five years ago, Sir Elton said his ‘priorities have changed’, adding that his and husband David Furnish’s two sons, Elijah and Zachary, had changed their lives.
He vowed not to do ‘a Cher’, adding: ‘This is the end.’
The legendary recording artist is expected to continue working on making music after releasing his collaborations with Dua Lipa, Stevie Wonder, Britney Spears, and Ed Sheeran as part of his The Lockdown Sessions releases in 2022.
Sir Elton, a five-time Grammy-winning artist, has also contributed to the music of Billy Elliot the Musical, Gnomeo & Juliet, The Lion King, and most recently Rocketman.
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