Elton John rockets toward retirement at Dodger Stadium

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Forty seven years after he took the stage at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles in a sequined-studded baseball uniform because the world’s greatest pop star, Elton John walked on to the identical stage on Sunday evening sporting a bedazzled Dodgers bathrobe, a uniform extra becoming for a 75-year-old man on the verge of retirement.

The crowd of greater than 50,000 roared at the second that got here within the remaining minutes of the ultimate North American live performance of a tour John says might be his final.

“I wish to spend time with my household as a result of I’ll be 76 subsequent yr, he mentioned. “I wish to convey them out and present you why I’m retiring.”

He embraced and kissed his husband, David Furnish, whereas his two sons, 11-year-old Zachary and 9-year-old Elijah, sporting matching Dodgers jackets that learn “Elton” on the again, waved gleefully at the group.

John then broke into “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” the inevitable remaining tune that gave the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour its identify.

The crowd filled with rocket males and rocket girls, of blue jean infants and LA women, many John’s age however a lot of their 20s and 30s and 40s, swayed and sang alongside as that they had all through the two-hour present throughout songs like “Rocket Man ” and “Tiny Dancer.” Some wiped away tears.

Many had been sporting their very own sequins and spangles, glowing spectacles, prime hats, feather boas, and in just a few circumstances, Donald Duck fits, representing phases of John’s 55-year profession.

“Thank you all for dressing up,” John mentioned, “it makes me so completely happy whenever you put on probably the most unbelievable costumes.”

When that final tune ended, John shed the gown and uncovered one other retirement outfit, a green-and-red tracksuit, and climbed right into a small, clear elevator that lifted him into a gap within the backdrop. He may then be seen on an enormous video display strolling down a yellow brick highway into the space.

Many others joined John for the event.

Kiki Dee took the stage to sing their duet “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart.”

“In 1975, this girl was right here with me, and we sang this tune,” John mentioned as he introduced out Dee. “I requested her to return and recreate that unbelievable second.”

John jumped from his normal keyboard spot, grabbed a mic and sang and danced with Dee as his rehearsal piano participant Adam Chester pounded the keys in his place.

John performed “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” in tribute to the 4 bandmates who’ve died throughout his profession, and after the primary verse introduced on one other visitor, shouting, “women and gentleman, Brandi Carlile!”

The second was an unstated tribute to a different late collaborator, George Michael, who duetted with John in the identical means on the tune in 1991.

Carlile, who was central to Joni Mitchell ‘s latest return to the stage, was sporting her personal Dodger-themed spangled swimsuit. She belted out her verses and made a “are you able to consider this?!” face to the group as John put his arm round her and soaked within the applause.

A drum machine pounded as Dua Lipa, in a black gown that contrasted with the sparkles on everybody else, got here out for the primary of the encores, “Cold Heart,” her 2021 hit with John.

“I am unable to inform you the way it feels to be 75 years outdated and to have the No. 1 document all over the world,” John mentioned later. “And this was my very first hit, 52 years in the past.”

He began enjoying piano chords and sang, “It’s a bit bit humorous, this sense inside,” the opening line to 1970′s “Your Song.”

“That was your tune, Los Angeles!” he shouted after.

About two hours earlier, after taking the stage in a tuxedo with sequins that flared right into a flame design and opening the live performance with “Benny and the Jets,” he defined the importance of the town to his music.

“All proper, it is a very particular evening for me, a really emotional evening for me, and it has been an extended journey, and I first got here right here to America in 1970 to the City of Angels, Los Angeles, and I performed a membership referred to as the Troubadour.”

The live performance, which streamed reside on Disney+, was the final of a three-night stand at the stadium (and his 103rd present within the LA space, he instructed the group). The Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour started in September 2018 with the primary of the 300-plus scheduled dates. It was suspended in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic and resumed in 2021.

In January, John heads to Australia and New Zealand, then strikes on to Britain and Europe. He’s set to conclude in Sweden in July, though he is made it clear he is solely executed touring, not making music.

Many of these backing him up have been in his band from the beginning, or very near it, together with Nigel Olsson, his drummer since 1969, and Davey Johnstone, his guitarist since 1971, who at age 71 stood at the entrance of the stage and led the band by means of a ripping model of “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.”

John additionally offered a uncommon on-stage glimpse of a fair longer-running collaborator, the person who wrote many of the phrases the group sang together with all evening, lyricist Bernie Taupin.

“We’ve been writing collectively now since 1967,” John mentioned as he hugged Taupin, who couldn’t have contrasted along with his writing accomplice extra along with his bald head and plain, earth-toned coat. “We nonetheless love one another greater than we have ever executed earlier than.”

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Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton

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