Live Review – Elton John at The O2 Arena

Words: Mateusz Niesmialek | Photography: Simone Joyner / Getty Images

London began the month of April with the legendary Elton John kicking off a mini-residency for his Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Final Tour at the O2 Arena. Sir John graced the stage for nine spectacular concerts, delighting fans from April 2 to April 17. According to Billboard figures, Elton John’s 333-show tour is currently the highest-grossing tour ever, having generated a staggering £664.4 million in revenue to date!

From the moment the curtains lifted and the iconic piano intro of ‘Bennie and the Jets’ filled the arena, it was clear that this would be a night to remember. Dressed in one of his remarkable extravagant outfits, Elton John commanded the stage with his unmatched presence and undeniable talent. His powerful vocals and virtuoso piano playing created an electrifying atmosphere that resonated with everyone in attendance.

The setlist was a journey through Elton John’s illustrious career, presenting his timeless hits and fan favourites. The large screens showcased stunning visuals that enhanced the experience and immersed the audience in a spectacle that perfectly matched the music. People sang along loudly to songs like ‘Rocket Man’, ‘Tiny Dancer’ and ‘Your Song’. The audience danced and clapped together to the beat of ‘Crocodile Rock’ and ‘Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting’, despite initially forgetting that it was a sit-down event.

As a 22-year-old attendee at the concert, I could not help but notice that most of the audience consisted of middle-aged or older. Surprisingly, their energy levels surpassed my peers at the wildest parties I have experienced. This observation led me to reflect on the incredible significance of the event for these concert-goers, who likely followed Elton John’s career from its earliest beginnings. Despite attending numerous concerts throughout the years, they still revelled in the experience with enthusiasm akin to discovering his music for the first time. It made me ponder whether, in today’s fast-growing and packed music industry, I will be fortunate enough to find an idol I can admire just as passionately fifty years from now as when I first encountered their music.

Elton John’s stage presence was captivating and had the audience under his spell. The showman smoothly transitioned between songs while interacting with the crowd and shared fascinating tales about his career. The band backing him was composed of exemplary musicians who skillfully recreated the distinctive sound of his recordings. They played a mix of sentimental ballads and lively rock tunes to showcase their versatility and expertise. The blend of piano, guitar, drums, and a dynamic horn section infused each performance with tremendous vitality, elevating the live experience to new heights.

The concert was unforgettable, especially ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’. It marked the end of an era for Elton John, who closed with ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me’. The audience gave him a standing ovation, grateful for his extraordinary talent and the memories he has given them.

Elton John’s show at the O2 Arena was an unforgettable experience that showed the enduring power of his music and the indelible mark left by the entertainment world. Although it was initially meant to be a farewell, revealing his intention to continue performing brings new hope and excitement for the future.

Long live Rocket Man!

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