A confident Elton John kicks off farewell tour with flair

A confident Elton John kicks off farewell tour with flair

PHILADELPHIA - AP
A confident Elton John kicks off farewell tour with flair

After 90 minutes of nonstop singing and piano playing, which had the audience on their feet and desperately waiting for more, Elton John returned to the stage dramatically, and epically.

There was the sound of loud thunderstorms, dark blue, smoky lights surrounding the arena, and a grand, candle-lit chandelier on the large screen - all while music in the vein of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" played in the background.

A strong light beamed from the ceiling to John's piano as if he were Batman. After all, his performance was heroic.

The Rocket Man, who kicked off his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour on Sept. 9, sang like a confident, electrified pro in the City of Brotherly Love on Sept. 11. It was the second show on his 300-date tour set to reach five continents, stretching into 2021. He will retire from the road after the shows.

His performance throughout the night was so rousing that concertgoers, ranging from thirtysomethings to people about John's age (he's 71), reacted in various ways: Some recorded every moment with their cellphones like anxious teenagers, while others danced without a care, yelled every lyric and played the air-piano. Others calmly took in the energy from their seats - after all, it was a school/work night.

"There's been one common denominator throughout (my musical) journey - you guys out there," he said to the fans. "You bought the singles, the albums, the 8-track, the cassette, the CD, the DVD, the merchandise, but most of all, you bought the tickets to the shows."

"You have no idea how much I love to play live," he continued. "Ten years ago, if you said I would be doing a farewell tour, I would have said you put acid in my drink."

The Oscar, Grammy and Tony winner performed two dozen songs, including classics like "Your Song," ''Tiny Dancer," ''Rocket Man," ''Saturday Night's Alright (for Fighting)," ''Candle In the Wind" and "I'm Still Standing."

He closed the concert with "Goodbye to Yellow Brick Road."

Elton John, farewell tour, concert