Bristol news Review: Elton John says an emotional goodbye to Bristol PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - But he'll be back in just a few days' time
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! "Thank you for everything and goodbye." Those are the six final words from Elton John, loaded with emotion, as he brings two and a half hours of his greatest hits to a close with a rendition of Yellow Brick Road that reverberates through Ashton Gate in a resounding crescendo. It was the penultimate time he will ever step on a stage and perform to thousands of his fans in Bristol - "It's always a pleasure to come down to the West Country and play here. "I just now want to spend time with my family." The crowd whooped and cheered with understanding, feeling - at least I certainly did - that they were witnessing musical history in seeing such a legend perform on his farewell tour. Read more: Fans think Elton John could still make surprise Glastonbury Festival The atmosphere had been a world away from the last time I had been at Ashton Gate, when people were quietly shuffling along the queue anxiously waiting to be called for their coronavirus jabs. This time the throng of people in the fan village were carefree and ready for a party, already reciting some of his best-loved songs in anticipation as they took their seats. It hadn't been the best start for us personally - we were already running late when we had an unfortunate incident involving a seagull's backside just outside the entrance, which necessitated a mission for tissues just as the 7pm start time hit. The staff were already diligently sweeping away the rainbow of feathers dropped from fans' flamboyant boas as we scurried to our seats, when the unmistakable first key of Bennie and the Jets rang out. It was not until later during Tiny Dancer that the sun finally dropped behind the big screen, revealing Elton and his sequinned suit in dramatic style after a few songs in silhouette for those of us in the glare of the sunshine. Weeks ago he rebuffed "silly stories in the tabloids" that his health was in question ahead of the UK leg of the tour, having been pictured in a wheelchair. He responded saying he was in top health, and his performance last night (Wednesday, June 22) was proof - if this is what 75 looks like after a lifetime of rock'n'roll then I might consider a career change. As well as some of his most treasured chart-toppers he worked in some songs that, in all honesty, I had never heard of as a relatively new Elton fan but gave us all an insight into his career before his star rose. "This is one of my favourite songs" he said, introducing Someone Saved my Life Tonight as he reflected on a particularly personal album after "so many doors closed in our face". Elton John performs at Ashton Gate in Bristol (Image: Ben Gibson / HST Global Limited t/a Rocket Entertainment) Any fears that the night would be dukebox-style with just Elton sitting behind the piano, mechanically repeating his biggest hits, were quickly dispelled. The incredible showman connected with the audience on a personal level, whether it was confiding with them about his early career struggles or sharing a touching dedication to those he admires, from Aretha Franklin to two of his closest school friends in the audience to whom he dedicated a song. The tender moments were mixed with an elated and energetic mood, though - as a NASA-style 5,4, 3... countdown began and some deliciously cheesy space graphics played out on the screen, there were excited whispers of 'Rocketman' as the crowds seated on the pitch rose to their feet with the effect of a Mexican wave.
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. Sign up for our What's On in Bristol newsletter packed with essential stories to help you make the most of living in the city Their performance during Candle in the Wind was so captivating I only noticed halfway through that his piano had traversed the length of the stage as he sung. After a brief 10-minute interval he returned to the stage - while most people had been queuing inside for their halftime pints of Thatchers or nipping to the loo, he had been swiftly changing into a powder blue suit with pink sequin trainers and electric blue sunglasses. "Now it's time to dance" he announced to the whooping audience as security guards moved the barriers closer to the stage and those standing surged closer. As if making up for a first half peppered with some of his lesser-known tracks, 9pm brought an epic trio that had everyone dancing like no one was watching - I'm Still Standing followed by my favourite, Crocodile Rock, then Saturday Night's Alright.
(Image: Sophie Grubb/ Bristol Live)
Elton genuinely seemed to revel in it all, taking in the crowd's adoration, smiling into the camera and even occasionally cheekily sticking out his tongue. The graphics on screen during I'm Still Standing was a montage of some of his highlights from over the decades, which managed to avoid self-indulgence but rather celebrate what has been an astounding career. I was surprised to find it brought a tear to my eye and I'm sure I wasn't the only one, especially with so many superfans there with a connection that runs deeper to his music than my own - he greeted one person in the front row who he said had flown in all the way from Singapore. He also singled out the many who had dressed up for the occasion, commending their "amazing" efforts in channelling his style. After an emotional tribute to his band members, who took a bow and briefly headed off stage, they were back with an encore - this time Elton was wearing a paisley dressing gown with his name embroidered on the back, and heart-shaped sunglasses. He dealt with a technical glitch during his latest hit Cold Heart with unfaltering professionalism, despite admitting that had "never happened before" after the background track with Dua Lipa's vocals got stuck. "When you don't play live, it always f**** up, " he said as he apologised to the audience, insisting on beginning it from the top again. It was followed by Your Song, before he ended with Yellow Brick Road. It was a special sight seeing the Lansdown Stand speckled with the glow of hundreds of torch lights waving in time with the tune. He'd revealed that this had been his 232nd date on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, and his 11th concert in Bristol - his first, he recalled, was in 1971 at the Bristol Beacon, then called Colston Hall. "I want to say thank you for the most incredible reception - you've been amazing. "I've got one more concert on Sunday and it will be my last in Bristol...I will take you in my heart, how can I ever forget you guys?" Undoubtedly the feeling is mutual - we will not be forgetting the night any time soon either.
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