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The Smooth Late Show with Martin Collins 10pm - 1am
9 September 2018, 13:40
The most epic farewell tour of all time is under way!
On Saturday night (September 8), Sir Elton John kicked off his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. It was the first show of over 300 performances across five continents.
Elton featured some of his most beloved hits, including 'Bennie and the Jets', 'Rocket Man', 'Tiny Dancer', and 'Candle in the Wind'.
The audience also got to experience the personal meanings behind some of his greatest hits, along with never-before-seen photos and videos from his 50-year career.
Elton said: “I feel incredibly privileged and grateful to have had the opportunity to perform around the world for the last 50 years.
"During that time, I have been able to witness a huge amount of social, political and cultural change. I want the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour to celebrate that.”
During 'Border Song', he paid tribute to various people who made an impact on society and his life, with a moving montage of images playing above him.
They included Aretha Franklin, Ryan White, Nelson Mandela and Stephen Hawking, before the song ended with an emotional film of Elton and his grandmother, Ivy Sewell.
While playing 'Someone Saved My Life Tonight', a never-before-seen animation by graphic artist Alan Aldridge was shown. The characters that danced above Elton were originally created in 1975 for a Captain Fantastic film that was never produced.
For 'Candle in the Wind', a short film by photographer David LaChapelle was played, recreating Marilyn Monroe’s last photo session with photographer Bert Stern.
Elton John recently announced the first two UK tour dates for the tour, with tickets going on sale next week.
The full setlist was:
Intro: Ghetto Gospel
Bennie and the Jets
All the Girls Love Alice
I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
Rocket Man (I Think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
Take Me to the Pilot
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Candle in the Wind
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
Burn Down the Mission
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
The Bitch Is Back
I'm Still Standing
Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road