Sir Elton John kicked off the first British night of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour in a spectacular way with a selection of hit songs from his entire glittering career.
The 75-year-old global megastar took to the stage on Carrow Road Street in Norwich on Wednesday, wearing a black tuxedo with pearl embellishments, a white shirt with ruffles and yellow glittering glasses for the first of her three extravagant evening suits.
He treated the packed audience to 23 songs from his collection, including the hit songs Tiny Dancer, Rocket Man, Your Song and the hit number one single Cold Heart, which is in collaboration with pop star Dua Lipa.
After the introductory issues of Bennie and the Jets and Philadelphia Freedom, he said: “Believe it or not this tour has been going on for a long time and this is the first English meeting we have had, for you know why.
“So it’s wonderful to be here in Norwich and play with you guys.”
Prior to a powerful performance of his song Border Song, he dedicated it to the late Aretha Franklin, who edited the song in 1972, saying she felt “there is no one else who can touch” the Queen of Soul.
Candle in the Wind was also on the set list he performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.
During the concert interval in Norwich, an ominous storm scene was created as machines whirled smoke, flashing lights and thunder sound effects echoing the arena marking the start of his dramatic song Funeral For A Friend.
As Sir Elton returned, wearing his second evening outfit in a baby pink blazer with jewels adorned with turquoise lapels paired with baby blue diamond sunglasses, his piano slid across the stage as he sat behind him.
Enthusiastic audiences danced throughout the show, and some were trained in respect for the unforgettable appearance of the singer during his career.
While releasing his 1983 hit I’m Still Standing, a montage of the highlights of his career was released, including clips from his Live Aid performance, a cameo on the Simpsons TV show, winning his first Oscar and performing at the Queen’s Jubilee concert.
Another shocking moment came when the singer perfectly timed his performance Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me as the sun set behind Carrow Road Football Stadium just before 9pm.
His encore was greeted by his third outfit, a long black dinner jacket with a pink pattern on the lapel, complemented by a pair of pink and black heart-shaped glasses.
As he switched between his latest single number one Cold Heart (2021) and his first hit song Your Song (1970), he expressed how good it feels to still create a global hit at 75 years old.
Before closing the concert with Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, he said: “Tonight is the 229th performance on the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, we have about 103 performances.
“This is my second last concert in Norwich and the whole of East Anglia, and the 444th concert in the United Kingdom. It was quite a trip and it all ends next July.
“But I want to thank you because I will not play here anymore. I want to thank you for all the memories, all the love you sent me, all the loyalty, kindness, letters, dress, costumes, numerous shows you have been to.
“It means the whole world to me and I will never forget you. I will take you with me in my heart, in my soul and I will be able to tell my boys everything about you when I grow old and decrepit. I love you.”
Sir Elton had a brilliant career in which he released a hit single in every decade since the 1970s and achieved record worldwide sales of 300 million.
In 2018, he announced his farewell world tour, which will be his last after more than half a century on the road, after he decided to leave the live performance to spend more time with his two children.
The ambitious world tour began in September 2018 in the US, but was interrupted by a pandemic and faced further delays as Sir Elton suffered an injury after the crash.
The global star continued her farewell concerts in January 2022 in New Orleans and played in states across the United States before embarking on the European part of the tour.
After his performance in Norwich, he will play eight performances in the UK, with two special guest appearances on Vicarage Road, and the tour will run until the summer of 2023.