Elton John gives the most extravagant “Farewell” at the Target Center

Lucas Torborg
A&E Editor

Sir Elton John celebrated his musical career and his many fans Friday night at the second show of his sold out performance at Target Center in Minneapolis—and he did so in the most extravagant way he knew how.

The three-hour-long, 24 song concert was a love letter to the singer and composer’s years of fans. “From this English-man to you guys, I want to to say thank you for all those years of love and loyalty, kindness and generosity. I will never forget you, the applause and the love”, said John.

Sir Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” is the ultimate finale to his 50-year-old musical legacy, this early stop in his three-year long tour came with all the bells, whistles and above anything else glitter.

The stage itself was a shrine to The Rocketman himself. A brick pattern filled with sketched iconography of his career framed the massively large Imax screen of which resembled the Yellow Brick Road album cover.

Glittered suits and too big of glasses sparkled throughout the immensely populated dome of those in cosplay of Elton. The crowd was composed of all generations. Whether they first discovered Elton John in 1971 through his self-titled album or in 2001 by listening to their parents hum the words to “Your Song”. No matter what the case everyone there connected to his music on some personal level.

The lights of the Target Center faded to black as footsteps filled the stage. Immediately as the sound of the first major seven cord from “Bennie and the Jets” filled Target Center the lights shined directly on John, wearing 70s’ marching band major attire, as he sat there with a smile on his face.

The deep bass and Elton Johns deep growling voice reverberated off the floor vibrating the audience in the floor section. Bright, colorful and Zany graphics of music notes mixed with live-feed cuts to his piano finger-work filled the Imax screen until he finished the song to stand up and bow.

The Imax screen greatly enhanced the emotional response from his songs. Acclaimed artists and directors created videos that played off the messages in his songs. The most emotional being to the performance of “Daniel” as the screen featured a black and white video of an injured soldier sleeping in his soon to be deathbed as flashbacks of his life played in the background. Another video, this of which was animated in the likeness to the Captain Fantastic album, accompanied the performance “Someone Saved my Life Tonight.” 

 The set-list included songs that influenced and molded his career. Elton John made sure to play songs that spoke to everyone in the audience, whether it was top hits like “Your Song” and “Tiny Dancer” or deep tracks such as, “Indian Sunset” and “All the Girls Love Alice”. 

“There’s so many songs I wanted to pick, but if I picked them all we would be here for a long, long time – 90 years we would be here,” said John.

Highlights of the concert included the performance of “Rocketman” in which flashlights from phones, and a couple Zippo lighters from the old-school crowd, filled the arena resembling stars.

The nearly 15-minute performance of “Levon” which would make John appear as if he was 31 not 71, featured a solo in nearly every instrumental that showcased the natural-raw talent of the band. A six-person band of which John stated was his favorite to work with amongst his entire career. 

Elton John pushed his vocals and piano skills to the limit and left everything on the stage including his sweat which would visibly drip off his forehead on the keyboards. It was evident that he wanted this to be his ultimate send off.

Yellow confetti rained amongst the entire audience during “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting”, what was thought to be the final song. John then came out in a robe to perform “Your Song” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” which was suitably low on the theatrics and felt more intimate. 

John ended the night, by being escalated up to the screen and then exiting into the screen in an act that was an allusion to the album cover of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. The audience roared in applause while also gesturing their farewells.

Photos by Mansoor Ahmad | MSU Reporter.

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