Elton John plays last ever live show on his five-year farewell tour and promises to meet again soon

10 July 2023, 11:07

Elton John's final live show: A farewell to a pop icon

By Mayer Nissim

Elton John says farewell... for now.

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Elton John has played the final live show on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

His long goodbye has been extended several times over, as well as dealing with interruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic and various injuries and ailments, eventually taking in 333 shows in nine legs over five years.

Elton John's last show took place at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday, July 8.

The set wasn't a guest-filled extravaganza like Elton's last UK show on the jaunt, which took place at the Glastonbury Festival and featured Jacob Lusk, Stephen Sanchez, Brandon Flowers and Rina Sawayama.

But it was a still an emotional hits-packed set, which featured a video link-up with fellow superstars Coldplay before encore opener 'Cold Heart', with the band playing Elton's 'Rocket Man' during their own live show in Gothenburg at the time.

Elton John performs at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden
Elton John performs at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. Picture: Alamy

"Elton, we want to say from all of us here, from all the fans and all the artists that you've loved and inspired and helped, we just love you so much," Coldplay frontman Chris Martin said.

"We are so grateful for everything you've done for us, everything you've done for the AIDS Foundation. Every time you've been kind to anybody.

"For everything you’ve done for LGBTQ. Everything you've done for fashion and eyewear. Everything you've done for sexiness, and love and dressing gowns

"Everything you've done for music, everything Bernie has done for lyrics, everything your band has done over the thousands of shows you've done. We love you so much, happy retirement, and we're going to miss you so much."

Elton John performs 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road' at final ever live show

After her left the stage, Elton said: "When we set off on my final tour in 2018, I couldn't have foreseen in my wildest dreams the twists and turns and the highs and lows this tour – and the whole world – would have experienced in the next five years.

"And every step of the way, my fans have been there. They have stuck with me, they have supported me, they have been patient and they have kept turning out for every single last show.

Tonight has been magical. I'm trying to process it and I don't think it will sink in for a while yet that I'm finally finished touring.

Elton John in Stockholm
Elton John in Stockholm. Picture: Ben Gibson

The full setlist of Elton John's show at the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday, July 8 was a follows:

  1. Bennie and the Jets
  2. Philadelphia Freedom
  3. I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues
  4. Border Song
  5. Tiny Dancer
  6. Have Mercy on the Criminal
  7. Rocket Man
  8. Take Me to the Pilot
  9. Someone Saved My Life Tonight
  10. Levon
  11. Candle in the Wind
  12. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
  13. Burn Down the Mission
  14. Sad Songs (Say So Much)
  15. Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
  16. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me
  17. The Bitch Is Back
  18. I'm Still Standing
  19. Crocodile Rock
  20. Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting
  21. Cold Heart
  22. Your Song
  23. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Elton John applauds the crowd at the last show of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour
Elton John applauds the crowd at the last show of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. Picture: Alamy

"Following the final show of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, I want to thank you for your unwavering love and support throughout the last five years, and indeed 50 years, of my touring life," Elton said in an email to Rocket Club members.

"I want to take a moment to extend my appreciation for every show you've attended, song you've sung and feather boa and sparkling outfit you've worn. Your loyalty as the core of my fanbase has made a profound impact on my life and career and I am eternally grateful for your love and support.

Elton John says emotional goodbye to fans at final ever live show

"While this tour may mark the closing of one chapter, it signals the beginning of a new one. I want to let you know that there is lots to come so stay tuned for new surprises along the way."

He added: "And as always, you, my Rocket Club family, will be the first to know. Your commitment has been remarkable, and I am excited to embark on this next adventure with all of you by my side.

"Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the best fans anyone could ask for. Together, we've created a legacy that will be talked about for generations.

"So let’s bid adieu to this tour with a standing ovation and a promise to meet again soon, ready to embark on the next fabulous chapter. You will be in my heart and soul forever, Love Elton x"