Elton John's concert.

Sir Elton John sent a melodic lyrical love letter to 20,000 Colorado fans Friday night, many of whom were costumed in boas, sunglasses and blinking blazers. 

They showed up and they paid even though the Mile High City wasn't his first choice. John's Denver Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour was a last-minute addition to his  schedule when it was determined that the Houston Astros might need Minute Maid Park on Nov. 4 for the World Series.

The $400-$2,000 tickets went on sale 20 days before the Colorado concert and sold out right away.

John didn’t make the crowd wait, launching into "Benny and the Jets" at 8 p.m. on the dot. He then played non-stop, occasionally sipping from a glass of water, for two and a half hours.


Elton John performs Bennie And The Jets at Ball Arena as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour on Friday, Nov. 4, 2022, in Denver, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Gazette)

Included in his set was an endless catalogue of familiar songs: "Rocket Man," "Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Candle in the Wind," "Your Song," "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding," "Crocodile Rock" and "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," which the crowd sang at the top of their lungs.

“I’m 61. These are the songs of my life,” said Dan Grant, who brought his wife and two kids, aged 16 and 19. “We’ve always danced and had fun with music and Elton John is such a big part of it. We sing in the car and when I hear the words ‘I simply love you more than I love life itself’ I just bawl because I love my kids so much.”

John, who changed sunglasses three times from starry pink to blue and then green, brought the crowd to tears, wispy smiles, and joy.

Elton John's concert.

This was not an exclusively Boomer experience. Also in the seats were Millennials, Gen Z-ers and small children who wore ear plugs to protect their hearing.

“My parents played his music my whole life,” said 31 year old Jenn Cannon, in a headband fashioned with with an arc of paper hearts. Her favorite John song is "Tiny Dancer" and it cost $1,100 for her and her husband, Martie, to attend.

"It's worth it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime concert," she said.

“He is a fantastic artist who translates over generations and is unapologetically himself,” said Carl Bloom, who was wearing a silver Rocket Man onesie and feathered sunglasses. He and his partner Abran Montoya, fresh off of John’s Nashville concert, decided to spring for tickets a second time when the singer announced his Denver date.

John sang a tribute to “the lasting brilliance” of Aretha Franklin, explaining that even as she battled cancer, she sang one of her last performances with him. He recalled how in 1970 he and songwriter Bernie Taupin “were beyond excited and thrilled” when she covered “Border Song (Holy Moses),” on her 1972 album “Young Gifted and Black.”

John was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1998, a year after Princess Diana's death. Last year, Prince Charles anointed the philanthropist as a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour last year. It's an award restricted to the sovereign and has only 65 members.

For an encore, as the entire area glowed with the dots of cellphone flashlights, John appeared solo in a green robe with pastel pink lapels.

Elton John's concert.

“This is my finishing,” said John. Gone are the platform shoes, replaced by pink sequined tennis shoes. He limped a bit on stage and sometimes uses a cane now, due to what's been reported as hip problems.

“I want to spend more time with my children who I love so much. They need me and I need them. Thank you for the wonderful years and so much support it’s ridiculous.”

As his piano did a slow motion move across the stage, he played “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

The 75-year-old let the crowd sing the last interlude, unpeeled his robe to reveal a comfortable sweatsuit, gave a point and a wave, and walked off of the Denver stage for the last time.


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