On Saturday night, Elton John praised his fans as his “lifeblood” during his last farewell concert in Stockholm after a career of more than 50 years.
“You know how much I enjoy performing live. It was my lifeblood to play for you, and you were absolutely incredible,” he told the audience at the arena in the Swedish capital.
Wearing a dovetail jacket decorated with rhinestones and large red signature glasses, the 76-year-old pop superstar moved in front of the piano just after 20:00 to applause to start his concert with one of his most popular songs, “Bennie and the Jets”. .
He followed it up with “Philadelphia Freedom” and “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues”.
He continued to play for more than two hours, thanking his fans, band and staff in between. Some of the staff have walked the road with Elton for over 40 years.
“I would like to pay tribute to these musicians. They are really amazing. And they’ve been with me for so long, some of them. And they are the best, I tell you, the best.”
Shortly after “Border Song”, which he dedicated to Aretha Franklin, “I’m Still Standing” had the 30,000 concert goers at the Tele2Arena on their feet.
Just before his encore, he shared a message from Coldplay, who performed in the western Swedish city of Gothenburg. In the message, singer Chris Martin thanks him for his career and dedication.
“It was fantastic,” said Anton Phjonen, a 25-year-old banker from Finland, after the concert. “I don’t have words at the moment because I haven’t processed everything yet, but it was incredible.”
“You almost want to cry for him, but it feels wonderful to be here,” said Swedish teacher Conny Johansson, who bought her tickets for the show four years ago.
Excited fans were looking forward to an emotional end to the superstar’s concert career, even before the curtain went up.
“It’s going to be very emotional tonight,” said Kate Bugaj (25), a student from Poland who postponed her master’s exam to follow her hero’s tour. She described herself as a “very big fan” and said it started when she first The Lion King, the 1994 Disney movie, saw. Elton received two Academy Awards for his music for this movie.
50-year-old Jeanie Kincer traveled from Kentucky in the US to attend the concert. “I wanted to be here for the end because I was too young for the beginning,” he said.
The Swedish daily Expressen described the final concert as “an important chapter in the history of rock and roll coming to an end”.
The star ended his decades-long concert career with a worldwide farewell tour. It started five years ago, but was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic and a hip operation in 2021.
He performed in the US in May and closed Britain’s annual Glastonbury festival last month.
Saturday’s farewell concert is the second night in a row that Stockholm Stadium has played host to the British singer-songwriter’s final tour.
With his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour, Elton performed 330 concerts right across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada and Britain before concluding in Stockholm.
A total of 6.25 million fans followed the tour.