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Saturday night’s alright for a farewell: Elton John plays final Canadian concert


Elton John fans in Vancouver dressed up for the event and sang along Saturday when the singer and songwriter known as “Rocket Man” performed one last time in Canada as part of a split tour. hand will end globally by mid-2023.

John, 75, played two shows at Vancouver’s BC Place, the last Canadian performance of Farewell Yellow Brick Road: The Final Tour, on Friday and Saturday.

“Good evening Vancouver!” he said Saturday after opening with his hits Bennie and The Jets and Philadelphia Freedom.

“Tonight is the most special night because it’s our last show in Vancouver and our last in Canada, so we better make it a night to remember.”

John stepped onto the stage in a black suit with a glittering tail. He wears pink glasses studded with rhinestones.

Many of the thousands of fans at BC Place wore glittering outfits, feather boas and large sunglasses – a signature look the performer has had in her half-century career. .

A concert with Elton John.
Elton John performs at Vancouver’s BC Place on Friday. (PavCo / BC Place)

He has released 31 albums since 1969 with many of his songs co-written with lyricist Bernie Taupin. One of the duo’s biggest hits is Rocket Man in 1972.

Here’s what fans in Vancouver have to say about his music and how it has shaped their lives:

Two people wearing sailor costumes.
Tuscon Pearl, right, and Carrie Pearl from Oliver, BC, to see Elton John perform at BC Place on Saturday. (Chad Pawson / CBC)

‘He’s an icon’

John’s opening song Saturday night pleased 39-year-old Tucson Pearl, who had driven from Oliver to see the show. He say Bennie and The Jets is his favorite John tune.

“He’s an icon,” he said.

He said the concert, billed as John’s last in Canada, was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. His wife, Kerry Pearl, 40, says they don’t often splurge on concert tickets or go to concerts, but it’s a must.

“It’s Elton John. I love Elton John. He’s my favorite, I love his music, he has great style,” she said. “He has a song for everything and he just gets you through life’s grueling moments.”

Kerry Pearl said he listened to so many John songs while she and her husband raised their children, that her eldest son named one of their cats Elton John.

An entire family dressed up with fancy sunglasses.
John Kubus, 81, went to see Elton John perform Saturday along with 15 family members from across the province. (Chad Pawson / CBC)

Generations of Love for ‘Rocket Man’

John Kubus, 81, came with 15 family members, all from across BC and Alberta, to see Elton John perform in Vancouver.

Kubus, who lives in Penticton, wears a pop-colored shirt, a glow stick around his neck, and large pink sunglasses. He said he was a lifelong fan of John but had never seen him perform live.

“It made a lot of sense,” he said of being at John’s last concert in Canada.

When asked what his favorite song is, he said, “I love them all,” and described John’s music, performance, and costumes as “a little bit different.”

Two young women wearing fancy costumes.
Lexi Binder, right, and her friend Emma Major, left, from Abbotsford, BC, to see Elton John perform on Saturday. (Chad Pawson / CBC)

Advocating for LGBTQ +

Lexi Binder, 18, came from Abbotsford to meet Elton John in Vancouver and told CBC News before the concert why it was important for her to be there.

“He’s amazing. I like that he’s so authentic and being himself and that’s why I dress a little crazy,” she said. “I think I can dress interestingly and I can look around and have other people [doing the same]. “

Binder said she was impressed with John’s support for LGBTQ+ people and victims of the AIDS pandemic.

“I like that he’s supportive of it and has always been very open about it, at a time when it’s not acceptable,” she said. “And his music is amazing, always has been.”

She said her favorite John song is Crocodile stone.

“Interestingly, it’s a blockage,” she said.

Three women dressed in feathers.
Sisters Sarah Ballantyne, right, Helen Ballantyne, center, and Alison Ballantyne arrived from Vernon and Kelowna to see Elton John perform on Saturday. (Chad Pawson / CBC)

‘Good job keeping fit’

Sisters Sarah, Helen and Alison Ballantyne fell in love with Elton John’s music through their father.

Alison Ballantyne, 44, in front of BC Place, said: “We grew up with dad listening to a lot of music and Elton John was right on that list, so it was just part of his upbringing. us,” Alison Ballantyne, 44, in front of BC Place, said Saturday to her sisters, who all wore John-inspired Outfits.

The sisters came from Vernon and Kelowna to see the concert, listening to John’s songs during the ride.

Candles in the wind, Little dancerSarah Ballantyne, 46 years old, said.

“I think he did a great job of staying relevant and not just getting lost in the ’60s and ’70s,” she said.

The three sisters said they were thrilled to think that, according to the artist, this would be John’s last concert ever.

“Oh, we could cry,” they said together.

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