Elton John ends his Glastonbury performance with a lyrical performance

At Glastonbury, Elton John

Elton John's farewell tour's final UK performance at Glastonbury marked the end of one of the greatest careers in British music history.

With a setlist that never stopped delivering classic pop moments, the 76-year-old legend gave his fans a masterclass in songwriting and stagecraft.

Every song was a greatest hit for the entire two hours, including Bennie And The Jets, Tiny Dancer, Your Song, and I'm Still Standing.

He told the crowd, "I'm so happy to be here. I'll never forget this. ".

Pinball Wizard, a song he hadn't performed in over a decade, was Elton's first song when he entered the stage shortly after 21:00 BST. The Bitch Is Back, his next song, was a raucous romp.

He took in the huge crowd, which was reportedly over 120,000 people, while pausing to catch his breath and extended his arms in thanks.

I never imagined that I would perform at Glastonbury, and yet here I am.

Since it might be my final performance in England or the United Kingdom, it is a very special and emotional night for me. " .

Because you've been standing there for so long, he continued, "I'd better play well and keep you entertained.".

"Go on, you old sausage," yelled a supporter in the audience next to me. ".

Audience watching Elton John at Glastonbury
Many people in the crowd arrived dressed as clones of the Rocket Man's most well-known costumes.

With box office receipts of $887 million (£697 million), Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, which included the performance, was coming to an end.

There are only seven more dates after Glastonbury, with the last one taking place in Stockholm on July 8.

It puts an end to a touring career in which Elton went from being a young upstart rocking the Troubador in Los Angeles to becoming a member of the rock establishment.

He's developed a reputation for flamboyant excess over the years, including feather boas, platform heels, elaborate headdresses, and flaming pianos.

I don't walk the stage," he claimed. I must find some way to draw attention.

However, by Elton's standards, Glastonbury was a modest performance that concentrated entirely on his love of music.

He continued to wear the same gold lamé suit throughout the entire evening, exuding the spirit of a man who is happiest when he is playing the piano and letting loose.

On Your Song and I Guess Why They Call It The Blues, there were some exquisite, lengthy flourishes. He slammed the keys on I'm Still Standing so hard that they almost fell off.

It must be acknowledged, though, that his voice has changed. The marmalade diction and clipped vowels have a faint Vegas lounge singer vibe, but here at Worthy Farm, his singing was eerily effective, cutting through the air with a clarity that other headliners this weekend failed to match.

Elton John at Glastonbury
The celebrity spent the majority of the performance sitting behind the piano after suffering a hip injury last year.

Speculation about special guests had been rife all weekend before the show. At Bristol Airport, Britney Spears allegedly appeared. An armed guard claimed to have seen Dua Lipa. Harry Styles was supposed to be here, but he was absent before and then reappeared.

But in the end, Elton went against the tide, supporting up-and-coming artists over pop stars who could easily headline Glastonbury themselves.

While pop newcomer Rina Sawayama replaced Kiki Dee on a stirring Don't Go Breaking My Heart, he invited Jacob Lusk of the US soul group Gabriels to sing Are You Ready For Love.

Stephen Sanchez, a singer from Nashville, even performed his own song, Until I Found You.

I couldn't believe a 19, 20-year-old could write a song like this when I heard it on the radio last year, Elton exclaimed.

Rina Sawyama and Elton John
Japanese-British singer Rina Sawayama has received support from Elton John on his radio show.

Brandon Flowers of The Killers was the lone exception, taking the stage in a hot pink suit for a handsome duet of Tiny Dancer.

Their performance was so moving that television cameras captured a proposal in the crowd.

Overall, there was dissatisfaction due to the absence of star power. As Sawayama entered the stage, one supporter remarked, "Who's that?

However, there was also something admirable about it. Elton remained true to who he was—a music nut whose insatiable appetite for rock and pop propelled and sustained his career.

Brandon Flowers
When Brandon Flowers played him the Killers' self-titled debut album in his hotel room in Las Vegas, according to Elton, that was their first encounter.

The set reached an emotional climax after two hours.

George Michael, "one of Britain's most fantastic singers, songwriters [and] artists," is honored in Elton's song Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

He was my friend and an inspiration, and today would have been his 60th birthday; I want to dedicate this song to him and all the beautiful music he left us.

Then, as fireworks rang out throughout the venue, he brought to a close his UK touring career with an extended, elegiac rendition of Rocket Man.

The song's final line, "I think it's gonna be a long, long time," gained new meaning as he and his band took their bows.

The actor, who had a lump in his throat, said, "It's been an incredible journey, and I've had the best, best time.".

It wasn't just him.

  • Ball Wiard.
  • Bitch is back, again.
  • The Jets and Bennie.
  • Daniel.
  • Yellow Brick Road, good bye.
  • I suppose that is why they refer to it as the blues.
  • Philadelphia Independence.
  • The London Community Gospel Choir and Jacob Lusk perform the song "Are You Ready For Love" together.
  • Sad songs have a lot to say.
  • My life was saved tonight by someone.
  • Prior to Finding You (with Stephen Sanchez).
  • You're Song.
  • "Candle in the Wind.".
  • Brandon Flowers in Tiny Dancer.
  • Don't Break My Heart (along with Rina Sawyama).
  • Acropolis Rock.
  • Fighting Is Okay On Saturday Night.
  • I continue to stand.
  • an icy heart.
  • Don't let the sun set on me, please.
  • "Rocket Man.".
Elton John

Due to the popularity of the performer's set, Glastonbury issued a "standing only" ruke, requesting that attendees put their chairs and blankets away.

Paul McCartney, actors Matt Smith and Kate Hudson, Jamie Oliver, Taron Egerton, who portrayed Elton in the successful biopic Rocketman, and the movie's director Dexter Fletcher were all present.

Fletcher praised the performance, telling the BBC, "That was incredible.".

"It's hard to express how moving it was, how involved he was, and how he connected with the crowd. That was the main focus of it. ".

After notable performances by Arctic Monkeys, Guns N' Roses, Lana Del Rey, WizKid, Lizzo, Blondie, and Cat Stevens, the 2023 Glastonbury festival was brought to a close by the performance.

The event will return the following year, according to organizer Emily Eavis, who has already secured two female headliners.

The BBC iPlayer has complete coverage of the performers this year.

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