Elton John Closes Historic Farewell Tour With Emotional Show In Stockholm

Elton John concluded his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour,” which began in 2018, at Sweden’s Tele2 Arena on Saturday. (Photo by Ben Gibson/Rocket Entertainment)

After five years, Sir Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” reached its final stop on Saturday, July 8. The iconic musician not only said au revoir to the dozens of thousands of fans at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, that night but to the 6 million-plus fans across the globe who made his final tour the most successful of his storied career.

The emotional concert in Sweden marked the end of a remarkable 330-show run that kicked off PPL Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 8, 2018. Earlier this year, the AEG Presents-promoted “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour” set the record for highest-grossing tour, surpassing Ed Sheeran’s “Divide Tour” haul of $776 million. John, who has played nearly 4,600 shows in 80 countries over the past five decades, ranked No. 4 on Pollstar’s recent Mid-Year Top 10 Tours, grossing $110.33 million averaging $3.43 million per show.

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John gave an emotional send-off to his longtime bandmembers Matt Bissonette (bass player), Kim Bullard (keyboards), Ray Cooper (percussion), Davey Johnstone (music director, guitarist and backup vocals), John Mahon (percussion) and Nigel Olsson (drums), and together they ended the night and tour with a three-song encore that appropriately closed with “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

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Elton John and his bandmates, Matt Bissonette, Kim Bullard, Ray Cooper, Davey Johnstone, John Mahon and Nigel Olsson, bow one final time in front of a sold-out crowd in Stockholm, Sweden, on July 8. (Photo by Ben Gibson/Rocket Entertainment)

“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,” John said in a statement following his final concert. “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. I can’t tell you how much I’m going to miss the fans and how much their support has humbled me — it will stay with me forever.”

Coldplay crashed the party virtually with a live video from Gothenburg, Sweden, where they were playing a show. Frontman Chris Martin delivered a heartfelt message to John and his bandmates, thanking them for their musical and philanthropic contributions.

“Elton, from all of us here [in Gothenburg], from all the bands and artists you’ve helped and inspired, we love you so much,” Martin said in the live video. “We are so grateful for everything you’ve done for the AIDS Foundation, anytime 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 [Taupin] has done for lyrics; everything your band has done over the thousands of shows you’ve done. We love you so much; we’re going to miss you so much.”

It’s been a remarkable, unforgettable five years for John, playing three sold-out shows at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles last November and having his final L.A. concert livestreamed on Disney+. He also performed eight nights at New York’s Madison Square Garden and grossed $20.3 million, according to Pollstar box office reports, and 10 shows at London’s The O2. The British icon also had a box office hit with “Rocketman,” a 2019 musical biopic based on his life that grossed nearly $200 million worldwide and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song with “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” which was written by John and his longtime songwriting collaborator, Bernie Taupin.

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John not only bids adieu at the top of his game but at the top of live entertainment with a lucrative tour that will live in the record books for a long, long time.

Setlist for Elton John’s Final Show:
Bennie and the Jets
Philadelphia Freedom
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues
Border Song
Tiny Dancer
Have Mercy on the Criminal
Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time)
Take Me to the Pilot
Someone Saved My Life Tonight
Candle in the Wind
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding
Burn Down the Mission
Sad Songs (Say So Much)
Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word
Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
The Bitch Is Back
I’m Still Standing
Crocodile Rock
Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting
Cold Heart
Your Song
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road