It was more than a night to remember. It was light, shadows, music, effects — all of it — as the celebration of a life-long musical career came to a close with fans singing songs we grew up loving.
The great thing about rock and roll is that someone like me can be a star.Elton John
After a two-year wait, Elton John made good on his promises to perform in Knoxville on April 8, 2022. He came to share familiar hits on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour . . . but not just as an older musician saying good-bye. He came with gusto bringing with him an unparalleled light show, several seasoned musicians who’d played with him for decades, and all the gratitude of an award-winning musician who never takes for granted the people who love and follow him.
The light shone on Elton John the whole evening, but for good reason. He brought magic to Thompson-Boling Arena, and, according to journalist Ryan Wilusz, “each song felt like a gift, an enchanted moment only he could offer.”
Beams of light never left Sir Elton although those same beams twisted and turned to showcase other musicians who had been with the star for years — musicians like vocalist/guitarist Davey Johnstone and percussionist Ray Cooper who lit up the night in their own ways.
When the artist returned from a break to a dark stage, he sat down at the piano, hit a few notes . . .
and the light returned, never letting us miss a chance to see Sir Elton from all sides. Both he and the piano moved across the stage as the light followed the star, always.
We ate it up. Especially when Sir Elton stood and addressed the crowd, saying he remembered good times in Knoxville and the good people. And then he told us why he wouldn’t be traveling and performing any longer. (Family, life, and the desire to close a successful career on a high note.)
But for that one illuminated night, he owned us. We were wowed — not just with a concert of memorable moments, but an event to remember for years to come.
You should never take more than you give.Elton John
Elton John and his entourage drew us in as multi-colored light and confetti drifted overhead, and Tennessee fans sang along to familiar tunes like “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” “Crocodile Rock,” and “Honky Cat.”
But it was the farewell song, the third and last encore, that touched us. As Sir Elton John ascended the backdrop to move out of sight, he waved and sang “Goodbye Yellow Road” for one last time in Knoxville.
I make no apologies for my iPhone photos taken while swaying to avoid the avid fan in front of me. It was a legendary performance with or without good photos.
Music has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.Elton John
And I’m linking to Patti’s post — Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #198: Light and Shadow — with gratitude. I can’t think of any time spent in the shadows of this arena that we’ve loved musical spotlights more than we did on April 8, 2022.
Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour was one heckuva grand event!
Rusha & Bert