Saturday night is fine for a farewell: Elton John plays his last concert in Canada | CBC News

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Elton John fans in Vancouver dressed for the occasion and sang on Saturday as the singer-musician known as “Rocket Man” played one last time in Canada as part of a farewell tour that is set to wrap up globally in mid-2023.

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

“Good night, Vancouver!” he said Saturday after opening with his hits. bennie and the jets Y liberty of philadelphia.

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

John walked onto the stage in a black tuxedo with trains that had a sparkly trim. He wore pink glasses with matching rhinestones.

Many of the thousands of fans at BC Place wore sparkly outfits, feather boas and large sunglasses, signature looks the artist has worn throughout his half-century career.

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

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 was rocket man in 1972.

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

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

‘It’s an icon’

John’s opening song on Saturday night pleased Tucson Pearl, 39, who drove from Oliver to see the show. He said bennie and the jets is his favorite melody of John.

“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, said they don’t often splurge on concert tickets or trips to concerts, but this one was a must.

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

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

A whole family dressed in stylish sunglasses.
John Kubus, 81, came to see Elton John perform on Saturday with 15 members of his family from across the province. (Chad Pawson/CBC)

Generational love for ‘Rocket Man’

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

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

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

When asked what his favorite song was, he said, “I love them all”, describing John’s music, performance style and outfits as “a little different”.

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

Defense of LGBTQ+ people

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

“It’s amazing. I like that he’s very authentic and himself, and that’s why I’m dressed like crazy,” she said. “I think I can dress in interesting ways and I can look around me and there are other people [doing the same].”

Binder said she is impressed with John’s advocacy for LGBTQ+ people and victims of the AIDS epidemic.

“I love that he supports him and he’s always been very open about it, at a time when it wasn’t as accepted,” he said. “And his music is just amazing, he always has been.”

He said his favorite John song is crocodile rock.

“It’s funky, it’s a jam,” he said.

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

“Great job staying relevant”

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

“We grew up with dad listening to a lot of music and Elton John was right on that list, so it’s part of our upbringing,” said Alison Ballantyne, 44, outside BC Place on Saturday with her sisters, who were wearing outfits inspired by John.

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

sail in the wind, Little Dancerthere are so many,” said Sarah Ballantyne, 46. She said John’s music has remained at the center of popular culture around the world during his long career as a hitmaker.

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

The three sisters said they were excited to think that, according to the artist, this would be John’s last headlining tour.

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

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