March 13, 2019
Colonial Life Arena
Review and Photos by Robert Kern
Elton John wows Columbia, SC crowd on “Farewell …” tour stop
Sir Elton John took the stage at the Colonial Life Arena March 13th, bringing the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour to the Columbia, South Carolina faithful.
It was difficult to find anyone sitting in their seats as Elton and his amazing band tore through a two and a half hour, 24 song career retrospective that kept fans singing, dancing and cheering throughout the evening’s performance.
The show opened with “Bennie and the Jets”, after which Elton John mistakenly identified the Columbia crowd, greeting them with “Good evening Columbus”. Quickly realizing the mistake, Elton John recovered saying, “Columbia… I’ve been traveling since September so I don’t know where I am half the time”.
While acknowledging that it would be impossible to play everyone’s favorite song during the show, what John delivered was nothing short of spectacular. Hit after hit kept the crowd at fever pitch, and after many of the songs he would stand and encourage the crowd to cheer louder and longer. Those in attendance eagerly complied.
Several times during the set, Elton and the band took songs such as “Burn Down The Mission”, “Rocket Man” and “Levon” to new heights with extended versions that showcased the skill of his band and John’s immense talent at the keyboard.
As the show began to move towards the inevitable conclusion, Elton and the band cranked the level to 11, pounding out “The Bitch is Back,” “I’m Still Standing,” “Crocodile Rock,” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting,” before leaving the stage.
With the obligatory cheering, screaming and clapping to encourage the encore out of the way, Elton returned briefly to deliver two more songs – “Your Song” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. “That’s Your Song Columbia”, John said, putting a final exclamation point on a stellar performance. As the final notes of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” concluded, John was lifted off the stage in a basket, waving farewell to the crowd and disappearing into the darkness.
As this was the last time Elton John would lead the people of Columbia, South Carolina down that Yellow Brick Road, it was one heck of a farewell.