polo swimming trunks Elton John announces he will kick off final tour in Allentown
When Elton John started his concert Tuesday at Allentown’s PPL Center with the nine minute “Funeral For a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” the juxtaposed orchestral and rock suite that opened his most successful album, 1973’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” it served notice.
But it was with his second. Feb. Thursday.
The Farewell Yellow Brick Road Global Tour will last three years and include more than 300 dates across five continents before ending in 2021. It will be John’s largest tour.
“I don’t want to go out with a whimper I want to go out with a bang,” he said.
The tour, he said, “will be the most produced, fantastic show I’ve ever done.”
His next shows after Allentown will be Sept. 11 and 12 at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center.
John promised his farewell tour will truly be his last, and he will not, as other artists have done, return later.
“I’m not Cher,” John said at the news conference, referring to the singer who has undertaken several “farewell” tours. “Even though I’d like wearing her clothes. This is the end.
“I want people to come to the show, see an old friend and come away with a good feeling,” John said.
“I’m 71,” he said. “I can’t physically do the traveling anymore. I want to be at home. I really want to spend time with my children at home. I’ve had an incredible life, but life is all about change. My priorities have changed. I have young children.”
John is the father of two sons.
While John said he won’t tour after that, “I’ll be making more records, writing more musicals. But mostly I’ll be taking my kid to soccer academy, which is the most important thing.”
John’s first show at PPL Center was special for him.
He set the arena’s record for its largest crowd a little more than its usual 10,000 because of seating behind the stage. His tickets sold out in a then record three hours. cities.
“The simple truth is I want to spend more time with my family and less time touring,” John said at the time. “I am all too aware of how precious the time ahead is. My sons are growing up so quickly. Their early years are just flying by and I want to be there with them.”
John is among the best selling singers in history. He has sold more than 70 million albums in the United States alone and claims sales of more than 250 million worldwide, which would put him in the Top 10 best selling musical artists of all time.
He has amassed 39 gold or platinum albums with 29 discs that hit the Top 10 and six of which hit No. 1. In all, he has released 32 studio albums, four live discs and 16 compilations. His first compilation, “Elton John’s Greatest Hits” in 1974, sold 16 million copies, putting it among the Top 20 best selling albums of all time. The follow up “Elton John’s Greatest Hits Volume II” in 1977 sold 5 million copies.
Perhaps his best known album, 1973’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” sold 8 million copies.
He also has had 60 Top 40 songs, including 10 that hit No. 1, such as “Your Song,” “Daniel,” “Rocket Man,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Island Girl,” “Philadelphia Freedom,” “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” and “Crocodile Rock.”
His “Candle in the Wind 1997” sold more than 11 million copies in the United States, making it one of the biggest singles of all time.
His latest album, “Wonderful Crazy Night,” released in 2016, peaked at No. 6 on Billboard’s albums chart.
John joins a list of big acts that have started tours at PPL Center, including Nickelback and Neil Diamond, both in 2014. Diamond also rehearsed his tour at PPL Center.
Center spokeswoman Katie Nork said that while it’s possible the start of John’s tour could bring rehearsals to the venue, nothing has been confirmed.
At the first PPL Center concert, that performance of “The Bitch is Back” found John spitting out the words before sitting atop his piano and spinning.