With an incredible band, a Taron Egerton duet and Aretha-style gospel fervour plus an about-turn on Brexit Eltons farewell tour is wonderfully over the top
As his Rocketman biopic is keen to demonstrate, Elton Johns life has been defined by excess too much drink, too much coke, too much love so its appropriate that his final tour is, in a bit of millennial slang that he would surely approve of, extra: Farewell Yellow Brick Road is three years long, with about 300 dates. Before retiring to spend more time with his young sons, his last ever show will be at Londons O2 Arena on 16 December 2020, finishing a 19-date final leg in the UK and Ireland. This then is a little taster, as he pops into Cardiff, Dublin and, here, Sussexs county cricket ground.
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This is a man for whom a three-minute pop song wont do if it could be four, or six, or an 11-minute suite about the devastation of a breakup, as the proggy Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding is here tonight. He plays for nearly three hours, energy constantly high, finishing almost every song by getting off his piano stool and gesturing Come on! at the audience like a Watford striker who just delivered a 30-yard screamer. There are three outfits, variously featuring glittery cats, a Gucci brooch so large that it could crown a child monarch, and rose-tinted, heart-shaped spectacles. The bad cold that saw him cancel a Verona date a fortnight ago has clearly been banished.