Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, December 11, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINMarquee in front of PPL Center, Allentown, announces Sept. 8, 2018, opening-night start of Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINMarquee in front of PPL Center, Allentown, announces Sept. 8, 2018, opening-night start of Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour.
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINThe load-in: semi tractor-trailers, packed with gear for Elton John “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” PPL Center concert, line Linden Street, between Sixth and Seventh streets, Allentown, Sept. 2. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINThe load-in: semi tractor-trailers, packed with gear for Elton John “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” PPL Center concert, line Linden Street, between Sixth and Seventh streets, Allentown, Sept. 2.
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINTwo trailers, among the 20-some that transported the set for Elton John “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” PPL Center concert, were parked along North Eighth Street, north of Hamilton Street, Allentown, Sept. 2. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINTwo trailers, among the 20-some that transported the set for Elton John “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” PPL Center concert, were parked along North Eighth Street, north of Hamilton Street, Allentown, Sept. 2.
PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINA semi tractor-trailer for Elton John “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” concert parked across from the Eight Street side of PPL Center, Allentown, Sept. 2. PRESS PHOTO BY PAUL WILLISTEINA semi tractor-trailer for Elton John “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” concert parked across from the Eight Street side of PPL Center, Allentown, Sept. 2.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOScene from the movie, “The Wizard Of Oz” (1939), where Dorothy (Judy Garland) follows the Yellow Brick Road, an inspiration for Elton John’s hit song, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.” CONTRIBUTED PHOTOScene from the movie, “The Wizard Of Oz” (1939), where Dorothy (Judy Garland) follows the Yellow Brick Road, an inspiration for Elton John’s hit song, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

Elton John ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ starting here in Allentown at PPL Center

Tuesday, September 4, 2018 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Focus

The Yellow Brick Road begins in Allentown right at the PPL Center at Seventh and Hamilton.

That’s where Sir Elton John kicks off his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road - The Final Tour.”

The buzz is already on the street.

Apparently, they’re building the Yellow Brock Road tour brick by brick, or at least semi tractor-trailer by semi tractor-trailer, some 20 of them, which pulled into center city Allentown Sept. 2 with the precious cargo.

“EJ’s stage is a monster” described one unnamed eyewitness.

The set is reported to have cost $15 million.

According to Elton John’s web site, “These dates mark Elton’s last-ever tour, the end of half a century on the road for one of pop culture’s most enduring performers. The new stage production will take his fans on a musical and highly-visual journey spanning a 50-year career of hits like no one has ever seen before.”

The load-in at PPL Center took place the afternoon of Sept. 1 with sound checks continuing until about 11 p.m. that day. The trailers were emptied and parked on a large center city lot. Rehearsals began Labor Day afternoon Sept. 3.

The “production is unreal.”

Added the observer, “He sounds awesome.”

States Elton John on his web site, “Performing live fuels me and I’m ecstatic and humbled to continue to play to audiences across the globe. I plan to bring the passion and creativity that has entertained my fans for decades to my final tour.

“After the tour finishes, I’m very much looking forward to closing off that chapter of my life by saying farewell to life on the road. I need to dedicate more time to raising my children,” states Elton John on his web site.

Sir Elton’s Sept. 8 concert at PPL Center sold out its 10,000 seats in 28 minutes.

The farewell tour announcement was made Jan. 24 in Gotham Hall, New York City, at a press conference moderated by Anderson Cooper and during which “Tiny Dancer” and “I’m Still Standing” were performed by Elton John unaccompanied at the piano.

It’s not the first time Sir Elton performed in Emerald City, er, Allentown. He set an attendance record of more than 10,000 when he performed in PPL Center two years ago, Sept. 27, 2016.

The “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour includes more than 300 concerts on five continents in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South America and Australia, concluding in 2021.

And it’s starting here in Allentown.

After the farewell tour opens at PPL Center, Sir Elton performs two sold-out concerts Sept. 11 and 12 at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia.

The first leg of the United States farewell tour, which is sold out, is scheduled to conclude March 16, 2019, at BB&T Center, Sunrise, Fla.

The tour heads to Europe, starting May 1, 2019, in Austria and concludes July 7, 2019, in Italy. The three-year tour returns to the U.S. Sept. 10, 2019, in Anaheim, Calif.

By the way, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road Tour” was a 2014 North America and Europe concert tour by Elton John to promote the 40th anniversary re-release of 1973’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album.

On the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour, concert-goers will witness a six-minute virtual reality tour of Sir Elton’s career.

“I’m going to have a fantastic time. And so this should be a joyous occasion. And It will be,” Elton John said of the tour in a promotional video.

“And this is just the beginning. See you in Allentown,” said Luke Lloyd-Davies, COO, Rocket Entertainment Group, in a promotional video.

To join “The Rocket Club” for farewell tour information, sign up for free at: eltonjohn.com/tours

To view: The making of “Farewell Yellow Brick Road,” Part 1, The Past; Part 2, The Present, and Part 3, The Future:

eltonjohn.com/stories/the-making-of-farewell-yellow-brick-road