Last steps on Yellow Brick Road for Elton

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It’s hard to believe that the sun will ever set on Elton John and that last night’s concert at Páirc Uí Chaoimh will be the last time we see the evergreen rocketman on an outdoor stage in Ireland.

Whether that’s true or not – and the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour has already spanned three years, influenced by the pandemic – Elton has captivated Republic audiences since his first visit on the A Single Man tour in March 1979 .

Last night was his fifth Cork appearance in a career that has contained 4,034 gigs.

In the same year 1979, two months after taking part in his first concert in Dublin, Elton John made a historic tour of what was then the Soviet Union, giving concerts in Moscow and Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg). .

The Russians knew the music of Elton John and indeed other iconic Western bands such as the Beatles because they were illegally listening to US forces radio. Indeed, many young Soviets learned their English from the lyrics of pop songs.

Just as Elton John took the stage at Moscow‘s Rossiya Concert Hall, Vladimir Putin, then 27, was undergoing advanced training at the Dzerzhinsky KGB Higher School in the same city. It might have been a different world if Vlad had taken time off to go to the show. On the other hand, given that the set included “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” and “Back In The USSR”, then maybe he did. But drew the wrong conclusions.

Anyway, last night in Cork was the occasion to say goodbye to the greatest showman. We may never see his like again.

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