It’s been 47 years since Elton John scored another number one hit with his song Philadelphia Freedom.
But on Friday, the song had an extra special place in his heart and fans when he performed it during his band’s stop at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, as part of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.
The legendary singer-songwriter looked to be in fine form, full of enthusiasm and excitement, while belting out his greatest hits for the crowd of more than 40,000 fans at the home of the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.
The tour – which kicked off in the U.S. in Allentown, Pennsylvania back in September 2018 – has endured several postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, at times, John’s health.
Elton John, 75, brought his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, which set up a very special rendition of his hit song Philadelphia Freedom
John (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight), 75, and his band kicked into the set opener, Bennie And The Jets with a big beaming smile on his face.
On this night, e was decked out in a white tuxedo blazer with black lapels and a floral embroidery and black pants.
And in keeping with his trademark look, he hit the stage wearing purple-tinted, large-frame glasses that matched the floral design on the front.
For the most part, John spent much of the show behind the piano singing, but he did make a point of making his way around the stage though the show.
Hitmaker: The British-born star played his greatest hits for a crowd of more than 40,000
He’s still standing! John looked to be in fine form decked out in a white tuxedo blazer with black lapels and a floral embroidery and black pants
The Philly fans didn’t have to wait long before the five-time Grammy-winner played Philadelphia Freedom. It set the tone for night as song number two of the set, according to Setlist FM.
The inspiration for the song started in 1974, when John asked his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin if they could honor tennis champion Billie Jean King, who at the time was a vocal advocacy for women in sports and LGBTQ rights.
Since King loved the word ‘freedom’, which she used as the name of her tennis team Philadelphia Freedom, the duo went on to write and compose the song of the same name, which went on to become his fourth chart-topper in the U.S. during the early and mid-1970s.
John dedicated the smash hit single, released in 1975, ‘with Love to B.J.K. and the sound of Philadelphia,’ according to Northwestern Now.
Behind Philadelphia Freedom: The iconic musician played his classic hit Philadelphia Freedom as his second song of the set; the tune was written by John and Bernie Taupin as a tribute to tennis great Billie Jean King, for her vocal advocacy for women in sports and LGBTQ rights. and the city’s so-called ‘Philadelphia Sound, among others
Delays: The tour – which kicked off in the U.S. in Allentown, Pennsylvania back in September 2018 – has endured several postponements due to COVID-19 and, at times, John’s health
As his show went on, John would go on to deliver rousing renditions of many of his other hit songs that included I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues, Rocket Man, Candle In The Wind, Sad Songs (Say So Much), Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, Crocodile Rock, I’m Still Standing and Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.
After the September 2018 kickoff, the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, which is intended to be John’s final trek around the world, was temporarily postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic following his show in Sydney, Australia on March 7, 2020.
The nearly two-year break in between shows was also due to John having surgery on his injured hip following a fall ‘on a hard surface.’
Despite intensive physiotherapy and specialist treatment, the pain continued to get worse, making it harder for him to move around, ultimately prompting him to make the decision to push the tour back to 2022.
Take a bow: The English crooner and pianist played many of hits during the show
The tour ultimately resumed with a show at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on January 19, and made its way around parts of the U.S. until April 28 in Miami.
From there, John and his band took a three-week hiatus before picking back up in Europe with a show in Fornebu, Norway on May 21.
The European leg continued on through July 4 in Watford, England, and then John took an 11 day break before resuming in the U.S. with Friday’s show in Philadelphia.
The tour will make its final stop in the United States on November 20 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
The five-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is slated to formally wrap up in Stockholm, Sweden on July 8, 2023.
Nod to Philly sports: In keeping with the previous tour dates, the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road star posted a series of images related to the city on his Instagram page, including this homage to the venue, which is home to the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team
Socializing: There was also a shot of the stadium logo on Instagram
Spreading the love: John professed his love of ‘Philly’ in the Instagram post on Friday
Personalized: Citizens Bank Park has a capacity of about 43,000 fans for baseball games, so that number is like higher for the ‘Sir Elton John’ show
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