For the casual viewer there are The Hits, and those capital letters are warranted given the endurance of these many unforgettable songs: from early ’70s epics Your Song and Tiny Dancer to mid ’80s classics I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues and Sad Songs (Say So Much).
For the bona fide disciples, there are also deeper cuts such as the blues rock-powered All the Girls Love Alice and the ambitious sprawl of Burn Down the Mission.
Everyone else can pick and choose their favourites from the above, but all can emphatically agree on both certain moments you’d expect to be exhilarating (I’m Still Standing) and some you never saw coming (the piano-and-percussion spectacular of Indian Sunset).
It’s all performed by a glamorous, dynamic 72-year-old Englishman and his largely long-standing five-piece band, in front of enormously entertaining visuals that vary from freshly produced films to archival gold, on a set framed with a golden brick road embossed with fascinating detail.
He has sung these songs better, what with his vocal range reduced by the ravages of time and an extraordinary life. While this band does a fine job, they have almost certainly performed them with more vigour (one imagines in Elton’s ’70s heyday).
He has likely had better nights on the piano – although his skills in that last regard remain exquisite, so it’s hard to tell. And he has definitely played leaner, meaner sets – even this one had half an hour that was surplus to requirements.
But if anyone has earned such final indulgences, as they ride off into the sunset for no more noble a cause than to devote more time to their husband and kids, no less, it’s Elton Hercules John.
The last 2019 show of Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour is at the ICC on Monday, December 23. The tour continues in Sydney in 2020 with shows at Qudos Bank Arena on January 7, 9 and 14 and, having taken in every major city in Australia and New Zealand, finally finishes up at Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium on March 7.