UNLESS you're John Farnham, you only get to say goodbye once. You've gotta make it memorable. Elton John left Hunter fans with memories to savour on Saturday in the opening show of his two-night stint at Pokolbin's Hope Estate.
When John announced in 2018 his plans to retire from performing after his three-year Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, it ensured an extra layer of emotion to the spectacle. Many among the sold-out 20,000 crowd were left visibly emotional at the end of the two-and-a-half hour, 25-song set.
John also appeared genuinely appreciative when he told the crowd, "as an Englishman coming here since 1971 it's been like a second home to me. The generosity and love you've shown me will never be forgotten."
There was no rock'n'roll tardiness. It kicked off at 8pm as many fans were still clambering for their seats while Bennie and The Jets boomed around the arena.
The 72-year-old was unable to reach his higher notes, and relied heavily on a bluesy bark, but he's lost none of his nimbleness on the piano. Each song was also accompanied by a video, which was broadcast on three screens to provide a visually stunning backdrop.
There were some surprise highlights like the powerful Indian Sunset from the Madman Across the Water album, but the biggest reactions came for the hits. And there were hits galore.
Candle In The Wind, Crocodile Rock and Your Song and many more. When it was finally time to leave John made a stunning exit, rising on a platform into the TV screen to stroll up the yellow brick road. And with that the Rocketman was gone. Not as a diminished version of himself, but with miles left in the tank.