Elton’s emotional Queensland gig
THEY'RE songs that get you dancing. They're songs you sing along too. They can you make you smile and have the power to bring you to tears. They're the songs of Sir Elton John.
And right now, as bushfires rage across Australia, drought takes hold and we need each other more than ever, they're the songs that are giving a nation hope.
As soon as Sir Elton took the stage at Sirromet Winery on Saturday night for A Day on The Green in front of 13,000 devoted fans, it was a reminder how powerful music can be.
Not any music, however, but that of Sir Elton.
Fans cried, laughed, smiled, danced and hugged each other tightly as they soaked in a communal dose of nostalgia.
It was his 20th show on the Australian-New Zealand leg of his Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour, following his three performances at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre.
Sir Elton still has more Queensland shows, with another tonight at Mt Cotton's Sirromet Winery, two on the Sunshine Coast and another in Townsville.
Impressively, this was his 161st show, marking the halfway point on his epic world tour.
Sir Elton opened his emotionally-charged performance with Bennie and the Jets and continued with hit after hit - I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues, Tiny Dancer, Rocket Man (I think It's Going to Be a Long, Long Time) and Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word.
Fans decked out in gumboots and ponchos ignored the looming rainclouds and soaked in the music of a man who has provided the soundtrack to people's lives for more than 50 years.
Looking across the crowd, it was clear his music speaks through the decades.
Young children in Elton John merch danced alongside their parents. An elderly couple swayed and held hands as they took a moment for each other during Candle In The Wind. Another couple recreated their first dance in the front aisles as they lovingly embraced during Rocket Man.
A mother was comforted by her sons as she let the tears stream down her face in Tiny Dancer.
And Sir Elton himself spoke to the crowd of what music has given him.
"I've been so blessed and grateful that I do this for a living," he smiled out to the crowd with genuine affection.
"Music has been my companion for my whole life, even in my bad times when I was using… it kept me alive."
At 72, with his trademark glasses and beaming glitter jackets, Sir Elton was vocally flawless. He sat behind the piano for the almost three-hour show and delivered a performance like no other.
Between songs he told stories, reminisced and delivered inspirational messages of hope.
"In 1990 I had two options, one was to die and the other was to ask for help and I eventually swallowed my pride and asked for help and got sober and clean," he said.
"Pride can kill you… if you are afraid and ashamed of who you are and in pain out there…just ask for help and you will get it."
Sir Elton, and his insanely brilliant band, continued on with Daniel, I Want Love, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, I'm Still Standing and crowd favourites Crocodile Rock, Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting before his encore of Your Song and Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
It was a moment in history for fans as they watched Sir Elton play one of his final Australian shows ever, rounding out 51 years of touring.
As he bid a fond farewell to his fans, they danced and swayed to the songs of the man whose music will live on long after his final goodbye.
"You're in my soul, my heart and every fibre of my being… I love you and I'll never forget you," he said.