Last year, Disney+ hosted a special live concert, “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium”, which was a once-in-a-lifetime live, global original concert event that offered fans from around the world a front-row seat to witness the groundbreaking magic of the Rocket Man back at Dodger Stadium.
During a special event at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills, on Monday night with members of the Television Academy, a screening of a condensed version of “Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium,” was shown.
Elton John took part in a special Q&A, and he described the feeling of triumph in going out on a high with his performance at the Dodger Stadium.
“I’m so critical of myself. I have to say, I’m 75 and honestly, I’ve never played and sang so well in my life, for so long. And I really mean that sincerely. … And really wanted that to be the thing. I didn’t want to go out when I was going down like that. It was so important to leave on a really high note, giving the best that you possibly can for the people that have supported you day in and day for years and years and years. That was my brief to myself. And I think we pulled it off.”
Elton went on to explain how he felt about his performance for the concert:
“The love that I felt, and the people dressing up, it became the most incredible party, and I enjoyed every single minute of it. And people tap into 250 shows” — he noted the signs fans are seen holding up at Dodger Stadium bragging about how many dates they’ve seen over the decades — “and you think, ‘Why are you wasting your money on me?’ But it was a joyful experience, and that’s all you can ask for. Music is a joy anyway. To be able to play music is just so great. I’ve had the most incredible life doing it. but to finish like that, and at a place where I kind of feel it’s like a shrine to me, in the city that gave me the greatest start in my career, at the Troubadour… I owe everything to this city, and then to finish at Dodger Stadium in three nights, while I’m 75 at the end of my career, it was everything I could have dreamed of and more.
The live show on Disney+ wasn’t the only concert he was doing, since it was part of a larger worldwide tour with hundreds of dates. Elton explained how the filming of the show didn’t impact on how he performed:
“And the broadcast, the live transmission, I didn’t notice anybody on stage. I didn’t notice the cameras. I didn’t even notice the dolly. And that’s the greatest job they did was to make themselves completely unobtrusive, and that helped me so much. So I have to thank them because when I go on stage, I’m concentrating on the music and the audience, and that’s it.”
The live show’s producer, Ben Winston, was also taking part in the Q&A and revealed some interesting stories on how they prepped for the show and had a really bad rehearsal.
“The first night, we all sat in the audience just to experience it, just to sort of notice what we needed to notice. The second night we did a dress run, because of course we’re broadcasting live the following night, so we did a run as if it was live from start to finish — including, by the way, the 40 minute pre-show that we were also doing live as well… And so much went wrong on that second night. It was, on our part, excuse my language, a piece of shit. He was amazing, but we just got everything wrong. The timing was wrong. The cameras weren’t right. And so you go into that third day…
After that second night, I didn’t sleep that night, because you realize the pressure of it. And then luckily, that third night, it just clicked when it needed to.”
Rocket Entertainment COO Luke Lloyd Davies also shared that the Dodger Stadium shoot involved 28 cameras, including those trained on the audience or drone or helicopter shots. He also shared a little tidbit on the upcoming Disney+ documentary that was being filmed at the event:
“We had a documentary team there as well”
Elton’s husband David Furnish, who is also his manager explained that:
“on the night, it was actually three crews having to kind of mesh well together and not get in each other’s way,”
Ultimately the concert came together perfectly, bringing Elton’s major performance at Dodger’s Stadium to fans around the world. And little did we all know that something else was going on with Disney during that same concert as it was during this event, that the Disney executives pulled Bob Iger out of retirement and removed Bob Chapek, but that’s a whole other story.
“Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium” is available to stream now on Disney+.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.