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Allentown, PA, Plans EJ Tributes

Written by Chief Editor.

The day before Elton opens his farewell tour at Allentown’s PPL Center, a church in the city will hold a tribute concert to him featuring area musicians that it hopes will start a musical outreach to the community.

Egads! We’re Still Standing, an evening of interpretations of some of John’s best-loved songs, will be at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7, in St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, the Morning Call has revealed.

The concert will be free, with donations accepted for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. A reception will follow.

This will be in conjunction with To Sir Elton, With Love, an exhibit of art inspired by the rocker's song titles and lyrics, at the Bradbury-Sullivan LBGT Community Center in Allentown from Sept. 4 to Oct. 5, with an artists’ reception 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 20.

Egads! We’re Still Standing is “basically a thank you from Allentown and the Lehigh Valley to Sir Elton John for choosing Allentown as the start of his farewell tour,” said Paul Willistein, vice president of the church council and a member of the church’s Arts at St. John’s committee.

“To me, this is a big deal,” Willistein said of John starting the tour here. “I just thought something should be done” to acknowledge it. He said he also has approached the mayor’s office about giving the music-maker a key to the city.

“The concert is a recognition of the resiliency, passion and dedication to humanity of Sir Elton John, one of the greatest performers in popular music history."

Elton announced in January he will retire from the road after a Farewell Yellow Brick Road global tour will last three years and include more than 300 dates across five continents before ending in 2021. It will be his largest tour.

Elton's PPL Center show sold out the 10,000 seats in an arena-record 28 minutes.

The church tribute will feature the horns of Main Street Brass as well as a string section, Willistein noted. “We’re going to be doing his music proud.”

He added that the event also celebrates the city’s comeback, “the vibrancy of its talented musicians and the continued strength of its faith community.”