Vicarage Road has been a miserable place for Watford fans over the past 12 months. Apart from the early optimism provided by last season’s opening-day win over Aston Villa and the victory over a shambolic Manchester United, Hornets supporters have had to endure an increasingly demoralising experience at the stadium, concluding with the dismal 5-1 defeat against Leicester City.

Time can be a healer and the weeks since that final home game of the season have provided an opportunity to try and move on, try and draw a mental line under a disastrous campaign and look forward to a new dawn under Rob Edwards. But there had not been an opportunity for so many to return to the scene of such disappointment and have a collective opportunity to not only move on, but to again enjoy one of those great Vicarage Road experiences to treasure. Until Sunday night.

Watford Observer:

Sir Elton John was magnificent. For two-and-a-half hours from Bennie And The Jets to Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, from Philadelphia Freedom to Young Song via Crocodile Rock, I’m Still Standing and so much more, he delivered a performance to add to the list of 'I was there' occasions Vicarage Road has witnessed in its near 100-year-old history as the home of Watford FC.

Read more: Elton implores Hornets to play with more passion next season

This was the 237th date in the music legend’s colossal Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, but this felt like more than witnessing a memorable concert. It was about community and that feeling of being part of something special again. Even the weather played ball.

Watford Observer:

Some dark clouds and a light shower had threatened to put a damper on the evening, but by the time Elton and his band arrived on stage at shortly after 7pm the sun had returned and was starting to set behind the impressive stage at the Vicarage Road end of the stadium. The clouds continued to clear throughout the evening to leave everyone’s attention to focus on the stage and having a great time.

Bennie and The Jets and Philadelphia Freedom set the tone before Elton said his first word that wasn't to music: “Watford”. Cue a mass roar of approval from the audience.

The first chant of “Elton John’s Taylor-Made Army” erupted after the next number, as classic song followed classic song with I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues.

Watford Observer:

Rocket Man and Levon saw Elton and guitarist Davey Johnstone break into captivating solos, while legendary percussionist Ray Cooper was never far away from catching the eye with his energetic performance at the back of the stage.

Part one of the show was very good; part two was even better. Some of the audience were ushered to the front of the stage to party within a few feet of one of the most famous names in world music, others with seats on the pitch were able to dance in the aisles as the stewards relaxed their approach, and the ballads made way for a high-tempo crescendo of I’m Still Standing, Crocodile Rock and Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting. The Vic was rocking.

The encore saw Elton perform Cold Heart (PNAU remix) – his number one smash with Dua Lipa – Your Song and Goodbye Yellow Brick, but it may prove to be remembered more for his passionate and emotional speech - the players have "got to play with a lot more f***ing passion than they they did last year" cut through in an instant because the former chairman summed what so many felt about the manner in which Watford were relegated last season.

Watford Observer:

There were people in the audience who bought tickets because they love Elton’s music, but the majority were, first and foremost, Watford supporters. This was a Watford night. The respect and warmth the fans felt towards a man whose place in the club’s history is assured was so evident – and it was reciprocated. “You have no idea how much I’ve looked forward to this,” Elton said at the start of the show. These two Vicarage Road shows clearly meant so much to him.

The audience were treated to a memorable, magical performance from an artist who remains a global superstar after a remarkable career spanning more than 50 years.

This was a special Watford night when Vicarage Road got its smile back.