Yes, it's been a long, long time.
Yet the 75-year-old Elton John still gives his all. In an outpouring of love and gratitude, Sir Elton thrilled 60,000 adoring fans in an incandescent concert at Nashville's Nissan Stadium Sunday night.
Spectacular video images beamed from giant screens above the stage shifted during the evening to photos from Sir Elton's 50-year career and closeups of him and his topflight band of old colleagues still rocking.
In homage to Sir Elton's grandiose concert costumes, many in the crowd wore flashy outfits and outrageous glasses, earning a word of appreciation from the consummate showman. Sir Elton wore a fairly restrained white coat with tails, switching to an elegant blue jacket and at the end a lounging outfit for a tender encore.
Sir Elton and mates propelled the crowd to stand and dance for most of the show, performing a generous selection of his greatest hits. "Rocket Man" took the evening to a higher stratosphere from which it never descended.
In his final performance in Nashville on his "Farewell to the Yellow Brick Road" tour, Sir Elton noted the city's musical heritage, and that of Memphis. He gave tribute to those cities with his piano playing, an encyclopedic offering of rhythm and blues, rock and country chords along with runs that echoed Mozart and Bach. With all of the high-tech effects and immense stadium, he could have been a guy singing and playing in an intimate club.
The crowd joined in on a raucous performance of "Crocodile Rock," thousands of voices spanning Baby Boomers to Generation Z harmonizing on the "ooo,ooooooo" as personal phone flashlights formed a continuous arc. All seemed transported to a time when rock, and the world, was young.
During his encore, Sir Elton performed his and Bernie Taupin's first hit, "This Is Your Song." Everyone there believed it.