Elton John was back in Music City Friday night.
The Rocket Man showed up fashionably late to his Bridgestone Arena concert, taking the stage a few minutes after the scheduled 8 p.m. start.
The show was his first headline performance in Nashville in seven years, and showcased some of his greatest hits from the last five decades.
Before the doors opened, ticket-holders filled the plaza outside the arena and shared thoughts on the music legend.
“He's like the founding father of rock,” said R.C. Lund. “For me, it's Cher, Michael Jackson and Elton John.”
“He's just been around forever and is just awesome,” said Sam Rose of Arkansas.
Rose bought the concert tickets as a Valentine's Day gift for his girlfriend, Jerica Smith.
“My first dance recital when I was five years old, we danced to 'Crocodile Rock,'” Smith said. “I've loved him ever since.”
“I have everything he's ever recorded. Everything,” Jan Irvine said.
Irvine drove from Huntsville, Alabama, with her family to see the Nashville concert.
“As long as he's in driving distance, I'll go,” she said.
For fans, it's the music, the man, and the spectacle that keeps them in tune with John year after year.
“I saw him on his Pinball Wizard tour when he had the big boots on, and I thought he was the craziest, most wild performer at the time,” said Bradley Rath. “It was very impressive.”
Following the concert in Nashville, Elton John is scheduled to perform in Winston Salem, North Carolina, on Saturday.