Elton John performed a 2 1/2-hour solo concert Saturday night in Darmstadt, Germany.

Elton John performed a 2 1/2-hour solo concert Saturday night in Darmstadt, Germany. (Charlie Coon / S&S)

DARMSTADT, Germany — Sir Elton John has had so many hits that he can’t fit them all into a 2½-hour concert.

But he can try.

Sir Elton played a solo show on Saturday at Bollenfaltor Stadium in Darmstadt — just him and his baby grand. About 15,000 fans came to see that he can still carry a room.

The star stepped through the curtain wearing a bright magenta suit with matching animal-skin boots. The spotlights reflected off his buttons like they were disco balls. You could see them sparkle from the back.

He bowed to the left and to the right. Then he sat and played “Your Song” — “My gift is my song, and this one’s for you.”

Next came “Someone Saved My Life Tonight.” You know the one.

Two big screens gave everyone a close-up view so even the people reclining on the concrete bleachers in the back had a good view.

The crowd kept getting warmer through “Honky Cat” and “Rocket Man.” By “I’m Still Standing,” they followed in and stood up. It was an I’m-getting-older concert crowd. The baby-boomers seemed to relate when Elton sang, “I’m still standing better than I ever did, looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid.”

Between songs, Sir Elton would walk to stage left, take a deep bow and exhort the fans. Then he’d walk to stage right and do the same.

He did not prance like an aging rock star but strode like a 56-year-old lord of the manor who didn’t have anything to prove to anybody.

It cost fans between 35 euros and 90 euros to become Sir Elton John’s guest for the night. But most seemed to feel privileged to be entertained by him.

The stadium was about two-thirds full and there was plenty of room to spread out. Many people sat outside the stadium or pressed their faces up to the fence and listened for free.

It was a romantic evening — a 70-degree night, the sun setting behind the stage and framing it with a red-orange glow. Many guys were holding their women tight and together they swayed to the music.

And it was an emotional evening. “Candle in the Wind” caused tears to pop up in a few eyes. Sir Elton’s eyes were hidden by his sunglasses.

The assigned seating went by the wayside during “Bennie and the Jets” and fans stormed to the front of the stage. It wasn’t a mosh pit but simply a chance to get close to a legend.

Sir Elton smiled at the rush. He rewarded the fans with “Crocodile Rock,” during which he stood and played Jerry Lee Lewis-style.

Did everyone have a good time?

Yes, Sir.

Evenings with Elton

Tuesday: Lucca, ItalyWednesday: Caen, FranceSaturday: Hull, East Yorkshire, EnglandSunday: Newcastle, EnglandJuly 22: Kenton, Exeter, EnglandJuly 23: Montauban, FranceElton John will resume his European concert schedule in November.

— Source:

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