Elton John Hits Stage for First Time in Nearly 2 Years for Farewell Tour After Pandemic, Hip Surgery Delays

The return to performing came after Elton John previously announced he'd have to postpone the rest of his 2021 tour dates to 2023 following an injury

Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour
Elton John performs in New Orleans on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. Photo: Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Elton John has an announcement to make: The bitch is back!

The piano-rock legend, 74, hit the stage for the first time in nearly two years in New Orleans on Wednesday night, two days after celebrating his return to his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour on Instagram with a concert video montage set to his 1974 hit "The Bitch Is Back."

Before taking the stage at the Smoothie King Center to perform some of his most beloved hits, John shared various snapshots from around downtown New Orleans to his Instagram Story, including an image of a steamboat and one of a streetcar.

The musician's husband, David Furnish, also posted a photograph of himself watching a casually dressed John on the stage, seemingly from a soundcheck or rehearsal before the show.

"Getting back in the groove 🎹🎤🎼🎶 @eltonjohn #EltonFarewellTour," wrote Furnish, 59.

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Elton John Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour
Elton John performs in New Orleans on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour. Erika Goldring/Getty Images

The "Rocket Man" singer's return to the stage comes after he announced in September that he'd be pushing back the remainder of his 2021 tour dates to 2023 after he "fell awkwardly on a hard surface" at the end of the summer.

The fall left his hip in "considerable pain and discomfort," and though he underwent physio and specialist treatment, John had limited mobility and had to undergo surgery.

"I wouldn't be 100% fit, I wouldn't be 100% confident, because I'm in pain most of the time with my hip," he said in a November interview with Lorraine of postponing the dates. "I can't move sideways, can't get in and out of a car, and the decision had to be made, because I wouldn't want to go onstage and give less than 100%."

"Unfortunately [it will] disappoint all the people this year, but I'll make it up to them," John added at the time. "And I'll be in much better form."

RELATED VIDEO: Elton John Announces Final 300-Date Tour Before Retiring: "It's a Way of Going Out with a Bang"

John's injury came after the five-time Grammy winner's farewell tour commenced in 2018, but was indefinitely postponed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The "Tiny Dancer" singer shared his final tour dates on social media in June, saying in part, "I'm going to go out in the biggest possible way, performing at my very best, with the most spectacular production I've ever had, playing in places that have meant so much to me throughout my career."

John told Today in October of last year that upon wrapping the final legs of his farewell tour, he's most looking forward to spending time with his family: Furnish and their two sons Elijah, 9, and Zachary, 11.

"They're going to be teenagers soon. I need to be with them," John said. "I'll be 76 [when the tour is over]. I don't know how much time I have left on this earth after that. You know, I've had enough applause. I don't want to keep traveling. I don't want to be away from my family."

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