Sir Elton John said it is “good to be back” as he returned to the stage for the first time in almost two years to resume his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

The global megastar, 74, told the audience in New Orleans, Louisiana, he had “never had this amount of time off” from playing music in his life.

“We haven’t played a show since March 6 2020,” he said.

“This is a new experience for us. I’ve never had this amount of time off in my life playing music, at least since I was 17 years of age.

He continued: “I have a fact for you: you have been holding onto these tickets for 745 days and I can’t thank you enough for being so patient.

“We live in funny times but we’re going to have a great time tonight”.

The tour, which is to be Sir Elton’s last after more than half a century on the road, was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sharing the video on Twitter he captioned it: “It’s good to be back!

“New Orleans, I’ve loved you since I first visited in 1971!

“You’ve got funk and you’ve got electricity and I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome back after so long off the road. Texas, I’ll see you soon!”

Sir Elton will play in states across the US until the end of April, after which he will begin the European leg of the tour.

In November he announced two special homecoming shows at Vicarage Road, the home of Watford Football Club, to finish the tour in July.