Sir Elton John said he has never been as cold while performing than he was in New Plymouth last night.
"And I've got heaters on stage, so God knows what it's like for you out there," he told the crowd at New Plymouth's Bowl of Brooklands.
But a bitter south-easterly and persistent rain before the show failed to dampen the enthusiasm of his fans, with more than 15,000 turning up to enjoy the show.
Instead, they huddled together on the grass while they waited for the star, and a huge range of raincoats, tarpaulins, oilskins and other waterproofing devices were on display.
And fortunately, the weather cleared as the music began, and fans from far and wide were rewarded for their dedication with a stellar show from the superstar.
"I can't believe I'm actually here. I could listen to him all night," Nicola Sheahan from Cambridge said.
"The rain on the drive down, and standing here in the pouring rain and freezing was absolutely worth it.
"This has been the chance of a lifetime."
Craig Flynn from Winton in Southland agreed, saying he was impressed with the Bowl as a venue.
"I've seen Elton before in London, so this is my second time," he said. "But this setting is the best I've ever seen. It's amazing."
Taranaki fans, young and old, were in on the act as well.
Cherry Phillips from Waitara said she was having a ball.
"This is my first time and it's beautiful," she said. "Taranaki's done it again. The rain stopped just in time and it's magical."
Caitlin Coughtrey, 14, Louise Henderson, 14, and Louise Hunt, 15, of New Plymouth said they grew up hearing their parents listening to Sir Elton's music. "We're all big fans," Caitlin said.
"We're having a great time."
Despite a big crowd, there was plenty of room to move about.
Queues were relatively small, with the longest lines for hot coffee and food.
The crowd began to gather from 2pm, while on the other side of town a handful of brave fans waited at New Plymouth airport for the arrival of Sir Elton's private Gulfstream jet.
Following a bumpy-looking landing, Sir Elton and his entourage were whisked straight to his dressing room at the Bowl in a distinctive silver Mercedes belonging to businessman John Rae.
Mr Rae told the Taranaki Daily News he was approached by the Mercedes dealership in Wellington and asked if he would loan his year-old car out for the night. He was happy to help out.
"Mind you, if I get it back in the morning and it's got any marks on it they'll hear about it," he laughed.
Police and St John Ambulance staff at the Bowl said the crowd had been well-behaved.
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