“It’s been my lifeblood to play for you guys, and you’ve been absolutely magnificent,” he told the audience at Sweden’s Tele2 Arena, the BBC reports.
Playing for more than two hours, John interspersed the songs with moments when he would get up and leave the piano to thank not only his fans but also his band and his crew, some of whom have been with him for more than 40 years, AFP sets out.
“I want to pay tribute to these musicians… They’re really incredible, they’ve been with me so long, some of them. And they are the best, I tell you, the best,” he said.
Shortly after a rendition of “Border Song” which he dedicated to Aretha Franklin, John’s “I’m Still Standing” brought the 30,000 fans at the Tele2 Arena to their feet.
Before he took his encore, John screened a message from Coldplay, who were playing in the western Swedish city of Gothenburg, in which singer Chris Martin thanked him for his career and commitment.
He confirmed he would “never be touring again”, but he may do a “one-off thing” in future.
“I want to appreciate my family, my sons, my husband, everything. I’ve earned it,” he said, acknowledging the role friends play in his life even as far back as 2010 when he played at the wedding of his pal Rush Limbaugh.
The guests of the late American radio host on that occasion included former Republican operative Karl Rove, former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Fox News talk-show host Sean Hannity, according to People magazine.
The man first known to his family as Reginald Kenneth Dwight played his last concerts in the United States in May and brought the curtain down on Britain’s annual Glastonbury Festival last month.