In front of a packed Forsyth Barr Stadium house he opened with Bennie and the Jets and the crowd was immediately on its feet.
Wearing a smart blue jacket in front of a giant screen, Sir Elton got the four-stop New Zealand tour under way.
Earlier, ponchos and umbrellas outnumbered fedoras and novelty sunglasses as crowds streamed down Anzac Ave to Forsyth Barr Stadium.
But visitors were upbeat, smiling at the gates, and nervously patting pockets down for tickets for Sir Elton's Farewell Yellow Brick Road concert.
"Gumboots would have been totally the way to go," said one rain-soaked punter about 6pm.
An Otago Daily Times reporter at the stadium said a "drenched but happy" crowd was pouring into the venue. Opening act Tate Sheridan had finished and the crowd was now eager to see the main attraction.
Sir Elton landed at Dunedin Airport on a private jet from Sydney about 2.45pm.
The plane was inspected by Customs and MPI before he left with a small entourage and was taken away in a private vehicle.
Rain has been falling for much of the day in the city, where a heavy rain warning was in place from 9am to 10pm. From 40mm to 70mm of rain was expected to accumulate.
Gates opened at Forsyth Barr Stadium at 5pm.
Forsyth Barr Stadium does not typically allow umbrellas inside, but due to the rain was allowing them to be stored at the gates on arrival.
"They will be labelled and kept at the gates for collection as fans leave."