The Piano Man returns! Wow what a really fun concert my wife and I experienced last night. I had never seen Billy Joel live before and am so glad I had the chance to. He is so incredibly talented.
My opinion of the night, a good time. The music was excellent, though not flawless, but honestly I don’t give a damn. The six person band with Billy were all having such a good time on stage, you could see it, you could feel it. My biggest mistake was reading local reviews of the concert on the way into work. Man what assholes, these writers where just looking for dirt to write about. Like this article by Bob Gendron of the Chicago Tribune, who couldn’t rip up Billy enough, he killed him with his pen. There was an OK article by
Billy really adds a personal touch to his performances which just made everything more. After the first song, “Angry Young Man”, Billy indicated that he was actually Billy’s dad, and Billy had asked him to play for him tonight. 🙂 Billy also made some other comments about his added years like, “I may have a lot less hair, but I am getting more head!” Before one song (can’t remember which one) he says, “I can’t believe I am still doing this.” Well I’m glad he still is.
A few songs later, the crowd was given a choice to choose one of three songs for Billy to sing, “Vienna”, something else, and “Captain Jack.” While naming the songs to choose from, Billy indicated that he cannot sing all the songs, which brought some moans from the crowd. Then Billy said, “I am going to be 58 in a few weeks, we cannot cover all the songs.” A few more moans and Billy followed this up by thrusting his pelvis up from his stool and grabbing his nuts, to laughter from the crowd. Just 12,000 people having a good time.
About midway through the show, Billy had a long-time roadie sing AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell”, while he played a guitar. He did an OK job, the voice was almost there, it was fun. I see now, what really happened to Bon Scott, he didn’t really die, just became a roadie for Billy Joel the last 25 years. Again the damn critics tore this apart, saying he was just strumming his guitar for a while and looking out of place, then leaving the stage for a while. Well yeah, you dumb-asses, the man needed a break. He just spent an hour or so on stage and took a break. It was the whole reason for the song. Something a little different to allow the star to take five. I would like to see any of the damn critics play for over two hours straight.
For a while Billy’s piano retracted back into the floor–it rotated too, as Billy stated after the first time it changed direction, “That is all of the special effects you get tonight. The piano goes this way, then back that way.”– and he stood at a microphone and sang, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, “Big Shot”, and “Innocent Man”; among some others which I don’t remember the songs. I never seen Billy rock like this before, it was new and fresh to me. He seemed a little awkward, but always having a good time.
The last song of the night was “Piano Man”. Billy had just played, “Only the Good Die Young” and “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” as part of his encore. Big cheers for the whole band, the crowd going wild. All the lights go out except for the spotlights on Billy. This brought huge cheers in appreciation for his performance. Billy walks toward the rear of the stage and heads stage-left away from his piano. A few boos come from the crowd. So billy moves toward his piano and receives cheers from the crowd. So he steps away from the piano, and now the crowd getting into it, boo. Then he steps toward the piano again, cheers. He does this a little bit, goes back and forth quickly to see if every one can keep up–laughter (everyone having a good time). He moves back to the piano a last time and has a seat, to a huge roar. Billy plays a quick classical piece, just a few bars, breaks, then goes right into “Piano Man”. Spine tingling, I tell you. Billy was obviously tired at this point but still pounded it out beautifully.
All I can say is Thank You Billy Joel, it’s a night out I shall remember for some time.
“Angry Young Man”
“Everybody Loves You Now”
“New York State of Mind”
“Root Beer Rag”
“Ballad of Billy the Kid”
“Don’t Ask Me Why”
“Always a Woman”
“Keeping the Faith”
“River of Dreams”
“Highway to Hell”
“We Didn’t Start the Fire”
“It’s Still Rock & Roll To Me”
“You May Be Right”
“Only the Good Die Young”
“Scenes From an Italian Restaurant”