24 Jul Belated – Billy Joel at Shea Stadium
I am sorry I didn’t get to this post sooner – mostly because I wanted to write about this concert while it was fresh in my head. I’ve been a huge Billy Joel fan my entire life (like most kids from Westchester or Long Island), but the only live show of his that I’d seen was the Billy Joel/Elton John tour in Boston about 6 or 7 years ago.
So, I braved the secondary market and decided that no matter what it cost, I would procure tickets for this show – good tickets. I ended up with 6 tickets for the July 16th show – 2 for me, 2 for Dan, and 2 for my parents about 15 rows back from the field. It turned out to be worth it, because this was an incredible concert. Even if you weren’t a big Billy fan, this was a truly legendary show. Surprise guest performers included John Mayer, John Mellencamp, and Tony Bennett. Billy also played more than a few Beatles songs in a tribute the band that is one of Billy’s biggest influences, and also the first music act to ever play Shea. Billy became the last since they’ll be tearing it down at the end of the 2008 season. More exciting for me however was Billy’s own music – all 3 hours of it.
Billy played just about every one of his big hits (with the exception of Extremes, Uptown Girl, and one other that I can’t remember anymore). It was absolutely incredible to hear these songs live, and Billy delivered them with his typical high-energy, crowd-pleasing excitement – I was on my feet the entire show. Even more exciting for me though were the songs that aren’t his most well-known hits…he opened the show with Miami 2017 off of Songs in the Attic…this was the one song I desperately wanted him to play but never thought he actually would (probably my favorite Billy song, if I had to pick one). Other amazing, lesser known songs included Ballad of Billy the Kid, Angry Young Man, and The Entertainer (I guess that one doesn’t really count since it’s on Greatest Hits volume 1). Whew…just repeating that list gets me excited.
This was the kind of show that I really didn’t want to end. Although it did of course, it seemed like they were shooting for a DVD (multiple cameras, unusually formal intro at the beginning of the show, etc.), so maybe I’ll get to watch it over and over once the recording comes out. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed.