life in and around NYC is insane

Friday, December 19, 2014

OMG, Billy Joel!

So back in January we saw Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden.  Great concert.  Loved every minute of it.

My only disappointment of the night was the lousy seats, up in nosebleed territory.

Couldn't wait to do it again.  Which is easy, because he's taken up residency there, booked one show each month for the foreseeable future. 

So this time I bought the tickets from Stub Hub, Section 113.  That's rear stage, but only 9 rows back, a better view than some of the floor seats.  Much better than last itme.

Although for concerts, I suppose you shouldn't really call them "seats".  Their more like "here's your assigned place to stand and dance, with a chair for you to leave your stuff on while you do."

Better food choices at that level, I discovered.  We had hamburgers and French fries.  The burgers were amazing, perfectly cooked, with a yummy cheese sauce.  Fries were decent.  And Drew was pleased, because he saved $10 by using his Chase credit card to buy the food -- Chase is the Garden's sponsor.

Opening act was Jamie Cullum, a British singer/piano player who was obviously influenced by Joel -- his performance style reminds me of Joel back in the 1980's.  Very interesting jazzy/blues cover of Rhianna's "Please Don't Stop the Music".

And then it was time for Billy to take the stage.

Some of his patter was the same as what we heard the last concert...he looked at his image on the screen and said "hi Dad" because he looks just like his father now.

Loved his comment about the lyrics to "The Entertainer". 

Here's the lyric:

But I know the game, you'll forget my name
I won't be here in another year
If I don't stay on the charts


He told the audience "I haven't had a hit in 17 years, and you're still here.  Thank you."

The set list was different from what he played in January.  He's got so many hits he can't play them all, and he also likes to do songs that weren't hits...

Part of his shtick these days is to allow the audience to choose which songs he will play.  He gave us that option three times.  We chose "Vienna", "The Stranger" and "the Entertainer".

This being the Christmas season, his set list was expanded to include a few Christmas songs, including "O come All Ye Faithful", "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and (in the middle of "River of Dreams") "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer".  He even donned a Santa hat for awhile.

He spent most of the night at the piano, which rotates so the whole audience can see him.

No guest stars this time around (he had Mellencamp in the November concert), but we did get a performance from his roadie Chainsaw, who sand AC/DC's "Highway to Hell".  Interesting.  Billy accompanied on the guitar.

Billy stood up for  "Uptown Girl" and "It's Still Rock and Roll To Me", twirling the microphone stand like a pro.  But when he walked across the stage, you could see he was limping...

A great evening.  I would love to do it again.

Of course, everyone in the audience whips out their phones to take fuzzy pictures and video.  Here are my fuzzy pictures of the night:

The view from our seats:



Cullum:




And, of course, Billy Joel:











The set list:

Miami 2017
Pressure
The Entertainer
Vienna
The Stranger
Zanzibar
Movin' Out
Where's the Orchestra?
Allentown
She's Right On Time
New York State of Mind
Highway to Hell
My Life
Sometimes a Fantasy
Don't Ask Me Why
The River of Dreams
Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
Piano Man

Encore:
Uptown Girl
It's Still Rock and Roll to Me
You May Be Right
Only The Good Die Young




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