Billy Joel – enough said, right? I dare anyone to tell me they have been to a bad Billy Joel concert. Of course, I have only been to a few. But every one of them have been awesome. Here is a guy who has been performing – and entertaining – for so long that it’s amazing. And he still appears to enjoy it. We went to the concert in Philadelphia, at Citizen’s Bank Park.
We met some of my wife’s friends before the concert for a little tailgating and it was nice to just get out and relax. It was threatening rain all day, and even hit us a few times early in the day. But, during the concert it never rained at all. In fact, it was a nice evening – a little humid but nice. The stadium held about thirty to forty thousand people, and they were all ages. There were teenagers on up to people in their later years.
He went on almost exactly at 9pm as scheduled and played for a little more than two hours, with only a short five minute break. Well, unless you count the song by the roadie “Chainsaw” as a break. Chainsaw sang Highway to Hell and was actually pretty good. He wasn’t the only special guest for the evening.
Boyz 2 Men also joined Billy on stage and sang Longest Time a cappella with him. It was absolutely incredible to hear the different voices all blending together as one. Everyone was into it and cheering and clapping throughout the song. Watching four entertainers snapping their fingers and moving to the beat, and singing the song was almost beyond words. They only sang the one song together, but it made the concert all the more memorable.
He also sang Goodnight Saigon which is a great song. But, what made it even more incredible was when he turned up the lights about half way through and we all saw that he had brought out a group of veterans and active duty military from all branches and seemingly different eras. The sight of this group of guys standing up there, arms around each swaying and singing the song along with Billy was almost overwhelming. The entire audience standing and clapping continued through the end of the song with chants of “USA”.
Billy sang a lot of his and our favorites – although my wife says she wished he sang Captain Jack. But, I guess we will settle with his greats like Pressure, Entertainer, Moving Out, Allentown, Don’t Ask Me Why, River of Dreams, and Still Rock and Roll. He ended the concert with Only the Good Die Young at about 11:10 more than two hours after starting.
But, for me the best and most telling part of the concert is whenever he plays Piano Man. It is for me the most iconic part of his concerts. At least to me. To see him stop playing the music and let the crowd – the entire crowd – sing parts of the song together. Well, it is truly an amazing sight. For anyone who has never seen Billy Joel in concert I strongly recommend it.