Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Billy Joel in Concert

Wifey and I finally got to see Billy Joel in concert at the Fukuoka Dome. We had been waiting for almost 9 years to see this show and we got pretty darned good seats considering we were in the largest barn in Fukuoka Japan- 8th row back from the front. Not as great as it sounds...we were about 50 or 60 yards from the stage, to the left.

We decided to go, no matter what the cost. The way I figure it, a guy who likes to drink and drive and also has a passion for motorcycles (as Billy does), and a history of accidents...well....you might want to see him while you can!

What can you say about Billy that hasn't already been said? The concert was without a doubt one of the best I have ever been to in my life. He played almost every one of his major hits, but what really made me happiest was that he played a lot of the songs from his albums that I love-the ones that never had a chance on the charts but are etched in my mind as some of his very best. Songs like Billy the Kid, Vienna, Zanzibar....

Billy Joels concerts sound amazingly close to the studio recorded versions too, which in my mind is the hallmark of a true talent. I have only seen two other concerts like that in my life: one was Stevie Wonder, and the other was Joshua Redman.
For so many of todays pop stars, the artist is made in the studio. With Billy, you know the art was made in the studio by the artist.

My wife too seemed to be totally absorbed, enthralled, ecstatic. If you know her, these are not emotions she shows in public too much!

I came away thinking about the great talent that Billy joel is, how he has drawn so many fans from all ages into his often autobiographical tunes. He made us care about him and his trials, his loves, and we sang along all the way.

I came away thinking how odd it is that a man whom I have never met has touched my heart and made me care about everytown USA's Brenda and Eddie, or an Uptown Girl, or the eyes of his mother, Rosalinda.

How many people have actually done that in the history of American pop music? How many artists have you seen in concert that inspired you, moved you, to want to learn more about the person and where his music comes from?

Hats off to Bill.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Staci said...

I saw Billy Joel back in '99 or 2000. His concert was amazing. I could have shut my eyes and swore I was listening to his greatest hits CD. That was one show I was glad I went to!
ps-it was one of his gazillion sell-outs in Philly! :)

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Khan said...

Staci, I would love to be able to see him in the USA where people respond with less reserve. I can only imagine what it was like in Philly!

I have had his disc in the MD player in the car ever since the concert!

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Randy,

I saw Billy Joel and Elton John in concert together in the mid 90's. By far, the best concert I've ever seen. They played separately, did a few of each other's tunes, and then played together. I viewed it all from the 13th row, 25 ft. from the stage.

BTW, top few in order:

1. BJ/EJ
2. Gino Vannelli
3. TOP in N.O.
4. Harry Connick w/big band

Morry

5:39 AM  
Anonymous Randy said...

Wow Morry, you lucky dog!
I wanted to see that very concert when they came thru...but I let work take precedence.
After I missed Diz on his LAST tour thru Japan before he died, I vowed to change my ways.
So far I am doing ok with that little self-promise.

Did you see Billy do the National Anthem at the Super Bowl?

9:36 AM  

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