Monday, November 12, 2007

Billy Joel Is A Great Entertainer

The title of this post says it all! Billy Joel is not only a great musician, but he is a fantastic entertainer! Beyond singing many good songs and several great ones at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Saturday night, he mixed in lots of dialogue - and was quite funny! Darcy and I, along with thousands of fans, may have paid to see Billy Joel play his most popular music, but we were given much more. Beyond hearing him along with his band sound great, we got to know him a little bit. Between songs he would crack jokes or tell a story, and was very captivating to listen to. I kept thinking that if he wasn't a musician he could have gone into stand-up. We never once got the feeling that this was just another stop on tour him. From what we could tell, he was having a great time, and consequently, so did we.
Our seats were on the floor, 25 rows from the stage. This would be near half court if it were a Warriors game. As a result, we were required to stand for most of the night to see the stage, since those in front of us were on their feet. Even though there were times that sitting may have been nice, I think being forced to stand ultimately made the whole experience more fun. In addition, just being on the floor near more of the passionate fans allowed us to feed off of their energy and love for the music. Billy Joel has been around since well before either Darcy and I were born, so you can imagine we were much younger than the majority of the crowd.

Here is the set list:
Angry Young Man
My Life
Everybody Loves You Now
The Entertainer
White Rabbit (partial version)
The Downeaster 'Alexa
New York State of Mind
Root Beer Rag
Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
An Innocent Man
Don't Ask Me Why
She's Always a Woman
Keeping the Faith
The River of Dreams
Highway to Hell
We Didn't Start the Fire
Big Shot
It's Still Rock and Roll to Me
You May Be Right

Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
Only the Good Die Young
I Left My Heart in San Francisco (partial)
Piano Man

The music all sounded great, with some mesmerizing piano solos, but if I had to pick one highlight, it would be singing along to 'We Didn't Start the Fire'. I know every word to this long-winded song, and have had a lot of fun singing along with it over the years with the cassette, radio, MTV, CD, and iPod. It was even more fun to sing it along with Billy himself!

Although I have always been a fan of Billy Joel, after seeing him live this weekend, I am now a bigger fan. He delivered in every way; as a person, as an entertainer, and as a musician. Darcy was skeptical about how much she would enjoy herself because she isn't too familiar with his music, and ended up having a great time as well. I'd say this concert ranks in the top ten of all the concerts I've ever been to. And since I've been to more concerts than I can count, that's saying a lot!

For a little Billy Joel history (Born May 9th, 1949), check out what Wikipedia has on him HERE:

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