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Saturday, July 19, 2008

One for the Ages!

I ventured into hostile territory last night with Andy to travel to Shea Stadium to see my all time favorite singer and live performer, Billy Joel. This "Last Play at Shea" concert was an event we'll never forget. To be privileged to see Billy Joel in concert is one thing and I've now seen him 11 times and Andy has been with me for several of his shows (including seeing him with Elton John).

I purchased the tickets months ago when they first went on sale and, as the concert approached, we realized we could make a ton of money by selling our 2 tickets but decided to hold onto them and go. I'm so glad we did. Wednesday night's show featured some big name special guests (Don Henley, Tony Bennett, John Mellencamp... , and John Mayer) but word had gotten out that Friday's show would be even better and boy were they right!!! Holy cow. Tony Bennett appeared again (I had seen him once before with Tim McGraw) but he's a legend and now Andy got to see him. He was followed by Garth Brooks (an OMG moment for me since I LOVE LOVE LOVE Garth) in a full circle moment. Andy and I had gone to Garth's free concert in Central Park years ago and Billy had made a guest appearance at that show so now Garth was able to return the favor in a great rendition of Shameless.

After Garth we were treated (and truly surprised) to see Steven Tyler! He made Shea Stadium rock more than Bill Buckner in 1986! He did "Walk this Way" and had the stage to himself (we thought it was strange that Billy didn't do it with him but at this point, Billy needed a break I think. He played for almost 3 hours in blistering heat and humidity). Roger Daltry sang "My Generation" while Billy smashed a guitar behind him. LOL
Before I get to the big moment I just want to say what makes Billy concerts awesome to me is the "sing along" atmosphere you get. Every song he sings (well, the ones from his greatest hits album at least that all the non-hardcore fans know) is performed by 55,000 people. At most points, he is drowned out! It's great! He sang 2 songs that Andy and I appreciated: "Summer Highland Falls" and "This Night". They are not well known so we were proud to know them both and it's funny to look around at all the people who acted like they were his biggest fans because they knew all the words to "The Entertainer". LOL.

Ok, the BIG MOMENT. It wasn't a total surprise because it had been speculated that Sir Paul McCartney would be there but when he walked out on stage and started "Saw her standing there", Andy and I got chills! It was something we'll probably never see again. To see such a legend was overwhelming. He left after that song and Billy played "Piano Man" which usually closes the show (though any real fan will tell you the show is REALLY over when he says "And don't take any sh*t from anybody"). After Piano Man he invited Paul to take over the piano and close the show with "Let it Be". WOW!!!! The show would have been more poignant at Yankee Stadium but I was willing to go into enemy territory to see Billy close out that dump of a stadium. I could tell you about my awful experience with the 7 train but it did nothing to sully the memory that I will always have of that concert.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

Wow! Sounds like it was a blast! Billy Joel was awesome when I saw him before we moved -- but this was quite a cast of characters. I won't get into the stadium comments as I've never been there myself and am truly a Mets family only by marriage ... lol.