Back in 1998, I had a date with Billy Joel. At the time, he was doubling up with Elton John on a joint tour of two piano men doing their thing.
I turned up, expecting to hear the Man, but he failed to show, citing a particularly nasty chest infection. I obviously didn't exactly hold it against him, granted that I was treated to three hours of what could be arguably cited as being Elton's best concert in twenty-five years - but Mr Joel was certainly missed. Elton did sing Piano Man, but, hey, it just wasn't the same without Bill.
Tonight, I turned up for our second date and thankfully, this time, he made it. He apologised to the crowd for not keeping their date either (damn, he must have been cheating on me) but certainly made up for the wait with an absolutely blinding concert.
Where can I begin piling on the plaudits? His renditions of Just The Way You Are, Innocent Man, She's Always A Woman, Scenes From An Italian Restaurant were note perfect and dreamlike. He rocked, he rolled and most of all had a wonderful time, taking us all along with him for the entire ride. His self-deprecating humour, magnetic charm and general bonhomie made it feel as though we were all sharing his most intimate moments. In short, it was one of the best concerts I ever attended - and I've gone to a fair number in my time. I've never known two-and-a-half hours to disappear so rapidly.
Most importantly, Dana had a fabulous evening (granted that the last time, she was heavily pregnant with Tali and can't have felt that great after three hours of Elton...no offence!) and that was the icing on the cake.
The Piano Man has not lost his touch....and I can honestly say that our second date was a roaring success.
This was the setlist:
Angry Young Man
Everybody Loves You Now
Just The Way You Are
New York State Of Mind
The Downeaster Alexa
She's Always A Woman
Don't Ask Me Why
Keeping The Faith
Spanish Harlem/Stand By Me/An Innocent Man
The River Of DreamsHighway
To Hell (Chainsaw - his roadie!)
We Didn't Start The Fire
It's Still Rock'N'Roll To Me
You May Be Right
Only The Good Die Young
Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
Billy Joel....man, you rock!