It's Still Rock and Roll with Billy Joel

It's Still Rock and Roll with Billy Joel

by JasonBryan / May 15, 2017 / 0 comments
Saturday, 13 May 2017

“So this is where the Dodgers ended up,” Joel mused as he first addressed the crowd with a quick anecdote of his childhood in Brooklyn. He opened the night with “Movin’ Out”. Then went into a rocking rendition of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” to intro “My Life” before addressing the audience. A few quips later he was doing his impersonation of Elton John while covering his “Your Song” for a verse. Then giving the audience a choice to hear “Just the Way You Are” or “Vienna” the crowd wanted “Vienna” and they got it. It was an interesting way reduce the number of songs played when there is no way you can fit your hole catalogue of hits into one show.

I must admit going into the show, I thought that Dodger Stadium seemed like a big venue for Billy Joel. I was wrong. He rocked the stadium all night long. I felt like all but the slow songs had an extra rock and roll edge to them. Here are some of the highlights. He started covering the Tokens’ “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” then led it into “The Longest Time”, I love it when an artist shows you their inspiration so on the nose. He followed the doo-wap with one of the greatest film scores of all time, “The Theme From The Magnificent Seven. He’s got a full band not an orchestra, but somehow manages to make his arrangement sound just as full. He told a quick story of how he wanted to write film scores for a while, but Hollywood never called, so he then played “The Ballad of Billy the Kid” which he informed the crowd he wrote instead.

Pink joined him on stage for “New York State of Mind” and then they played her hit “Try”. He slowed the pace down for a couple of songs and gave a nod to the city he’s playing in with “Goodbye to Hollywood”. Then came the biggest and most rocking moment of the evening. Axl Rose joined him on stage for “Highway to Hell.” This isn’t that surprising, because Joel regularly covers AC/DC in his concerts, and Axl has been playing shows as the AC/DC front man, but that did not take away from its awesomeness. He played all of The Eagles’ “Take it Easy” in the middle of “River of Dreams”. The band went full opera with “Nessun Dorma” to intro “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant.” This Rendition of “…Italian Restaurant” was epic. It’s not a song you think would be filling a stadium to crescendo with rock epicness, but it did. So much so, I was sure this was the last song before encores, but Billy Joel knows how to put on a show and closed the regular set with Piano Man, and he sure had the entire stadium feeling alright.

Barely a moment later the band was back on stage and went into “Uptown Girl” followed by “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” as if the rocking and rolling of the night was in doubt by anyone at the venue. Axl Rose returned to the stage to sing “Big Shot”. Then just when I thought he was finishing with “Only the Good Die Young”, he quipped a quick joke and threw something off the piano. I heard the sound effect of glass breaking, and I knew I was still getting my favorite song of his “You May Be Right”. He didn’t need to add an exclamation to how much the night rocked, but he squeezed some Led Zeppelin “Rock and Roll” into the middle, eliminating any doubt that Billy Joel was the lunatic we were looking for.

Set List:
Movin’ Out
Ode to Joy intro into My Life
Your Song
The Entertainer
The Lion Sleeps Tonight intro to The Longest Time
Theme from Magnificent Seven
The Ballad of Billy the Kid
Don’t Ask Me Why
New York State of Mind (with Pink)
Try (with Pink)
She’s Always a Woman
Say Goodbye to Hollywood
Sometimes a Fantasy
Highway to Hell (with Axl Rose)
We Didn’t Start the Fire
The River of Dreams with The Eagles’ Take It Easy medley in the middle
Nessun Dorma intro into Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
Piano Man

Uptown Girl
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
Big Shot (with Axl Rose)
Only the Good Die Young
You May Be Right with some of Led Zeppelin’s Rock and Roll in the middle.

Rating out of 11: