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Tribute to Mr. Billy Joel

Tribute to Mr. Billy Joel

Billy Joel

Who can forget their first concert?  For many poor teeny boppers these days, it consists of the apple pie artists of their time, Jonas Brothers, Justin Beiber, Miley Cirus, or whatever other talentless, bubblegum crap that is out there.

Not me.  My very first concert consisted of two legends.  The Piano Men.  Billy Joel and Elton John.  April 8, 2003.  Bradley Center, Milwaukee.  I could probably find my exact seats if I searched through boxes to find the ticket stub I refuse to throw away.

Billy Joel, and Elton John performing the classic, Piano Man (great video, even if it IS on gross Jay Leno)

Let me begin by saying, I like Elton John good enough, he has many great songs, classics, and I would jump at any opportunity to see him live again.  He was a fantastic performer, beautiful sound, great on-stage personality, energy, everything needed to make an unbelievable performer.

But.

I have an unnatural love, for Billy Joel.  Maybe is is the nostalgia factor, I grew up on his music.  In the car with my parents, old vinyl records of Innocent Man and The Stranger that I had listened to until I wore out the grooves.  When I was just old enough to see over the counter, and I was expected to help my family with dishes, I was listening to my 52nd Street cassette tape on my Walkman.  Or maybe it was when I was in fourth grade, got my first CD playing boom box and Nylon Curtain was the first CD I received.  Something happened in my brain, at some point in my life, when I fell in love with Mr. Joel.

He has songs for every occasion.  When you are head over heels in love, when that lover subsequently breaks your heart.  Happy, sad, hurt betrayed, angry and any other emotion the human heart can convey, he has a song for it.

The yearning…

The undeniably in love

(the best audio I could find, though I hate the stupid lyric thing on youtube videos)

The sad and pathetic- I Don’t Want to be Alone

The need for a new life- Half a Mile Away or ( I prefer) Until the Night

Those are just a few things I can think off the top of my head, but I swear to you, give me a situation or emotion, and I can give you a Billy Joel song that can interpret that emotion into one of his many songs.  One of the many reasons I love him.

He is also into younger women. (ahem Katie Joel, only 6 years older than me, almost to the day… maybe he likes virgos…) ANYWAY to stray away from my creepy old man crush on him…

Not only is his music well written and even though categorized as pop-rock for the most part, many of his songs have a nice blues feel to it. Which could transition into the number one musician I wish I could hug, B.B. King, but that is another post for another day.

Back to the first part of this, my very first concert.

To set the scene, a cool April evening, accompanied by my step mom, and uncle, we made way to the Bradley Center.  I was the youngest person I saw there by probably 20 years, and easily the most excited.  Both Billy Joel and Elton John were simply amazing, and they were such PERFORMERS.  I am sure we all, myself included, have been to a concert where you absolutely love the band, but live, really suck.  They sound bad, they don’t seem like they care much, they play to themselves but not their audience and/or some other irritating thing to ruin a concert experience.  For myself, if I see a band I love and they perform poorly, I really lose a lot of love I had for them.

I don’t know if it was their age and experience or that they had always been that awesome, but they not only played to the first few rows, but the entire stadium, even the poor people that ended up with seats behind the stage. It made the couple thousand seat arena feel like an intimate concert with maybe a few hundred.  Granted this concert was 8 years ago now, so I couldn’t tell you what their set list was, who played first, who the opener was, if there was one… but the feeling I had, the moment he walked on stage, is unforgettable, and has not been matched by any other concert I have seen since.

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