Billy Joel: A Great Show

By March 17, 2006General

Consider this the blog version of “the dog ate my homework”. The blogger-in-chief was out too late with the nice people from Verizon at the Billy Joel show in Washington last night at the Verizon Center (formerly MCI Arena). Joel is a great entertainer and didn’t disappoint during his two-hour show, drawing on his full discography. He played a lot of the very old stuff, even opening with “Angry Young Man” from the Turnstiles CD. He even played “Everybody Loves You Now”, a tune from Cold Spring Harbor, his first and little-known album. He included material from mostly all his albums, including Streetlife Serenade, Piano Man, and The Stranger. His song list included (not in this order) “Zanzibar”, “Only the Good Die Young”, “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me”, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, “Captain Jack”, “The Entertainer”, the classic “New York State of Mind” (also from Turnstiles), “Movin’ Out”, “She’s Always a Woman”, “My Life”, “You May Be Right”, “Don’t Ask Me Why”, “Allentown”, “Pressure”, Goodnight Saigon” (sung with a cadre of veterans on the stage, who received a rousing, prolonged standing ovation from the crowd), “Innocent Man”, “Keeping the Faith”, “In the Middle of the Night”, “The Downeaster ‘Alexa'”, and “Big Shot”. He closed, of course, with “Piano Man”. Wonder how many times he’s played that tune? The crowd almost drowned him out with their singing and he went with it, letting them sing the chorus. he was backed by a pretty good band and just put on a great show. He ended with the same line he always ends with. Anybody know what that is?

We’ll get some sleep and write something pithy for tomorrow, we promise.

Join the discussion 9 Comments

  • Kit says:

    Saw the show in Syracuse last night. So amazing…as always. I even got Chainsaw’s autograph!! Maybe it’ll be “worth somthin” someday :)

  • Natalie says:

    Ok i was in the nose bleeds….this guy came up to us, and asked hoe many people we had with us…were like 5, hes like do you guys want an upgrade…were like hell ya…he brought us up to the front row….I asked him why we got these complamentry tickets and he said that billy loves girls, and he hires people to go and scope out good looking girls for front row…i guess that means me…let me just say billy joel like beautiful women…and his show was amazing….Never thought i would ever get that lucky…best christmas present my brother could ever buy me!!, and by far the best concert i have ever been to…thanks Billy!!

  • Pat Cleary says:


    You know your Billy Joel. That’s the line.

    Thanks for writing.

    Pat Cleary

  • CM says:

    “Don’t take any shit from anybody.”
    Billy resurrected this line for this tour. Seems like he’s drawing from his roots, much the same as he is doing with his set lists. I haven’t been to a show in the last bounch of tours (dating back to the original River of Dreams tour) that he has closed down the place with his infamous line. It’s nice that he’s keeping it real again

  • Ruth Pitt says:

    I thought it was a really great show. I brought my 14-yr-old along. She had some doubts about it at first – she’d never been to a rock concert before. But the thing with the vets really seemed to impress her, and by the end of the show she was singing and swaying and clapping with everyone else. (She knows some of the songs ’cause I play them around the house.) BTW, that Crystal Taliaferro (backup vocals, percussion, alto sax) was something else! But all the supporting musicians were, good, as you said.

  • Pat Cleary says:

    Yes, I totally forgot to mention this. He brought our a roadie — one “Chainsaw” by name, a kid who sang “Highway to Hell”, that old AC/DC chestnut while Billy Joel played electric guitar with the rest of his band. It was just a canard, a lark, a fun bit during the show, to which the crowd responded well.

  • Corey says:

    Great Show. I also liked that Billy brought on a roadie to sing “Highway to Hell” while Billy played guitar. It is amazing that Billy has been around for 30 years, has made great music that people can love, and can still sing and put on a show after all those years.

  • Pat Cleary says:


    You’re right. Once again, the smartest damned blog readers on the planet.

    And herein, a great object lesson. My friends (?) in the MSM complain all the time that the problem with blogging is that anyone can write any untruth and it just lives on. I always make the point that within an hour of posting something that’s incorrect, I usually hear about it from a reader.


    While this is about a less serious topic, the point remains. The blogosphere is in large part self-correcting. As for opinions, hey that’s fair game… :)

    Thanks for writing.

  • Ken says:

    “In the Middle of the Night”? There is no Billy Joel song called that. Do you mean “River of Dreams”?