I'm not a massive concert guy. I can count on two hands the bands/ artists I have gone to see at a concert. I have been to Bamboozled once back when Cartel, Fall Out Boy and those bands were sweeping the nation , so that i discount on the list because it was collection of artists. I also saw a free Jadakiss concert at The Apollo Theater as a promotion for the basketball team I was on playing at Madison Square Garden that weekend. That doesn't count either.
The artists I have paid to go see: Jay Z and Eminem, Jay Z and Coldplay, Hootie and The Blowfish, John Mayer, Taylor Swift, and Billy Joel. Mayer multiple times, and Billy Joel the most. A very short list. I really only want to see a concert if I love the artist. And I really love Billy Joel. Which like most people got passed down in my family of my parents loving him as well as my aunts and uncles etc. It's still crazy to me he hasn't released new songs in 30 years and people still go out of there way to see him. When that once a month Garden tour was announced and then extended and extended and extended, and they said they would keep going until they couldn't sell it out, I thought to myself he may die on stage before people stop going. It's now been almost 10 years of sellouts and doesn't look to be slowing down.
He's the best, and most importantly never forgot where he came from. A New Yorker through and through. The Tribute concert for 9/11 and The Sandy Relief concert stand out for sure, especially with how he spoke about New York, and over the years him incorporating it into song titles, lyrics etc. His home here has always meant a lot to him.
If you really love Billy Joel I suggest you look into buying this 4 disc set, one of which he explains the stories behind songs, the one I loved was the story he told about Vienna, and the meaning behind it. I would also look into this set, which has if i recall some alternate versions of tracks, and recording sessions etc.
He really is the best. And I do believe you could see 20 songs of his in concert on Friday , and 20 different songs Saturday and say each night was terrific. Very rare for an artist to be able to do that . He's the best.
Final chime in … The Millenium Album live on New Year's Eve 1999 at MSG is the best live album ever. Also, the Last Play At Shea doc and his admiration for Paul McCartney and the Beatles is super cool. I was at the concert, which was originally supposed to be 1 night then extended to two, and of course McCartney shows up to the one I'm not at.
With all that said , here's my personal favorite Billy Joel songs. Not the best, the 10 I love the most.
10 - Rosalinda's Eyes
I don't think I've ever seen him play this live, nor will I ever. A true deep cut. Over the years on Spotify shuffle of Billy Joel, this song has stood out enough to climb the rankings. Like the European with a jump shot with great upside that the scouts rave about near draft time but no one knew about in April. Rosalinda's Eyes has risen up the draft boards.
9- Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
Like everything he does, a classic. No further explanation, just a classic.
8- Only The Good Die Young
"I rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints" is an iconic line. And for your kids out there, was used in a high volume for away messages and AOL profiles. Think of that, in a time where teenagers like myself were obsessed with current pop culture, a guy 12-15 years removed from recording new music was relevant on the away messages. Only the good die young, and only Billy can be bridging age gaps like that.
7 - Piano Man
GOAT of songs to see in concert without question. Always a special moment when he lets the audience sing. Also still mesmerized by the harmonica contraption. Top tier sing a long bar song late night. One of his best, and what he's known for. If asked "you can only see him perform 1 song live which would it be?" This would 1000000% be the song. However in terms of my favorites it clocks in at 7. I think it loses it's luster on Spotify once you've seen him perform it live.
6- You May Be Right
Loved the story arc of being a young couple fighting over what seems important at the time, and really means nothing. Something we've seen 45876859487583493 times in our respective neighborhoods over the years. Fight, break up, get back together , rinse repeat.
Two lines I love …
"I walk through Bedford Stuy alone"
Another hat tip to NYC which if you are from here you had to be nuts to walk through Bed Stuy alone at the time that song was released.
And "You may be right, I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for."
I think this one speaks for itself.
5- We Didn't Start The Fire
A history lesson in a song, what else can you ask for ?
Amazing song. I just wish one time he broke out updated versions of verses involving stuff that's happened since it's 1989. Imagine how unreal that would be ? He's got 3 decades of verses he can do. 90's, 00's, 10's.
"Jim and Pammy, Kristen's car is dunzo
Lebron to Miami, Bartman is a BOZO! "
Maybe that needs work..but you get the point.
4- Big Shot
Song is great enough on it's own, and now this remix getting legs down the shore at D'Jais puts it over the edge. Where else can you get house music with Billy Joel? Even better.
I've never done coke but I always do the "spoon up your nose " motion when he sings it. Can't help myself, great lyric.
3- Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
Arguably his best song. It's really 3 songs in one the way he does it. It's unreal. Also fantastic lyrics.
"Cold beer, hot lights My sweet romantic teenage nights"
"Nobody looked any finer Or was more of a hit at the Parkway DinerWe never knew we could want more Than that out of life "
"They started to fight when the Money got tightAnd they just didn't count on The tears "
Anyone who puts this as their favorite I have no qualms with.
2- Angry Young Man
That piano intro is iconic. One of my favorites. Love it.
1-Summer Highland Falls
"For we are always what our situations hand us, It's either sadness or euphoria "
A metaphor for life in that lyric. The ups and downs and how we battle it.
The pace of this song is beautiful, the lyrics are terrific and it's if I had to describe it in one word … peaceful.
My all time favorite. Thank God I got to see him play it live at Shea, and I can only hope he does it with Stevie Nicks. I also hope I can get tickets via The Gametime app. Gametime is the greatest but anyone would be crazy to sell their tickets in my opinion. If anyone is, make sure Gametime is where you go to get them.
Can't wait to see him again.