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Billy Joel Brings Nostalgia Trip to Charlotte

Concert draws 45,000 to Bank of America Stadium

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Billy Joel plays the piano
Billy Joel plays the piano during his Charlotte concert on April 23. (Photo by Jeff Hahne)

I remember being a kid under 10 years old, sitting in my childhood home in New Jersey, and listening to my parents’ 1980 Billy Joel album, Glass Houses, on vinyl, including the songs “You May Be Right” and “It’s Still Rock ‘n’ Roll to Me.”

While it’s been decades since I’ve listened to that album, it’s also been decades since 72-year-old Billy Joel has released an album of new music. His last album, River of Dreams, was released in 1993. Since then, Joel has performed off and on over the years — sometimes with Elton John — to appease the fans with a bevy of hits. 

That was the story again on Saturday night when Billy Joel finally got to perform his much-delayed (thanks to COVID) concert at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.

The packed house was up and dancing for the majority of Joel’s two-plus hour set that played fan favorite after fan favorite — Joel often led into them by saying, “This one wasn’t a hit…” 

It didn’t matter. Billy Joel’s fans know all the words to songs including, “My Life,” “Pressure,” “The Entertainer,” “New York State of Mind,” “Only the Good Die Young,” “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” and, of course, “Piano Man.” And Joel’s voice sounded as good as ever and his nimble fingers worked the keys with the expected aplomb. 

For those who had been holding tickets for two years, it was worth the wait. For some, I’m sure there were favorites not performed, such as “Down Easter Alexa,” or “Goodnight Saigon.” But for a guy with so many familiar tunes, the 24 performed in Charlotte were plenty for a feel-good night of music.

Billy Joel
Billy Joel played an encore during his Charlotte concert that included “We Didn’t Start the Fire” and “Uptown Girl.” (Photo by Jeff Hahne)

Setlist

My Life

Pressure

The Entertainer

Vienna

Zanzibar

Just the Way You Are

Don’t Ask Me Why

New York State of Mind

Movin’ Out

An Innocent Man

Allentown

Keeping the Faith

She’s Always a Woman

Sometimes a Fantasy

Only the Good Die Young

The River of Dreams

Nessun Dorma

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

Piano Man

Encore

We Didn’t Start the Fire

Uptown Girl

It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me

Big Shot

You May Be Right


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