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.
Just the Way You Are
Don’t Ask Me Why
New York State of Mind
An Innocent Man
Keeping the Faith
She’s Always a Woman
Sometimes a Fantasy
Only the Good Die Young
The River of Dreams
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
We Didn’t Start the Fire
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
You May Be Right