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Ghost Canyon

Title - ‘Billy Joel - Live At Shea Stadium’ (Legacy)
Artist - Billy Joel

"A concert celebrating the end of an era: The Beatles opened it and Billy Joel closed it."

'Billy Joel - Live At Shea Stadium' is the piano man's July 16th and 18th 2008 shows at the historic ballpark. This incredible 2-CD/1-DVD package serves up a wondrous helping of Joel's career - inclusive of some lesser-known cuts too.

The first CD kicks off with some opening, speed-twinkling ivory play for the 'Prelude,' which slides gracefully into 'Angry Young Man.' A vibrant 'My Life' is brought forth next, before the lesser known, 'Summer, Highland Falls' - one of three tracks from his Turnstiles album that reference New York. Introduced as "... not a hit single, in any shape or form," he dedicates the song to "all the manic depressives here tonight"!

The frantic 'Everybody Loves You Now' (from the Cold Spring Harbor album) is next, before the bar song, 'Zanzibar' (from his sixth studio album, 52nd Street) is played for the entranced audience - complete with a massive solo sax ending! The always-beautiful, 'New York State of Mind' is given to us next, with the addition of a walk on vocal from Tony Bennett!

The horn blows and we're straight into 'Allentown,' before the fun clippity-clop of 'The Ballad of Billy The Kid' (from Piano Man). Then comes the lush 'She's Always A Woman,' complete with Billy seeing a sign in the crowd that says 'We're getting married' - to which he replies, in the instrumental break of the song, "Congratulations ... get a pre-nup!"

Next up is the epic 'Goodnight Saigon' (a song, as you are probably aware, about the Vietnam War) before 'Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)' - the first track on Songs In The Attic from 1981. 'Shameless,' an ode to the power women have over their mates is next, complete with Garth Brooks (not at his vocal best, it has to be said), before 'This Is The Time' (from The Bridge) - a duet with John Mayer (on guitar only). Side 1 of the audio is completed by a by-the-numbers 'Keeping The Faith.'

Side 2 of the audio portion of this collection kicks off with a simply rousing 'Captain Jack,' from his 1973 album Piano Man. Thanking the "sick bastards" in the crowd he moves on into the mellow 'Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel).' The bouncy, flowingly-rhythmic 'The River Of Dreams' comes next, which bleeds into The Beatles' 'A Hard Day's Night.'

Next is a weaker-than-I've-heard-it-before version of 'We Didn't Start The Fire,' before a way more aggressively sung 'You May Be Right.' The swayful 'Scenes From An Italian Restaurant' has everyone singing along in the audience for a near-full eight minutes, before the fan favorite 'Only The Good Die Young' is brought to the fore.

Then comes an incredible moment when not only does Billy introduce Sir Paul McCartney to the stage, but they perform 'I Saw Her Standing There' together in pitch perfect harmony! A very quick rendition of 'Take Me Out To The Ballgame' is followed by harmonica-opened 'Piano Man,' before Paul McCartney is welcomed back on stage for the final song of the night - a simply breathtaking 'Let It Be.'

This incredible set comes with a DVD of certain performances from the very same night that (mysteriously) didn't make it to the 2-CD set. Such as 'Walk This Way' with Steven Tyler (a typical Tyler-fused, center stage performance), 'My Generation' with Roger Daltrey (nicely done by The Who front man, with nice touches being that Daltrey's image on the big screens is broadcast in b/w and Joel smashes a guitar on stage!), and 'Pink Houses' with John Mellencamp - where he comes out, they hug, Joel sits at his piano, and the ex-Cougar does the rest!

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk





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