Sunday, June 29, 2008

Billy Joel in Concert - Simply the Best!

I have long been a fan of Billy Joel. If Bob Dylan is the prophet for my generation (the Jurassic Generation?), then I would submit that Billy Joel is our Poet Laureate. My admiration for his musicianship and artistry grew even more after my son, Scott, gave me a wonderful gift of a 4-disc "Best of the Best of Billy Joel" album - technically entitled: Billy Joel's Greatest Hits 1973-1997. This set includes not only his best songs, but a fourth disc that is a very revealing and insightful Q&A session with him talking about the inspiration and creative process behind the writing of some of his most memorable songs. In the year and a half since Scott gave me this gift, I have listened to the whole thing dozens of times. And I vowed that if Billy Joel ever performed within a few hundred miles of Boston, I would be there. I made good on that vow this weekend.

So, I made the trek down to Mohegan Sun for the first time last night to sit in the audience and allow the genius of Billy Joel - and his assortment of seven supremely gifted back-up musicians - to wash over me like a healing ocean wave. It was a picture perfect evening. The presentation of each song - over 2 dozen by the time the last echoes of the final encore had faded into the Connecticut night - was flawless. I can't remember having a better time at a live concert. I felt that the money I had to pay was worth it. I had a marvelous time.

So, I offer two recommendations:

1) Invest in Billy Joel's Greatest Hits 1973-1997. You won't regret it.

2) If you have a chance to see him perform live, it is worth going out of your way to do so.

It is still a pleasure to put bread in the jar of The Piano Man!


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