Billy Joel returns to Wrigley Field for a record-setting show with his seventh appearance and fifth year in a row at the Friendly Confines.
Once again Billy Joel is welcomed back to crowded Wrigley Field for what has now become a regular summer tradition. He never fails to impress or draw the crowds, and yet again he puts on a show to remember. This is a performer who doesn’t need to be releasing new material to fill the seats as he plays through his numerous hits.
You don’t have to be a Billy Joel super fan to enjoy these shows, as can be see by the generation-spanning audience. On the night, there is something to please everyone in the setlist (which is unsurprising given the selection of material he has to choose from). There’s always going to be the big-hitters like”Piano Man,””Uptown Girl” and “New York State of Mind” but there were alsosome lesser played songs such as “Summer, Highland Falls” which was greeted with excited cheers from the audience.
Proving how talented Billy Joel and the rest of the band are (not that they need to), an impressive impromptu cover of “Layla” demonstrated the adaptability of the musicians as they hit a home-run from the curveball. At various points throughout the show, the members of Joel’s band were given their moment in the spotlight. Most notable were guitarist Mike DelGuidice’s operatic performance of “Nessun Dorma” and saxophonist Crystal Talieferro’s tribute to Aretha Franklin with “Respect.”
As is usual with Billy Joel’s shows, there wasn’t an opener so if you are heading to one of his shows, be sure to be on time. Instead, the crowd were treated to approximately two and a half hours packed with the man himself. No matter how many times you’ve seen him, you can’t fail to be impressed by the show, as Joel proves once again how great a performer he is. He is a master on the piano and, perched on his seat behind it, he looks completely at home and relaxed. As is usual at his live shows the piano revolves throughout the show so the audience can view him from every angle! His anecdotes between the songs added to the show, often poking fun at his own musical past, commenting that one album was so unsuccessful, without any singles on it, that he didn’t even have a copy of it himself. However, listening to hit after hit being performed, it’s difficult to imagine a time when he everything he touched didn’t turn to gold.
With a career spanning more than 50 years, and such an expansive list of material to choose from, you will be guaranteed to hear the hits at his shows, whilst also, hopefully, getting a treat with some surprise covers or deeper cuts that make it in the setlist each night. Who needs new material with a back-catalog such as his? Will he be back at Wrigley Field next year? Surely that’s a given, much like his performances at Madison Square Gardens………… Here’s hoping anyway.