Disc 1 (of 2)
Disc 2 (of 2)
Opening with the complexly structured "Angry Young Man," the showman bolts right into one of his biggest hits, the mind-your-own-business anthem, "My Life." Joel is in strong voice on these performances and his ivory tickling abilities are certainly that of an increasingly fine-seasoned pro.
Synthesizer sounds drive the slightly Irish melody of the musician's lament, "The Entertainer." He slows things down a bit to catch a breath and provide some pacing to the proceedings with his now classic love letter to Manhattan, "New York State of Mind."
Joel is a bit of a specialist in all-American themes and "Allentown" is his remembrance of things past, when life was simpler and jobs were plentiful; it captures the feeling of disappointment following broken dreams.
He gets particularly fired up in the second half of the show, beginning disc two with another American tale, "Goodnight Saigon." He combats the heavy mood of his dark anti-war song with his now-classic song of societal rebellion, "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)."
Joel's ability to keep the familiar songs fresh with new arrangements and emphasis will be appreciated by longtime fans and all connoisseurs of music who appreciate a good improvisation. This is a must-have set, not only for the Billy Joel aficionado but for anyone interested in what goes into putting on an arena-scale show.
He brings new life to his strident list of cultural figures and milestones, the '80s hit, "We Didn't Start the Fire." The same can be said of his bitter hit from '79 "Big Shot." He pulls out all the stops in the last quarter as he reels off the pumped-up, "You May Be Right," and the similarly breathless, lyric intense and Springsteen-esque "Only the Good Die Young." Needless to say, he saves for last his standards and crowd favorites: the sing-a-longs "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant" and "Piano Man." The crowd's roar nearly manages to drown-out Joel's own vocals -- that's just how much his people love him.
By the time the poignant "And So It Goes" comes around, it may not be safe to say that the audience has had enough, but Joel is definitely finished. The song is his cue to them that he's calling it a night.
After two discs and 30 songs, Joel leaves no shred of doubt that he is the consummate showman. He knows the tools of his trade inside out and in the end, he practices the cardinal rule of showbiz: always leave them wanting more. So when's the next one, Billy?
|Number of Discs:||2|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.2|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||0.42 x 4.25 x 5.25|
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