It’s 19:59 on a Saturday night and 80 000 people are packed into Wembley Stadium in North London. Suddenly the stadium lights go out and the crowd roars with excitement. For about 2 minutes it’s completely dark with a disco-ball display of mobile phone flashes throughout the stadium.

A single blue light suddenly goes on right above the piano and you can only see the silhouette of Mr Joel at the piano. The crowd freaks out as the American entertainer starts the intro of “Miami”. It’s only moments later when the entire stage lights up and a 9-piece band starts rocking it out. Immediately after the first song finishes, an impressive strobe-light effect takes Billy into his famous show opener “Angry young Man”. Again, the crowd seems ecstatic.

Joel spent just over two and a half hours staking his claim to being one of the most talented singer-songwriters of his generation. At age 67,  his voice is still record-quality perfect and not a note was missed or forced, he simply makes everything look easy. With a popular “fielders-choice” approach, he occasionally asked the audience to choose which of two songs they would like to hear, it’s a smart tactic that makes Wembley stadium feel like an intimate night club.

Joel played all his best-loved songs including Entertainer, My Life, Moving Out, New York State of Mind, We didn’t start the fire, River of Dreams, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, Uptown Girl, It’s still rock and roll to me, You may be right, Big Shot, Only the good die young – and, off course, Piano man.

Seeing and experiencing Billy Joel live was a massive bucket-list item tick for me as he’s been a lifelong inspiration behind the piano. The experience was simply incredible and it’s easier than ever to understand why this artist, who sold over 150 million albums, is still such a hit on the global stage today.

Andre

 

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