Billy Joel at the Hollywood Bowl – May 22, 2014
Last month, I had the pleasure of seeing a young, up-and-coming artist make his Hollywood Bowl debut: Billy Joel! A few weeks later, Barry Gibb finished up his all-too-brief Mythology tour at the Bowl. With these two legends in quick succession at my favorite concert venue in the world, let’s just say I was one happy concert-goer. My Billy Joel concert review:
Billy Joel was great. I’ll be honest, I saw him in Anaheim in 2008 and I was absolutely blown away by his energy, showmanship and a set list that seemed to be individually tailored to me. I was not blown away this time around; he just didn’t seem to care as much.
He only did one set of encores, for pity’s sake! And he didn’t end with his trademark “Don’t take any shit from anybody!” So that was disappointing. One has to wonder if the legendarily lackluster Los Angeles audience was partly to blame for his dearth of showmanship.
That said, he was still great. His piano playing continues to amaze. His voice is mostly still there, and when he can’t hit the high notes he gets help from the band. The songs you know and love, and while he didn’t play some of my favorites, that is always going to be the case when you see a legend with a huge canon like Joel. And I certainly couldn’t be disappointed with a night that included Miami 2017, Zanzibar, All for Leyna and Say Goodbye to Hollywood!
One random set list note: Billy did one extremely deep cut from Glass Houses called Sleeping With The Television On. If you are not familiar with the track, it is just…SO…80’s! If you close your eyes while you listen, visions of key-tars and skinny ties are guaranteed to dance in your head. The man has certainly earned the right to play whatever he wants, but it was just so strange. I kept giggling, wondering if the one person in the world whose favorite song is Sleeping With the Television On was in attendance. If so, it had to be the BEST DAY OF THAT GUY’S LIFE. Another fun set list note: the first song of the encore was Uptown Girl, which Billy appropriately dedicated to Frankie Valli.
Who went to one of the other three shows? What’s your Billy Joel concert review? What’d I miss?