Thursday, December 13, 2007

Billy Joel - live and in concert

Billy Joel! Yes, there is still magic in a Billy Joel concert. I caught him live, up-close and in person last night at Foro Sol in Mexico City. I had heard that his voice is shot. I’ll get to that in a minute.

The concert lasted two-and-a-half hours and was, literally, non-stop. And I was surprised to learn Billy Joel had enough rudimentary Spanish to ad-lib with the audience.

After the second song he said hi to Mexico and introduced some of the musicians in the band. Then, with a sly smile, he added (in Spanish) – I’m not really Billy Joel, I’m Billy Joel’s dad. Yes, the hair, what little is left, is gray. The stomach is heavy and, well, he looks every one of his 57 years. But he’s still Billy Joel and he can still belt out his songs and bring an audience to life.

But, as I’d heard, his voice isn’t what it used to be. And I’ve given this some thought. When was the last time you saw a 57 year old Star NFL quarterback take to the field and play a full-on, no-holds-barred exhibition game? How old was Wilt the Stilt when he played his last exhibition game? Has anyone seen Julia Roberts recently (well, that wasn’t a rerun)?

No, if you’re looking for an exact reproduction of the 52nd Street CD (made in 1978), you won’t find it at a Billy Joel concert. But if you’re looking for the magic and spirit that created that album (back when albums were still black discs the size of pie pans) you won’t be disappointed.

Billy Joel rocks! My sixteen-year-old son said so.


Jill said...

But RJ, does a disc can capture the feeling of a live show?

Roscoe James said...

Nope, not at all Jill. Especially when the artist interacts with the audience.