Latest Review – Billy Joel [Old Trafford, Manchester]

BILLY JOEL

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 16th June 2018


There may have been a lot going on in town last night, however the mighty Old Trafford football stadium was most definitely the place to be as ‘Piano Man’ Billy Joel and his magnificent band took to the stage for an electrifying two and a half hour set under the cloudy skies of Manchester; their only scheduled UK performance in 2018.

Despite numerous issues with crowd control, staff ignorance and restricted view/no view seats still being sold at full price – all clearly reflecting the stadium’s decade-long absence of concerts and inexperience of duty staff – the concert itself proved an absolute triumph, with the now 69-year old Joel and co. bringing the 50,000-strong house down with a jam-packed set of chart hits, album tracks and British rock covers, kicking things off with a fun rendition of Glory Glory Man United (aka The Battle Hymn of the Republic) before launching into hit single, My Life.

As is often the case with artists who have such a sizeable back-catalogue to choose from, the setlist saw a number of fan favourites – Just The Way You Are, Honesty, and Only The Good Die Young, to name a few – omitted for rarer album tracks that are often overlooked, though Joel did give the fans an opportunity to choose between tracks on occasion which is something that has become a regular aspect of his live shows; it’s just a shame we couldn’t hear them all!

Accompanied by the superb Bill Joel Band, currently comprising: Mike DelGuidice (Vocals, Guitar), Chuck Burgi (Drums), Andy Cichon (Bass, Vocals), Tommy Byrnes (Guitars, Vocals), Carl Fischer (Trumpet, Trombone, Saxophone), Dave Rosenthal (Keyboards, Piano, Organ, Musical Director), Crystal Taliefero (Percussion, Saxophone, Harmonica, Vocals) and Mark Rivera (Saxophones, Flute, Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals), and enhanced by an superb, stadium-filling light show, the evening proved an unmissable showcase of exceptional live music and signature Bronx-style banter, with highlights too numerous to single out.

It would have been nice to hear a few anecdotes along the way as Joel has always proven himself a very witty and humorous raconteur, however this show was all about the music, and with Joel sounding as strong as ever, and the band in scintillating form, it is one gig Joel fans certainly won’t forget.


For more information on Billy Joel and other upcoming tour dates, please Click Here.


Setlist:

My Life

Pressure

The Entertainer

Vienna (Fan choice over Just The Way You Are)

The Longest Time (Fan choice over An Innocent Man)

Half a Mile Away

Zanzibar

New York State of Mind

Movin Out

Don’t Ask Me Why

Sunshine of Your Love (Cream cover)

Ruby Tuesday (The Rolling Stones cover)

Honky Tonk Women (The Rolling Stones cover)

House of the Rising Sun (The Animals cover)

A Salty Dog (Procol Harum cover)

Glad all Over (Dave Clark Five cover)

Good Times, Bad Times (Led Zeppelin cover)

The Downeaster Alexa

Allentown

Fire (Jimi Hendrix cover)

Some Kind of Fantasy

Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen cover)

She’s Always a Woman to Me

The River of Dreams

A Hard Days Night (The Beatles cover)

Sultans of Swing (Dire Straits cover)

A Day in the Life (The Beatles cover)

Nessun Dorma (Giacomo Puccini cover)

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

Piano Man

Encore:

We Didn’t Start the Fire

Uptown Girl

It’s Still Rock n Roll to Me

You May Be Right

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