19 February 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah
Introduction finished, Mr. Joel left the stage, leaving Mr. John there to perform his set. With such hits as "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me," and "Daniel," the crowd could not help but be entertained. There was also something special about seeing the man who composed the music for my favorite movie. Perhaps the highlight of his set was an extended version of "Rocket Man" complete with jazzy piano solos, oozing with Mr. John's musical style. Though it seemed a bit much, time wise, in my opinion. And toward the end of Mr. John's set, I found myself eager for Mr. Joel's return to the stage. Mr. John ended his set with the rousing "Crocodile Rock," complete with dazzling light show; he had the whole crowd on its feet and singing along.
Mr. John's set finished, Mr. Joel returned to the stage and was met with thunderous applause. The lights remained off until Mr. Joel played the first note of "Angry Young Man" (his traditional set opener). He then played "Movin' Out" and casually joked with the audience: "Oh, I'm not Billy Joel. I'm Billy Joel's dad." and "I thought I might retire because I see pictures of myself and I don't like what I see. Then I saw The Who perform halftime at the super bowl." He continued his set with his hit songs: "Don't Ask Me Why," "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant," (my personal favorite) "The River of Dreams," and "Only the Good Die Young". Mr. Joel even included the epic "We Didn't Start the Fire," and on the screen flashed pictures of each historical reference. At the line "England's got a new queen," Joel, again played another joke, flashing a picture of his contemporary, Mr. John. His piano playing was impeccable, and the solos: awe-inspiring; after every song, I was left mesmerized. One thing Mr. Joel always does is incorporate some of his lesser known (but not lesser quality) songs. Tonight he included "Zanzibar" and "She's Always a Woman". These added their own flavor to the evening.
After Mr. Joel finished his set, Mr. John rejoined him on stage where they reconvened for a six-song encore. They alternated songs, singing together, from "That's Why They Call it the Blues" to "Uptown Girl". Then their backup bands left them and they played a beautifully arranged two-piano version of Mr. John's "Candle in the Wind". They finished the evening with Mr. Joel's "Piano Man", again, sans bands, with only the two of them and their pianos. They even let the audience sing the last chorus. What it must feel like to hear 15,000+ people all singing the chorus of your song. Altogether, it was an energy-filled performance from both Mr. John and Mr. Joel. They completely captured the audience and allowed them to "forget about life for a while". And along the way, made playing the piano look insanely cool.