kis·met \ˈkiz-ˌmet, -mət\ - noun; often capitalized
1. fate.
"We die. That may be the meaning of life. But we do language.
That may be the measure of our lives." - Toni Morrison

"Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It's more than where you're born; it's an idea and state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It's more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, football, and country music. It’s being hospitable, devoted to front porches, magnolias, moon pies, coca-cola... and each other. We don't become Southern - we're born that way." - Unknown

20 February 2010

Face 2 Face 2010

A Concert Review
19 February 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah

Billy Joel and Elton John together on one stage. Dueling pianos. From Mr. John's sunglasses, bedazzled suit coat, and equally bedazzled shoes, to Mr. Joel's signature black T-shirt, jeans, and sport coat, the evening was nothing short of lovely. They started off the evening by playing together, such songs as: "Your Song," and "Just the Way You Are," alternating turns singing verses and choruses. Mr. Joel even threw in a splash of Beethoven's 9th before modulating into "My Life".

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.


Karen said...

Oh how I wish I could have been there ;) Sounds delightful! No one can do it like Billy Joel!

lotusgirl said...

Now, I'm pea green with envy, and I don't get that way very often. Will they ever come here? All those piano solos. Oi. *goes to see where their tour will take them*

lotusgirl said...

The closest they get to me is NY. Ugh! What about the southeast? What about Atlanta or Charlotte? Come on! Elton John even lives in Atlanta.

Karen said...

Alyssa, didn't we see them in Columbia? Lois I guess you missed it!

lotusgirl said...

yeah. I suppose that's true. Now that I know to look for it they're done with my area. Maybe they'll come back some day or maybe sometime I'll chase them down wherever they are.