Saturday, July 19, 2008

LAST PLAY AT SHEA: THE REVIEW

If you're getting tired of me writing about Billy Joel and concerts, well, this is it. I won't be writing about many more, because I don't think I'll be attending many more live musical events. The reason is, I just don't think anything could top what I saw on Friday night at Shea Stadium.

I can't believe how lucky I was that a) this show that I so badly wanted to see my brother was able to get tickets to, b) when he did get tickets, it was to the Friday show (the Final Last Play at Shea), and not the Wednesday one, and c) that this show was better than I expected.

This was no ordinary concert - it was an event. It was a huge event. I can't believe how awesome it was.

First of all, the set-up was pretty cool. It was pretty neat seeing the stage set up in center field, with the video boards surrounding it, with Citi Field looming over the stage, and the bowl of Shea surrounding everything. I took these pictures with my phone, just to give you an idea of what it looked like, before the show:














Then there was the performance itself. Mohegan Sun was less than a warmup compared with this show. This was Billy Joel in his prime, when a Billy Joel concert was huge. It was 3 hours, five guests, and 30+ songs. It was awesome.

I was dead wrong about Elton John showing up. I don't know why he didn't...but that's OK. Tony Bennett joined Billy Joel again for 'New York State of Mind', and then Garth Brooks did 'Shameless', Steven Tyler came out and did Aerosmith's 'Walk This Way', Roger Daltrey did 'My Generation' (as Billy Joel smashed a guitar), and the rumors about Paul McCartney turned out to be true, as he showed up at the end and played 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Let It Be'. It was huge. Huge.

The only thing that made me the least bit wary the whole night was the weather - it was about 95 degrees, and Billy Joel busted it - to the point where he couldn't catch his breath in between songs. I was worried for his health.

But he made it through, and I can't believe how Shea rocked out to Billy Joel. We were in the mezzanine (the green level - third one up), and the stadium shook more than I ever felt it before. Keith Hernandez always talks about how the Mets can feel it when the stadium shakes like that - I've never felt it before...it wasn't even like that in the 2000 playoffs when I went. But it was like that on Friday night - I could feel our section moving, and I saw the upper deck bouncing. Just tremendous.

No better way for me to say good bye to Shea Stadium.

Here's a list of the songs that were performed, if you're interested:

1. Star-Spangled Banner
2. Miami 2017
3. Prelude/Angry Young Man
4. My Life
5. The Entertainer
6. Summer, Highland Falls
7. Zanzibar (with Shea Stadium highlights playing on the video screens)
8. Allentown
9. Ballad of Billy The Kid
10. New York State of Mind w/Tony Bennett
11. Root Beer Rag
12. Movin' Out
13. Goodnight Saigon
14. Don't Ask Me Why
15. This Night
16. Keeping the Faith
17. The Downeaster Alexa
18. An Innocent Man
19. Shameless w/Garth Brooks
20. She's Always A Woman
21. Captain Jack
22. Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)
23. River of Dreams
24. A Hard Day's Night
25. Walk This Way w/Steven Tyler
26. We Didn't Start The Fire
27. It's Still Rock 'N Roll To Me
28. My Generation w/Roger Daltrey
29. You May Be Right
30. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
31. Only The Good Die Young
32. I Saw Her Standing There w/Paul McCartney
33. Piano Man
34. Let It Be w/Paul McCartney

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was there too. Funny because my brother got my tickets too and was so happy that it was the Friday show. Totally agree on your comments, it was an amazing night. I was sitting in the upper levels and yes we were bouncing big time. It was incredible!
-Lori

John@XPcomputerguy said...

I was there Wednesday night,
It was awesome, unfortunately a wife's migraine made us leave much too F'N early.
I am wondering what I missed ?
We had Tony Bennett, John Meher
and Don Henley but had to depart.
Can you help me out?
Thanks,
JC

John@XPcomputerguy said...

oops, read your review of Wednesday night, pretty much right on, I missed Mellencamp but Friday's show sounds to be the better of the two by far.
Good work on your part.
Met's will beat Boston
in 7 in 2008!
JC

ChrisMooreMusic said...

Thanks for posting!

I can't believe I've never been to see Billy Joel live, even when both he and Elton John came around a few years ago. I love Billy Joel songs and I love how he tends to stick to his own material and not play as many cover songs. One of these days...