Watching him play at Nationals Park was a real treat. For one thing, it was the perfect night for open air seating. And for another, most of the ballpark restaurants were open, so I was able to get a Veggie Cheese Steak and it was actually pretty good. (Let's ignore the fact that the prices are criminal, and between the "steak" sandwich and an ice cream cone I needed to take out a second mortgage on the house.)
Gavin Degraw opened for Billy, and he certainly gave it his all. But the sound system just wasn't tuned for his setup, and the result was loud music, but I couldn't really understand the lyrics. Luckily, Billy's setup was tuned to perfection, and he was nice and clear.
Now, I'm not much of a Billy Joel aficionado. Still, I'e been hearing him play my whole life, and his music triggers quite a few memories. I'd get out on the dance floor at USY Dances with my Older Brother to rock out to We Didn't Start The Fire, and I remember sitting in my family room listening to the River of Dreams CD over and over again (that was back before you had instant free access to any song in the world). Of the 23 songs he played last night, I knew 22 of them (time to listen to Zanzibar to learn that one, too). I could at least mumble along to all 22 songs, which isn't something I can say for nearly any other artist on the planet.
Thinking back to our last concert with Billy, I'm pretty sure he had the same set list, and the same rotating piano, and the same black suit (man, that had to have been hot!). But, I can hardly blame him; people came to hear his hits, and that's what he delivered.
An amazing musician, and amazing time!