Just like a snap of your fingers, Billy Joel is back. What’s your favorite Billy Joel song? Do you think he’ll play it when the piano man and singer-songwriter plays Citizens Bank park on Saturday, August 2nd?
While Joel has had phenomenal worldwide success, he’s always held a special place in the hearts of Philadelphians. Philly was one of the first cities to embrace Joel, as evidenced by this legendary 1972 radio concert that was broadcast on WMMR back in the day. And Joel has reciprocated; he plays “Captain Jack” almost every time he plays a show Philly, and spoke in the liner notes of his 1981 live album Songs in the Attic of the special association he has with this city and that song.
The question is, can the Piano Man still cut it? After years of not touring or recording new material, we’ve got good money on the answer to that question being “yes.” He completely nailed his December 2012 performance at the Hurricane Sandy Benefit concert. Reviews from his recent shows have been extremely favorable, like this review in the New York Times. Times reviewer Ben Ratliff pointed out some keys to his long term success:
Excellent management and catalog maintenance, as well as the undying love between the 1970s generation and its own younger tastes, has given Mr. Joel a constant listenership to his current age of 64. This is true even though he has not made a new pop record since “River of Dreams” in 1993: an admirable demurral.
Joel has been touring overseas and begins a residency at Madison Square Garden next Monday night, January 27th. He recently announced a lengthier tour, playing three to four shows a month around the States. As of now, the Philly show is the most recent date added to the tour. Tickets go on sale Friday, January 31st at 10 a.m. More information here