CD Review: Billy Joel

(billyjoel.com)

Billy Joel
Live at Shea Stadium: The Concert
Columbia/Legacy
By David Chiu

How fitting that Billy Joel—a true native New Yorker—would be the last ever artist to perform at Shea Stadium before it was torn down for the new CitiField. The track listing on this 2-CD set from his show at Shea in 2008 doesn’t deviate much from past Joel live albums—a lot of the usual suspects are here like “Piano Man,” “You Maybe Right,” “Miami 2017,” “My Life” and others. And on those, Joel and his band as usual gives a good performance; But it’s the special guest appearances, however, that make it noteworthy: Tony Bennett sounds absolutely marvelous on “New York State of Mind”; Garth Brooks wonderfully revisits “Shameless,” a Billy Joel song that he previously recorded; and Paul McCartney, who performs with Joel  “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Let It Be”—appropriate given the fact that the Beatles famously played at Shea in 1965. The DVD features the entire concert with bonus performances by Roger Daltrey (it’s kind of cool to see Billy smash a guitar during “My Generation”), Steven Tyler and John Mellencamp. Live at Shea Stadium is a convenient overview of Joel’s hits, with pretty terrific superstar duets–a poignant memento of a historic New York moment.

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