Billy Joel and his first-ever show at the Hollywood Bowl

And we were there!  For an early birthday gift to Larry, I bought us tickets to see Billy Joel in his first show ever at the Hollywood Bowl.  I bought these back in December when the shows were first announced, using my AMEX card status to be able to secure tickets before general sale; Billy Joel’s popularity can’t be ignored as even with that early access, it was still impossible to get any closer than what I ended up getting, which was in the first set of bench seats.  All terrace and boxes were long gone.

Flash forward to May 2014 and there we were!  We got there early and had a nice time eating and drinking while killing the time before the concert started at 8.

17-May-2014 18:04, 2.4, 2.18mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 64
17-May-2014 18:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.782mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 400
17-May-2014 18:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 7.782mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
 
17-May-2014 18:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 200
17-May-2014 18:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 76.461mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 800
17-May-2014 18:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.63mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 200
 
17-May-2014 18:37, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.736mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 160
17-May-2014 18:37, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.736mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 200
17-May-2014 18:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
 
17-May-2014 18:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 400
17-May-2014 18:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 250
17-May-2014 18:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
 
17-May-2014 18:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 400
17-May-2014 18:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
17-May-2014 18:41, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 400
 

Billy Joel ended up having an opening act for this show, Gavin Degraw.  I’ve never heard of the guy although his name sounds a lot like Gavin McGraw…so there was a bit of confusion at first.  But Gavin Degraw had quite a good sound and was a decent way to start the night.  Happily, everything started on time – unlike a certain Madonna we all know and love.  Still have to shake my head at the MDNA concert not starting for 2.5 hours after published start time!

17-May-2014 20:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.648mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 2000
17-May-2014 20:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.648mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
17-May-2014 20:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.63mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 2500
 
17-May-2014 20:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.14mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 1600
17-May-2014 20:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 1600
17-May-2014 20:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 81.0mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 3200
 
17-May-2014 20:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 81.0mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 3200
17-May-2014 20:10, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 81.0mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 3200
17-May-2014 20:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 81.0mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 2500
 
17-May-2014 20:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 81.0mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 3200
17-May-2014 20:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 4000
17-May-2014 20:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 81.0mm, 0.013 sec, ISO 2500
 
17-May-2014 20:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 6400
17-May-2014 20:32, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 3200
17-May-2014 20:37, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 2000
 

Around 9, the main event started!  Billy Joel puts on a great show, and he sounded really good, all things related to his history and age considered.  This was his first show at the Hollywood Bowl and that’s saying something, considering he’s been on the scene for nearly 50 years.  He put on a decidedly upbeat and positive show, with not too many of his sadder songs on display, as something like “Goodnight Saigon” not getting any play tonight.  He did put on a 2 hour show and mixed it with lots of humorous banter with the crowd – near the beginning he asked the crowd to make a (Sophie’s, to Larry) choice between “Vienna” and “Summer, Highland Falls” and the crowd decidedly chose “Vienna” – Larry was happy with either but definitely was on board with hearing both, as they’re 2 of his 3 favorite Billy Joel songs (the 3rd being “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant”).

The crowd was definitely into the concert but not on their feet as a whole until the encore – which damn, it was a hell of an encore.  He finished up the main set with “Piano Man” and left the stage, but then came back and rocked out with a 4-song set that was a whole lot of fun.  A surprise cameo occurred when Adam Levine and Davey Johnstone (Elton John’s guitarist) came out and accompanied Billy on “You May Be Right,” which got a huge roar of approval from the crowd.  It was a fantastic ending to a great night.

Here’s the setlist from the show:

  1. Miami 2017
  2. Pressure
  3. Everybody Loves You Now
  4. Vienna (the Sophie’s Choice winner against Summer, Highland Falls)
  5. Zanzibar
  6. A western movie piano interlude
  7. Ballad of Billy the Kid
  8. Where’s the Orchestra?
  9. Allentown
  10. The Entertainer
  11. Say Goodbye to Hollywood
  12. New York State of Mind
  13. Sometimes a Fantasy
  14. Moving Out
  15. Layla (instrumental)
  16. She’s Always a Woman
  17. Don’t Ask Me Why
  18. River of Dreams / Surfin’ USA
  19. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
  20. Piano Man

Encore:

  1. Still Rock and Roll to Me
  2. Big Shot
  3. You May Be Right
  4. Only the Good Die Young
17-May-2014 20:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 16.985mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 1600
17-May-2014 20:58, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 16.985mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 1600
17-May-2014 21:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
17-May-2014 21:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.319mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 1600
17-May-2014 21:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 6.319mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
17-May-2014 21:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 23.372mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 1600
 
17-May-2014 21:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 81.0mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 3200
17-May-2014 21:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 24.126mm, 0.04 sec, ISO 2000
17-May-2014 21:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 24.902mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
 
17-May-2014 21:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.083mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
17-May-2014 21:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.07mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 1600
17-May-2014 21:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 12.382mm, 0.25 sec, ISO 4000
 
17-May-2014 21:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.952mm, 0.167 sec, ISO 800
17-May-2014 21:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.5, 9.952mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 800
17-May-2014 21:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 30.012mm, 0.167 sec, ISO 800
 

3 thoughts on “Billy Joel and his first-ever show at the Hollywood Bowl”

  1. Hello, I went to the May 22nd concert at the Bowl and it was amazing! May I use your image (the ‘sold out’ sign) in my video intro? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.