Tag Archives: billy joel

Vulture Ranks All the Billy Joel Songs

With Larry in my life, Billy Joel became a much bigger part of it than he had ever been beforehand.  I got Larry the whole collected set of reissued/remastered albums for his birthday this past year so I definitely know a lot more of his songs now, but I still couldn’t properly do a ranking of all 121 of them.  I’ll give this list this though:  I totally agree with #1.  I think Larry had some quibbles with the list though, but I have a feeling he is partial to pretty much 98% of Billy Joel’s songs….

billyjoel_allsongsranked

I admit that I probably would be able to create a ranking of all of Madonna’s songs, although that would take me a long while to really put everything in proper place.  I posted years ago about one that AfterElton did and I still have issues with their popular distaste of Hard Candy.  ANYWAY….

Plans are forming for what to do with the rest of this month, now that I’ve got it to do whatever with.  Have just finished booking a Vegas trip for next week with mom (of course), and I’m trying to see if Larry & I can then get out to NYC for a few days later in the month to see family and friends.  I know that last week will be plenty of me stressing out – so that week will stay empty.  🙂

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
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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!

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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
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Psyched for next week’s Billy Joel concert

Larry and I really get our 2014 Hollywood Bowl concert season going next weekend by seeing Billy Joel perform there. It’ll be my first of his concerts while certainly not Larry’s first!

Anyway, we watched a movie on Showtime this morning all about looking back at Billy Joel’s series of concerts in Russia back in 1987. It was a phenomenal movie about a really amazing event. Made me super excited about the upcoming concert as I know that the bowl will be filled with singing and happiness. I remember still just the booze cruise we took back in NYC and how much fun that was. And that was just playback of recordings!

Summertime in the City (MM)

So here’s the scoop and to catch you up on what’s been going on during this dreadfully hot summer so far:

  • I don’t have a Schlotzky ring.  After the endoscopy, the Doc told me that his initial guess was wrong.  Instead, and after verifying with the lab who analyzed the biopsy, it turns out I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis, which is typically associated with allergies.  So I went and saw an allergist.  Besides nuts, which I didn’t need to take a painful test for, I did find out I’m allergic to Soy.  Hmmm.  At least it wasn’t chicken.  One other thing – going under anasthesia is such a bizarre experience.  You honestly have no idea you were unconscious until it’s over and you’re waking up.  I do NOT like that feeling.
  • This year’s summer in NYC is awful.  It’s hot, and it’s humid, and I can’t run my A/C and watch TV at the same time as it blows out my fuse in the apartment.  That….sucks.
  • Larry & I have been managing to get out and see and do things.  Lots of pictures can you show things like the Billy Joel booze cruise, etc.  But we also went and saw another Broadway show finally.  On the July 4th weekend, we went down to TKTS and got discounted tickets for Promises, Promises, which ended up being a very good and entertaining show.  It is so wonderful to see Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes in person too.  They’re both very talented.  The Tony-award winning supporting actress though really made the show, as her character was this boozy bar dame who hits on Sean Hayes’ character.  SOOO funny.
  • Work has been stressful and good all at the same time.  Hopefully we’ll be hiring people soon.  Found some decent folks finally.  It would be nice to have a full team again. Just sayin’. I may be headed back out to Los Angeles in the early part of August.
  • Will be seeing Pat in the beginning of August, which is cool.  Hopefully the weather is a bit more bearable!
  • Finished up my second Beginner’s Guitar School course.  I am pretty proud of how much progress I’ve made in playing the guitar.  It’s funny remembering how awkward it was to just strum a chord or two, and now I feel a lot more confident in being actually able to play a song.  Our last song that we played as a “recital” was Jack Johnson’s “Wanting, Waiting, Wishing” song which is fun and challenging to play.  We did a good job at it. I’m hoping to fit in one more course before leaving for Los Angeles for good.  I’d like to get in some more core knowledge from this school, as it is a great place to learn.  Everyone’s so upbeat and positive about guitar there.

And that’s pretty much the most of what’s going on. I hope you’re watching Big Brother 12 like I am.  It’s not the best season at this point, but it’s BB, so it’s of course entertaining.  My favorites now are Britney as she’s so bitchy and funny, as well as Lane, as he’s just big and kinda cute.  Brendon was high on my list before as the man is just beautiful, but he’s quite the idiot, and not in a lovable Jeff from BB11 way.  Rachel is sorta growing on me, but that laugh can peel paint off the wall.  Ugh.