Billy Joel’s return to Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida after ten months on Friday, January 27th, was triumphant. Drawing from a decades-long career of hits-making, the piano man delivered hit after hit, twenty-four of them to be precise, to the sold-out venue.
The performance was, as they always are, subtle and understated. Joel, dressed in a dark suit was seated at a piano that rotated to allow everyone a perfect view. He was backed by a multi-piece band including standouts Mike DelGuidice on vocals and Crystal Taliefero on percussion and vocals. Behind was a video wall with constantly changing images including cartoonish animation and various print patterns.
Joel’s voice was perfect as it ever was, only occasionally missing a high note. One of the highlights of the evening was the between-song banter. Following “Just The Way You Are” he told the crowd, “And then we got divorced”. The band was also given the opportunity to do a little soloing when Crystal Taliefero, seated behind a huge percussion riser, performed Tina Turner’s “River Deep Mountain High” followed immediately by Mike DelGuidice stunning the crowd with a spot-on rendition of Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma”. DelGuidice was also given the mic for an encore medley that featured him singing Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”.
This was a feel-good performance by the king of feel-good music. Audiences across the country have something wonderful to look forward to.
My Life (Symphony #9 intro)
Just The Way You Are
An Innocent Man
Don’t Ask Me Why
Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)
New York State Of Mind
She’s Always A Woman
Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)
Only The Good Die Young
Sometimes A Fantasy
River Of Dreams (River Deep Mountain High interlude)
Nessun Dorma (Giacomo Puccini cover)
Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
We Didn’t Start The Fire
It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me
You May Be Right (Rock And Roll interlude)