Archive for the ‘ Music ’ Category

Face 2 Face

GREAT concert, all things considered. I’d give it an 8+. Here are the only things that detracted from Billy Joel & Elton John’s Face 2 Face performance last night in Cincy:

1) Billy didn’t play long enough. Seriously, I didn’t time it, but I’m positive that Elton must have played at least 15-20 minutes longer during his set with the band. Maybe it was because of the lineup and the fact that he got to take a break before coming back on again… dunno.

2) Our seats were pretty bad. We knew that going in, but having seats that weren’t actually behind the stage would have been much better. I’m pretty sure there was some cool stuff going on in front, and we would have been able to really get the whole visual on it. One thing that was really cool was that they put up extended video screens in the back for everyone whose view was blocked. Class move.

3) Would have liked some additional “deep cuts”. While there were some surprises, like Elton’s Mad Man Upon The Water and Billy’s Zanzibar, most of the offerings were straight outta the normal concert menu. I’ve seen Billy so many times that nothing really truly surprises me anymore, but it would have been great to hear something like Baby Grand done with Elton. That woulda been killer.

Overall, the whole show was great. I was INCREDIBLY impressed with Elton’s keyboard player, who managed to cover the entire opening to Funeral For A Friend. It was SIMPLY AMAZING. I kinda knew what to expect having seen this tour once before in DC, but it was still great hearing them collaborate on each other’s songs. I must say that Billy still has it. He may be pushing 60, but his voice still gets it done and he seemed to outshine Elton just a tad. 

I actually noticed that there were quite a few songs they did that seemed like Billy could have pulled off on his own… they matched his voice/style fairly well, and the thought of him covering stuff like I’m Still Standing or Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues would have been cool.

The lights were excellent! One of the highlights to the show was near the beginning when they lit everything up full for the first time… during the opening chorus to Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me, the whole arena was blasted with a powerful yellow and orange wash that lit up the room. SO cool. Hard to describe in words, but it definitely whipped the whole place up into a cheering frenzy almost instantaneously. They had started with some mellow tunes (Your Song and Just The Way You Are), so this was the first time they actually “let loose”. Very cool.

Additional highlights:

  • Billy’s opening song, the rock anthem Angry Young Man, came ripping out of the gate like a hurricane. He opens with this a lot, but it still gets me pumped every time I hear it.
  • Funeral for a Friend. Elton is a GENIUS, his keyboard player rocks, and the band still KILLS it.
  • Zanzibar’s trumpet solo by “The Trumpinator”. To quote Sarah: “There is NOTHING easy about what he just played…” True dat.
  • Every time Billy’s bandmates came outto the  front of the stage and did what I call “the lineup”.
  • The live horn section on Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. Brilliant.
  • The live horn section on a few of the other Billy Joel tunes
  • Watching Crystal Toliafero and Mark Rivera do what they do best… and admiring the sax mike on Rivera’s tenor that probably cost more than my house.
  • Elton’s descent into insanity on Mad Man. The sonosphere took you to a completely different state of consciousness.

It was great being able to share this night with Sarah. She found some new songs to enjoy, and I got to share my love of some older ones with her. It was nice to get away — just the two of us — and lose ourselves in the music. Even thought the tix were expensive, we definitely got our money’s worth. A 300 minute concert cost each of us about $.17/minute. That’s cheaper than some pre-paid calling card rates (just sayin’…).

One additional downer… Traffic, parking, etc was managed VERY poorly. I’m sure I could have done a little better with the whole thing had I knew a little more about the downtown area, but I guess you get that anytime you squeeze a huge event like that into a downtown area. Oh well. I’d still do it again in a heartbeat!

This. Is. SICK.

Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater playing a “fretless” keyboard, called the Haken Continuum. There’s another video on the HakenAudio.com website that shows the performance LIVE. So cool. I want one.