Billy Joel - US Airways Center - 6/1/2014
Jim Louvau Billy Joel played the US Airways Center on Sunday, June 1.
Billy Joel turned 65 years old on May 9. When you're as old as he is, you retire, have a party, collect your pension, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. But when you're the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time, you just keep on working. The audience at the sold out US Airways Center knew when the first note was played on Joel's Steinway, the singer-songwriter really likes working. His dexterity on the ivories was apparent when he opened with "Miami 2017 (I've Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)," but when his band went into the keyboard heavy "Pressure," Joel remained seated while keyboardist Dave Rosenthal tickled the Kurzweil.
The Piano Man made it clear when the song ended that he wasn't the performer he was over 20 years ago when River of Dreams, his last album of original pop music, was released.
"I'm Billy Joel's dad. Billy couldn't make it tonight," he joked.
He talked like the eccentric grandfather at the family Christmas party. He cussed, regaled the audience with stories of touring with his friend Elton John (He sang "Your Song" until the line "I don't have much money" and exclaimed, "Bullshit! He's rich!"), and told dirty jokes as he sprayed his throat to moisten his vocal chords. When he sang on the deep cut "Vienna" that "you can get what you want or you can just get old," Joel might have done both.