Joel plays old favorites in Miami show

Posted March 19, 2015


“Sing us a song you’re the piano man, Sing us a song tonight. Well we’re all in the mood for a melody, And you’ve got us feeling alright.” It is not a surprise that more than half of William Martin Joel’s audience got chills down their spines and goose bumps down their arms the minute he started performing the song “Piano Man.”

Billy Joel performed at the American Airlines Arena in Miami on Jan. 31. To say my friends and I were among the youngest people in the Arena by 20 years is not a lie. Looking around the concert arena, I would guess about 12,000 of the 14,000 people attending were above 40 years of age.

My friend took 30 21-year-olds to the Billy Joel concert. We sat in a centrally located box on the third floor of the Arena. Not only was this one of the coolest concert experiences I have ever had, it was definitely one of the most rewarding.

My friends and I had a few arguments on the way to the concert over our reasons for attending. We were going back and forth asking each other “Are you a Billy Joel fan?” or “Are you just here because our friend has a box and invited you?” I answered this question with “I like Billy Joel. I would not call myself a fan, but there was no way I was giving up this opportunity.”

Although Billy Joel, is not considered “popular” among my generation, he is, by far, the most talented performer I have ever seen live. In addition, I can confidently say that my answer is different now that I have seen him.

I have been to many music performances such as, POP concerts and Electronic Dance Festivals, but I had never been to a concert like this. Billy Joel performed with such talent, energy, confidence, and spark. It truly was an honor to attend his concert and see someone perform with such a strong voice, passion, dedication and impressive piano and harmonica skills.

Billy Joel is an American pianist, singer-songwriter and composer who became popular in 1973 with his hit “Piano Man.” He has sold more than 150 million records and is ranked as one of the most respected rock artists in the world. Mr. Joel was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

The concert was classic and tasteful from start to finish. Jamie Cullum, a pianist and jazz-pop artist, started the concert and performed seven songs in an hour. Although he was talented, the Arena seemed to be preparing and anxiously waiting for Billy to begin.
Billy Joel opened at exactly 9 p.m. with “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)”.

The moment the lights shined on Billy and his face appeared on the huge screens above the stage, the audience stood up and loudly cheered/applauded. Every person around me showed enthusiasm and excitement. It was amazing to see that Billy loves what he does and is extremely passionate about his work.

The lighting was incredible and I could not keep my eyes away from the center of the stage for more than a few seconds. The lights changed colors throughout each of the songs and the spotlights reflected on the audience throughout the arena. The lighting was creative and bright yet sophisticated. The ambiance in the Arena was classy and the music projected perfectly.

Billy played 20 songs during the main part of the concert before he started his five-song encore. A few songs that really stood out to me were “Zanzibar” “Movin’ Out” (Anthony’s Song), “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant” and, of course, “Piano Man.”

Each of these songs created a vibrant energy in the Arena that cannot be described in words. People were glistening, lighting up, smiling and singing along with Billy and his band. I remember seeing five men who looked like they were in their 60s rocking back and forth with their arms around each other to “Zanzibar.” Additionally, Joel did not play any new music and it in incredible that his music from years ago is so respected.

By far the best part of the performance was Mr. Joel’s Encore. He sang “Uptown Girl” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to me” “Big Shot” “You May Be Right” and “Only the Good Die Young.” These very popular songs had the crowd enraptured came one after another in a magical manner. It was so fascinating to see how loved Billy Joel is and how many people appreciate his talent.

Joel’s voice has not changed over the years and he sounds as incredible performing live as he does in his recordings.

  • Billy Joel Concert
  • Jan. 31, 2015
  • Miami American Airlines Arena
  • Next Concert: Dec. 17, 2015, New York Madison Square Garden