Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Piano Man Tears Down Shea....

Yesterday, after listening to a week's worth of buzz on Billy Joel's "Last Play at Shea" concert to be played last evening, I was lucky enough to get tickets for my husband and I to take part in a little bit of music and Shea Stadium history. This is the last concert ever to be performed at Shea before it is demolished at the end of the baseball season, to be replaced by a new stadium being completed next door.

When I decided I was going to attempt to get seats, I called my husband to ask if he would like to go. He said "Sure, but don't go crazy trying to get tickets"...Well, I found lots of tickets available, but at what price? There were tickets available up to $9,000!!!! I'll just say that I paid somewhere between 2 - 6 times the $98 list price for two seats in the Mezzanine section. Later, when my husband asked how much the tickets were, I just looked at him and he said "Oh, I guess I really don't want to know, do I"? ... what a honey!

The air hanging over Shea last night was hot, humid & heavy, but that didn't stifle the electrifying energy in the audience and ON THE STAGE...The Piano Man is a tireless, self-deprecating, crowd-pleasing performer...the ultimate in entertainers! He performed for 3+ hours without an intermission, which was definitely an exhausting task under normal conditions, but in the sweltering heat of this July evening it was incredible.

The historic concert was illuminated by special guests: Tony Bennett joined Billy on "New York State of Mind", Garth Brooks performed Billy's "Shameless", Aerosmith's front man Steven Tyler offered "Walk This Way", Roger Daltrey of The Who did "My Generation" at the end of which Billy smashed a guitar into pieces. The most poignant piece on the setlist was "Goodnight Saigon which featured a Military Chorus and other Uniformed Services singing the chorus "And we would all go down together
We said we'd all go down together Yes we would all go down together"
. As if these performances weren't enough, during his second encore, Billy announced none other than "Sir Paul McCartney" which nearly brought the house down sooner than intended. Actually my husband and I were just leaving our seats to head for the exit at that moment...I would have been very unhappy if we missed this Royal Knight.

Billy, with unbelieveable stamina, continued to give the sold out crowd the performance & show of a lifetime and closed with Sir Paul on piano for "Let It Be"....The best concert I have ever been to, and undoubtedly will ever be to, had come to an end.

I feel so very lucky to have been able to attend this remarkable show, to have been one of the 55,000 that attended not only the last concert at Shea Stadium but also to have attended the very first in August of 1965...The Beatles started it and one of the Beatles was there to end it! How cool is that!

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