Billy Joel in concert at Mohegan Sun (Uncasville, CT) – 7/3/08

My second concert of the year was last night at the Mohegan Sun Arena (at the Mohegan Sun Casino) to see Billy Joel. OK, I know some of you have already said, “Billy Joel is not Metal!”. Yes, I know but he is Rock’n Roll, Classic Rock nowadays, and the man has timeless songs and superior talent. Plus there was a Metal moment in the middle of the show that was pretty cool. Say what you want about non-Metal music, good music is good music. Man cannot live by Metal alone and I always like a little variety and my tastes can run from Billy Joel to Billy Idol to Billy Squier! It’s good to have variety, it makes the Metal that much better!

My wife’s birthday was in April and I was able to score tickets for show #9 of Billy’s 10 date stand at the Mohegan Sun. We packed the kids off to her parents’ house and took the hour drive to the casino. It was my wife’s first visit to Mohegan Sun so we took extra time before the show to explore and have dinner. Mohegan Sun is a nice place to go for a concert, plenty of places to eat, plenty of shops to spend money in, and plenty of gaming if gambling is your thing. The arena is smaller than most arenas in my area, it holds 10,000 seats according to the website but it doesn’t feel like a 10,000 seater. I usually go to the Worcester Centrum, Providence Civic Center, or Boston Garden for big arena shows and those venues range from 12,000 – 20,000, the Mohegan is set up so compact that you feel like you’re in a 7000-8000 seat arena. Honestly, ther’s no bad seat in the house. Unfortunately, we were in the upper deck, three rows from the back (I like to be as close as possible!) but we could see everything and the band didn’t look like ants!

On to the show…..superb performance! I usually have a pad and pen to write the setlist down but I forgot it last night so I have cheated and taken the setlist from the message board:

Prelude/Angry Young Man
My Life
The Entertainer
New York State of Mind
Downeaster “Alexa”
Root Beer Rag
Don’t Ask Me Why
Room Of Our Own
Movin’ Out
She’s Always A Woman
Captain Jack
River of Dreams
Matter Of Trust
Highway to Hell****
We Didn’t Start The Fire
Its Still Rock ‘n’ Roll To Me
You May Be Right
Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
Piano Man

The running order might be off in a couple of places but these are the songs he played. There were a couple of songs I was hoping he would play and I got my wish: ‘Downeaster Alexa’, ‘Captain Jack’, & ‘New York State Of Mind’. Of course, you could take all of Billy’s albums and create tons of setlists, the man has such a solid catalogue of music with so many hits and album tracks that you are bound to hear something you didn’t expect. Billy pulled out a couple of album tracks (non-hits) for variety with ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Room Of Our Own’, and the instrumental ‘Root Beer Rag’…..I love it when artists pull out obscure songs!

Talk about obscure…..after ‘River Of Dreams’, the Piano Man donned his guitar and the band played ‘A Matter Of Trust’. Billy introduced the next song as not one of his and he pulled the guitar tech up onstage to sing. Joel’s lead guitarist (forgot his name) then started into AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’ and the band performed the entire song with this guitar tech on vocals. Didn’t expect that at all and I didn’t expect it to sound so good! After the song was over the roar from the crowd was a bit louder to say the least.

It was a great show by a classic performer, Billy Joel gave the audience a 110% performance and played many of his big hits and a few lost nuggets for the diehards. What more can anyone ask for from a concert? I saw Billy Joel live back in ’93 in Hartford, CT and I would say he was better last night than he was 15 years ago. I know that my wife had a good time last night because three songs in and she was in tears, she cried through the entire show. Isn’t that great? Music has such a powerful effect on people that they cry… happened to me when I saw KISS back in ’87 on the Crazy Nights Tour and again on the KISS Reunion Tour in Boston 1996. No matter what style it is, no matter what artist/band is performing, Music is what bonds people together and to see that emotion, that love, made the night even better…..