Billy Joel at Fenway Park – Boston, MA

Photos and Review by Ilya Mirman

Show photos HERE

For the fifth summer in a row, Billy Joel played a spectacular set to a sold-out crowd in Boston’s iconic Fenway Park.  And before the balmy Friday night was over, we got the expected hits, heard a few jokes, and enjoyed surprise guests.

Starting off with “Bigshot,” Joel delivered two and a half hours of hit after hit spanning his entire catalog – occasionally pulling out a deep cut and even slipping in some covers.  He was once again in a story telling mood, creating an intimate atmosphere and a real connection with the crowd.

The first cover was in honor of a surprise appearance by Peter Wolf – of J. Geils Band – dropping by for a raucous rendition of Centerfold, their #1 hit from 1982.  Wolf owned the stage, dancing and singing to his hometown crowd.  Joel reminisced with both nostalgia and gratitude about touring with and opening for the J. Geils Band in the 70’s.

A special treat (and now a staple of Joel’s set) was having guitarist Mike DelGuidice sing “Nessun dorma” – an aria from Puccini’s Turandot.  (As one of the best-known tenor arias in opera, it’s been sung by opera’s giants such as Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.)  DelGuidice’s performance was immensely skillful – authentic, emotional, dramatic.

And just when we expected no more guests, Joel announces another visitor –Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot!  (Def Leppard was to perform at Fenway the next night, and so the UK metal/rock stars were in town.)  Judging by the crowd’s response, I wasn’t the only one thrilled to hear Joel and company play Def Leppard’s monster hit, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” with Elliot on vocals.

After “concluding” the show with “Piano Man,” the band returned for a 4-song encore – with Joel emerging from behind the piano to take the mic stand for “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” “Uptown Girl,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” and “You May Be Right.”  Singing right up to Fenway’s curfew, William Martin Joel played a set I suspect many of us will remember forever.

Here’s hoping he’ll put out another album, and return to Fenway in 2019!

Set List

  1. Big Shot
  2. My Life
  3. Summer, Highland Falls
  4. Zanzibar
  5. Vienna
  6. More Than a Feeling
  7. Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)
  8. The Downeaster Alexa
  9. The Entertainer
  10. And So It Goes
  11. Allentown
  12. New York State of Mind
  13. Don’t Ask Me Why
  14. She’s Always a Woman
  15. Centerfold
  16. Sometimes a Fantasy
  17. Pour Some Sugar on Me
  18. Only the Good Die Young
  19. The River of Dreams
  20. Nessun dorma
  21. Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
  22. Piano Man
  23. We Didn’t Start the Fire
  24. Uptown Girl
  25. It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
  26. You May Be Right

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