Sunday, June 17, 2018

Billy Joel - Saturday 16th June - Old Trafford, Manchester

Billy Joel's only UK show for 2018 is at the home of Manchester United, Old Trafford. Heavy security, triple bag scans and long queues to get in didn't deter a sell out crowd from largely being in place for the start of the 2.5 hour show (although reports of viewing difficulties from the side of stage did materialise later).

We had no such issues being face on - albeit miles away from the stage. The volume was surprisingly loud and Billy seemed to be enjoying himself. Personally, I enjoyed the various snippets of songs paying homage to British Rock bands through the years, but I would expect some fans who maybe hadn't seen him so often would rue the omission of songs such as "Only The Good Die Young" due to time constraints. "Big Shot" was also on the original scheduled setlist, but is no loss in my book!

The Battle Hymn of the Republic (interpreted in these parts as "Glory Glory Man United") was a cheeky introduction and Billy's humour was evident throughout. He was also armed with a fly-swatter which was twirled like a drumstick throughout the show when one hand was enough on the piano.

"Half a Mile Away" got a European debut and the crowd seemed to enjoy the "fielder's choice" option of choosing the set on 3 songs. "Just The Way You Are", "An Innocent Man" and "And So It Goes" missed out on selection.

A quick mention must be made of Tommy Burns, who's guitar playing was fabulous and seemed to enhance the rockier elements of the set.

Overall, a really good evening - made even better by the fact that the hotel was a 2 minute walk away!

Setlist
My Life (With ‘Glory Glory Man United’ snippet)
Pressure
The Entertainer
Your Song (snippet)
Vienna (Preceded by 'Rule Britannia')
The Longest Time (Preceded by 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight' snippet)
Half a Mile Away
Zanzibar
New York State of Mind
Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) (Followed by snippet of 'Layla' instrumental)
Don't Ask Me Why
Sunshine of Your Love (snippet)
Ruby Tuesday (snippet)
Honky Tonk Women (snippet)
The House of the Rising Sun (snippet)
A Salty Dog (snippet)
Good Times Bad Times (snippet)
Glad All Over (snippet)
The Downeaster Alexa
Allentown
Fire (snippet)
Sometimes a Fantasy
Bohemian Rhapsody (snippet)
Sultans of Swing (snippet)
She's Always a Woman
The River of Dreams / A Hard Day's Night
A Day in the Life
Nessun Dorma 
Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
Piano Man
+
We Didn't Start the Fire
Uptown Girl
It's Still Rock and Roll to Me
You May Be Right (with Rock And Roll snippet)