Billy Joel has no problems packing the most revered stadiums.
From Madison Square Garden to Lambeau Field, Fenway Park to Yankee Stadium, his dynamic powerhouse performances never cease to astonish. And Friday night at Chicago's beloved Wrigley Field, the band brought "the East Coast to the Midwest," turning the "friendly confines" into one massive sing-a-long piano bar.
Joel strutted onto the stage for his nearly three-hour show belting out "Miami 2017," "Pressure" and then thrilled his already devoted Windy City fans with a rendition of "Go Cubs Go."
Returning for his record-breaking sixth time, legendary rock mastermind Joel is the all-time leader in concert ticket sales for the iconic ballpark.
Fans were mesmerized all night with Joel's comic touches, which included swatting flies and his fielder's choices in which he let them decide songs like "Vienna," "Downeaster Alexa" and "The Longest Time." Before the latter, the band transformed into a nostalgic do-wop state of mind and brought the crowd into a euphoric frenzy with the intro of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."
The night was a thrilling celebration complete with gorgeous weather. Joel and the band teased with Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4," The Beatles' "A Day in the Life," in which Billy reminded the crowd, "I didn't write that one but wish I did." Joel also thrilled the crowd with the Zeppelin fave "Rock and Roll" during his encore.
At one point, Joel let his all-star band loose including multi-instrumentalist and Gary native Crystal Taliefero for her commanding conga opening to "River of Dreams." Carl Fischer's trumpet solo on "Zanzibar" was astounding while Michael Delguidice's vocal masterpiece on Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" was nothing short of inspiring. Sax genius Mark Rivera shined as usual on “New York State of Mind” and “Italian Restaurant.”
There were many explosive moments in the concert without the need for pyrotechnics. When Joel strapped on the harmonica, fans erupted as they could sense "Piano Man" was on deck. The horn section was a motivating force at the front of the stage for "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)" and later returned for "Only the Good Die Young."
Joel has customized his shows to include an awe-inspiring encore complete with his influential "We Didn't Start the Fire," crowd favorite "Uptown Girl," rock anthem "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me," "Big Shot," "You May Be Right" and closing prophetic number "Only the Good Die Young."
Joel continues to draw large crowds from show to show and even though he good-naturedly admits "I don't have anything new," he proves "he still belongs and we can speak our minds, but not on his time."