Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Billy Joel at The Concert For New York

You might remember "The Concert for New York", which took place in October, 2001 at Madison Square Garden.  I remember not being all that into it leading up to the event, but I found myself listening to it on the way home from calling a Greenwich football game that day.  Some of the standouts included Elton John, Adam Sandler as "Operaman", and David Bowie.  To be honest, the true stars of the night were The Who, who rocked a set with John Entwistle ("The Ox") on bass for the final time.  He died eight months later.

Paul McCartney organized the event but, to be honest, his performance left me flat.  I remembered not feeling great about it.

In the end, the concert has become known as one of the bigger moments in rock history, and Madison Square Garden history.  It, along with the Yankees playoff run (which was ongoing at the time) was an important part of helping New York blow off some steam.  Of course, I'm not forgetting the Mets first game back after 9/11, with Mike Piazza's dramatic home run off of Steve Karsay, or the Giants and Jets (and eventually the Rangers and Knicks and Nets and Devils and Islanders), who each helped entertain the millions around New York at that time.

But back to the concert.  For me, Billy Joel blew me away.  I know someone who doesn't like his music and, if this doesn't do it, nothing ever will.  Take the purely incredible music, combined with playing it in front of his hometown crowd (he's from Long Island, but let's not split hairs, he's still a New Yorker), and the emotion of the night.  Add it all up and you have a winner.


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