I had a great day. First I took a ride down to my old digs in Clayton and hung out with my friend Bruce, then I had a good linner with him and his girlfriend at a barbecue restaurant (can’t remember its name) in either Pittman or Richwood. After that I met up with my uncle and we headed to Citizens Bank Park, where I pigged out some more before the concert by eating the Schmitter sandwich (which is very good) and a large ice cream cone.
What a perfect venue for a concert. Our seats were up in the 400 level with a good view of the stage and a fantastic view of the city line in the background, which looked even more awesome after dark when it was all lit up.
As for the concert itself: awesome! As much as I love Springsteen, this was the best concert I saw this year. Billy and Elton started off playing together, then played separate sets, then finished together.
Elton’s set was phenomenal: every song except for one was from his 70’s heyday, including rare gems like ‘Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding’ (the highlight of the night for me) and ‘Madman Across the Water.’ I also loved the great rendition of ‘Rocket Man’ that evolved into an extended jam session at the end.
Billy was excellent, too. He opened with a rousing ‘Prelude/Angry Young Man’ (love that song) and played most of his hits from ‘The Stranger,’ as well as some of his other big hits. He also mixed in a cool, jazzy ‘Zanzibar,’ and even donned a guitar as his band played AC/DC’s ‘Highway to Hell’ with a guest vocalist–and sounded very good doing it.
I liked Elton’s set better, but Billy was much more engaging with the crowd, so it was a tossup. The highlight of their playing together was the dueling pianos during ‘Benny and the Jets,’ and watching them trade vocals on some of their biggest hits was also very cool. They closed the show with the highly appropriate ‘Piano Man,’ during which the singing crowd (who were as much a part of the show as the performers) must have been heard all the way in Jersey.
Overall, they both delivered more than my money’s worth as they played for nearly 3 1/2 hours. The only downside to the concert was the annoying college girls sitting behind us singing loudly, shrilly, and out of tune the entire time. Other than that, it was a perfect evening.