Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Andrea & Toby & Billy & Elton

Andrea and I have both been fans of Billy Joel and Elton John for a long time, and I was able to fulfill one of my long-time dreams two years ago when we saw Billy in concert at the Pepsi Center. I had heard late last year that they were doing one of their "Face to Face" combined tours again, and that they would be in Denver in November or December. Unfortunately, the timing didn't work out for us, and since they are both getting on in years, I figured I probably wouldn't get a chance to see them together.

But then Elton had some health issues, and they had to postpone several concerts, including the Denver date. Andrea, being the awesome person she is, found out when the new date was, and mentioned it to my parents. My parents, being the awesome people they are, bought us the tickets as a Christmas present.

As we had done in 2008, we drove to Denver but then took the Light Rail into downtown (which saved us parking costs and also gave us smalltown folks a fun taste of big city life). We then walked to the Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner, and the walk was considerably colder than it was two years prior. But the food was delicious and warmed us right up.

Looking northwest

Looking southeast

After an enjoyable dinner, we walked down to the Pepsi Center and found our seats. Having seen Billy perform but not Elton, it was interesting to compare experiences with a lady and her daughter sitting next to us who had seen Elton but not Billy. When the show began, it started with both of them performing together, each of them starting each other's songs, but both playing.

Trying to capture the experience with a cell phone camera is like using a Walmart bag to carry the Pacific Ocean.

After their amazing combined set, Billy left the stage and Elton performed several of his songs on his own, and while the experience was amazing, we found ourselves a little less impressed than we thought we'd be. His musicianship was top notch, and he performed some great tunes, but everyone had the volume knobs at 11 or 12 and there were some songs where the lyrics were completely unrecognizable. Andrea and I later agreed that we were anxious to get on with the show during his set, although seeing him in person was undoubtedly a thrill.

Billy's solo set was next, and he did not disappoint. He is much more talkative, telling stories and jokes between tunes, and the music was just more enjoyable... as it had in 2008, his set flew by and he left the stage all too soon.

Fortunately, they ended the concert by joining forces again, including combining the bands, which was another treat.

We don't get to many rock concerts, and there are quite a few bands that I would love to see live, but if the only shows I get to see are Billy Joel's, I certainly won't complain.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.

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