Thursday, March 11, 2010

Face to Face With Elton and Billy

While we're still flying our metaphorical Sparklehorse flag at half-mast, today we have a concert review from a very gifted writer... my mom!

A few weeks ago, my dear friend found out she could not attend the Elton John/Billy Joel Face to Face concert, so being the sweet person she is, she gave her tickets to me! So, earlier this week I went to their concert. Now, I’ve always been an Elton John fan, and I have also enjoyed the music of Billy Joel, but never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would experience the two piano icons playing and singing together on the same stage in Wichita, Kansas.

It all started with both guys on stage together for a good 20 minutes. Then Billy left the stage, and it was pure Elton John for a good 45 minutes. He played some stuff from his first album that I didn’t know, and then moved on to “Philadelphia Freedom”, “Island Girl”, and many others. I can’t say I was impressed with his entertaining skills. He just sat at his piano, played, sang, and never even bothered to introduce his band. I was expecting more from the “Diva of Rock and Roll.”

Then Elton left the stage and here came Billy. Now there’s a comedian! A true entertainer! He sang, he told jokes, he bounced around on his stool, and he was just dynamic! As he sang Uptown Girl, he made faces, acting like he was gagging and then when the song was over he made the statement, “and it ended in divorce.” He told us the only trick he had in his bag was his piano spinning. “It turns this way, and then it turns that way. Boy, those of you sitting up above get to stare at my bald head all night long.” As the piano turned from side to side, he made magic fingers like it was some great trick that he was making happen on his own.

After his 45 minutes of singing, joking and pure entertainment, out came Elton, and they played together for the rest of the evening. This concert went on for 3 ½ hours. No opening bands, no intermissions, just pure Elton and Billy music. Just two guys loving what they do, and giving the audience exactly what they wanted.

Elton finally showed his entertainment skills when they sang “The Bitch is Back.” That is when Elton decided to crawl up on his piano in his red glasses, red shirt and white tux and show his true diva colors. He played piano with his feet, and spun around on the piano while Billy played and sang. Together they played their hearts out and I was turning around, staring up at the video board just to watch those fingers moving across the keys, Billy’s long and slender, Elton’s short and fat. They ended the night with “Benny and the Jet’s”, and “Norma Jean. “ There was definitely more Elton songs, then there were Billy songs.

Overall, the performances were dynamic, and amazing! Just two old guys who have been around since the 60’s, playing their hearts out for hours, to an absolutely captivated audience. Oh, did I mention my seats were row 13, on the floor, almost center stage?

Debbie McGuire

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