Billy Joel Transforms the MCG Into The Melbourne Concert Ground #REVIEW - Noise11.com
Billy Joel at the MCG 10 December 2022 photo by Bron Robinson 3

Billy Joel at the MCG 10 December 2022 photo by Winston Robinson

Billy Joel Transforms the MCG Into The Melbourne Concert Ground #REVIEW

by Paul Cashmere on December 11, 2022

in News,Noise Pro

There were no crickets at the MCG this week. Just thunderous applause. Billy Joel opened his one-off Melbourne show with a message for his fans. “The bad news is I haven’t put out anything new since 1993, so basically you’re gonna hear the same shit you heard last time. The good news is I haven’t put out anything new since 1993, so basically you’re gonna hear the same shit you heard last time.”

It’s true. Billy’s last album of contemporary new songs was ‘River of Dreams’ in 1993 although his last studio album was the classical music album ‘Fantasies & Delusions’ (2001) but Billy wasn’t under any fantasies or delusions that this audience was here for that.

Billy Joel at the MCG 10 December 2022 photo by Bron Robinson 2 Billy Joel at the MCG 10 December 2022 photo by Bron Robinson

 

This was a show a long time in the making. Michael Gudinski started planning this event five years ago and it was set to be announced on the day the pandemic became real and we were shut down. Sadly Michael didn’t live to see his dream fulfilled, something his son Matt (now Chief executive of the Mushroom Group) acknowledged before the show.

The Joel event was produced in partnership with the Victoria Government and Frontier Touring through Victoria’s live events initiative Always Live. With 45% of the audience from interstate (that’s around 30,000 people), this sole event was a massive boost to the Victorian economy. With Always Live, the Victorian Labor Government is showing that music can be every much an economic boost as sport.

This was Billy’s only Australian show evening up the score from when his last Australian show was for Sydney only in 2013. 76,000 plus fans were treated to Joel Gold from start to finish opening with ‘A Matter of Trust’ from 1986’s ‘The Bridge’ and ending with ‘You May Be Right’ from 1980’s ‘Glass Houses’. There were a few curve balls. An Aussie tribute with Banjo Paterson’s 1895 masterpiece ‘Waltzing Matilda’ set the Australian mood. The Stones ‘Start Me Up’ modified ‘An Innocent Man’, ‘River Deep Mountain High’ made its way into ‘The River of Dreams’. There was Puccini’s ‘Nessa dorme’ sung by Joel band guitarist Mike DelGuidice and the show ended with Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock and Roll’ merged into ‘You May Be Right’.

Since 2014 Billy Joel has had a lifetime contract with Madison Square Garden in New York for one show a month. This show treated Melbourne to its own night of Billy Broadway.

Billy Joel at the MCG 10 December 2022 photo by Bron Robinson Billy Joel at the MCG 10 December 2022 photo by Bron Robinson

 

Billy Joel setlist for Melbourne, Australia, 10 December 2022

A Matter of Trust (from The Bridge, 1986)
My Life (from 52nd Street, 1978)
The Entertainer (from Streetlife Serenade, 1974)
Waltzing Matilda (Trad. Banjo Paterson cover)
Vienna (from The Stranger, 1977)
An Innocent Man (from An Innocent Man, 1993)
Zanzibar (from 52nd Street, 1978)
Just the Way You Are (from The Stranger, 1977)
Don’t Ask Me Why (from Glass Houses, 1980)
Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song) (from The Stranger, 1977)
She’s Always A Woman (from The Stranger, 1977)
Pressure (from the Nylon Curtain, 1982)
Allentown (from the Nylon Curtain, 1982)
New York State of Mind (from Turnstiles, 1976)
The Downeaster Alexa (from Storm Front, 1989)
Sometimes A Fantasy (from Glass Houses, 1980)
Only the Good Die Young (from The Stranger, 1977)
The River of Dreams (from River of Dreams, 1993)
Nessun dorma
Scenes From an Italian Restaurant (from The Stranger, 1977)
Piano Man (from Piano Man, 1973)

Encore:
We Didn’t Start the Fire (from Storm Front, 1989)
Uptown Girl (from An Innocent Man, 1993)
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me (from Glass Houses, 1980)
Big Shot (from 52nd Street, 1978)
You May Be Right (from Glass Houses, 1980)

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