I know that I’m about a week late in posting this, but I’m later than that in posting other stuff so I don’t feel too bad. A year ago I promised that I’d post something about the Billy Joel/Elton John Face to Face concert. After nearly a year of waiting for the concert to actually happen, the night finally arrived. (In case you weren’t aware, it was originally scheduled for November but was rescheduled because Elton John had swine flu and Billy Joel was suffering from exhaustion.)
I learned something last Friday night: row 1 doesn’t necessarily mean row 1. There is apparently a row 1/2. Or maybe it’s row 0. (Do concert promoters count in binary? Row 10 doesn’t seem so bad now does it?) There was one row in front of us which proved to be a major issue throughout the duration of the show. There were four people, I assume two couples, sitting right in our field of view. They appeared to be wealthy-ish professionals in their late fifties. They were also very fond of alcohol. I know this because they each had their limit in adult beverages from the concession stands and one of them emptied a flask. Yeah. A flask. Like the kind that alcoholics keep in their coat pockets. I think that there was also some illegal drug use going on as well but I’m not sure what kind it was. (I’m not up on my drugs.) As a result of their love of all things alcohol, they spent most of the evening dancing in front of everyone. I could go into detail here, but the horror of it all prevents me from doing so; needless to say, everybody behind them was on the verge of creating a scene. I didn’t spend that kind of money to see a half-naked grandmother giggle her wrinkles in front of me all night. Oh the humanity!
When I first bought the tickets last year, I checked out a few reviews online to see what people were saying. One review in particular stood out. It said that Elton John plays for the crowd while Billy Joel plays to the crowd. I wasn’t quite sure what this meant until I was able to see them both perform live. (I saw Billy Joel in 1993 so I’m familiar with the awesomeness of his act.) I should preface this by saying that I like a lot of Elton John’s music and I think that he’s an amazing artist, but I wasn’t there for him. Now that that’s out of the way, Elton John was just OK. Yeah he’s talented and yeah he does a pretty good show, but I wasn’t feeling it. To be honest, I think that every time he and Billy Joel were on stage together, Billy Joel elevated Elton John’s performance. In fact, I think that Billy Joel sings Elton John songs better than Elton John does. Billy Joel’s whole demeanor on stage is just so much more engaging. Even if you’re not a fan of his, I think that you’d have a tough time not enjoying his stage show. I can’t say the same for Elton John.
On the way home, Holly and I were discussing the evening and we both decided that we really need to see Billy Joel perform without Elton John weighing him down and taking his stage time. He does such a good concert that I could watch him sing all night long. I hope that he comes back to Salt Lake City soon so that we can go see him again. Hopefully next time the non-sexy, alcoholic, half-naked grandma won’t have the seat in front of us.