Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Free-For-All: Billy Joel - Live at Shea Stadium

This week saw the release of a new Billy Joel live album/DVD, Live at Shea Stadium. Back in 2008, Billy played two shows as the final performance ever at the stadium, which was built in 1964. It's first concert was a year later - an historic live performance from The Beatles.

If you at all have an interest in Billy Joel, the history of Shea Stadium, or the Mets, you MUST check out "Last Play at Shea." It's a documentary that uses Billy's final show as a framing device to tell the story of Shea Stadium, focusing not just on the musical acts that have played there, but some of the most notable Mets moments. Along the way, the documentary finds time to trace Billy Joel's life and career - compressing all of this into 90 minutes that are remarkably fluid and fast-moving.

Appropriately, Billy had several special guests at his final show, and he saved the best for last. It wouldn't have been right to give the stadium a send-off without Paul McCartney. The documentary details how at first Paul's participation seemed impossible. He was flying to America that evening, but his schedule wouldn't have him on the ground in time to make it to the stadium before the close of the show... until they found a friendly air traffic controller who cleared air space for Paul's flight to arrive early, and then arranged to have him swept through customs.

No one at the show knew Paul was coming and so this performance below came as a surprise to everyone.

And as a special bonus, another Billy Joel duet. This is from a show he did in Japan with Elton John. Elton chose some special wardrobe for this song to pay tribute to one of Tokyo's most famous residents.

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