Continuing my “Heather Goes To Older Generation Concerts” series, I saw Billy Joel at the Hollywood Bowl last week. Mike gave me tickets as a Christmas present, so I’ve had the day circled on my calendar for almost five months. I’ve loved Billy Joel for thirty years now and I’ve never seen him in concert. Yep, thirty years – I used to sneak his 52nd Street album from my dad’s collection and listen to it on my Fisher Price record player. Looking back, I don’t know what inspired me to take that album since Billy looks a little creepy on the cover, but I’m glad I did. I literally wore that album out.
When Mike and I arrived at the Hollywood Bowl it became clear very quickly that we were, like at the Fleetwood Mac concert, amongst the youngest people in attendance. Our seats were decent, about halfway up the bowl. I didn’t care about being close to the front since Billy sits at a piano for 97% of the songs. The only problem with our seats was they were bench-style seating. That meant everyone was jammed onto a long bench, hip-to-hip. You get to know the people sitting around you really fast in seats like that.
Before Billy’s set started, the man in front of me started taking pictures of the stage…with his iPad.
I was still giggling about it when the show started. I quickly forgot about Mr. iPad and was swept up in Billy…until the woman three seats away started loudly complaining about how bright Mr. iPad’s screen was, and how distracting and selfish he was acting for trying to take a picture of a living legend (I added that last part). She shamed Mr. iPad into putting his iPad away. She then snapped at the man closest to her for “nudging her,” and I realized we had bonafide concert police on our hands.
I half-paid attention as this woman slowly lost her mind about everything – phone screens were too bright, people didn’t whisper, etc. The last straw for me was when she snapped at the man behind her for not turning off his iPhone flash. I mean, come on. Mike doesn’t even know how to do that. My inner ticket saleswoman came out, and I leaned across the two people in between us and said, “Ma’am, you paid a lot of money to watch Billy Joel, don’t worry about all these other people!”
She seemed a little stunned…I don’t think anyone had ever told her to take a chill pill before. The best part was when she tried to take a picture about twenty minutes later…and she didn’t turn off her iPhone flash. Mr. iPad did NOT let her get away with that.
The rest of the show was amazing. Billy is funny, his band sounds fabulous, and Billy himself was in great voice with a ton of energy. He played a ton of hits and some deep cuts. The guy behind me got emotional every time he recognized a song…and he recognized every song. “This one really speaks to me!” He shouted tearfully every single time.
I especially loved when the screens would go to the “piano cam” and show Billy’s fingers flying around the keyboard. I love watching people play the piano.
It was great to have a night out with Mike, and equally great to finally be able to say, “I’ve seen Billy Joel live.” He’s a legend and a huge reason why I took piano and singing lessons when I was growing up.
You’re probably thinking, “Well, Heather goes to all the fogey shows so she’s probably going to the Paul McCartney tour this summer” but nope (Mike is, of course…by himself…so he can give Paul the creepy stare-down.)! I needed to bring down my median performer age so my next concert is BRITNEY SPEARS! My other Christmas present from Mike (and my parents) is tickets to see Brit Brit in Vegas, which means traveling to Vegas, which means a weekend in Vegas with Mike, which means hurrrrrry uuuuuupppppp I cannot WAIT. It’s been way, way too long since Mike and I had time away from the kids and we need it! And even though he won’t admit it, I know he’s excited to see Britney, too.