On February 9th, 2018 Billy Joel made his 8th appearance at the Amalie Arena in Tampa kicking off his concert at exactly 8:20 with Say Goodbye to Hollywood. The concert featuring the sixty-eight year-old musician was completely sold out, meaning over 20,ooo attended. The concert, however, was very personalized for the audience, Billy Joel or as some fans refer to him The Entertainer allowed his audience to pick which songs they wanted to hear. Joel had a list composed of chosen songs from his various albums over the years and announced their names, the songs which gained the loudest cheers were the ones that were played for the enjoyment of audience. Among a chosen songs by the crowd was Vienna, Allentown, and The Downeastern Alexa.
Among these songs he performed his classics, New York State of Mind, She’s Always a Woman, Movin’ Out (Antony’s Song). Billy Joel put on an elaborate performance featuring him playing his own songs on the piano and singing along, backed up by Dave Rosenthal on keyboard, Mark Rivera on saxophone, and Carl Fischer on trumpet. Billy Joel did not just perform, he entertained, cracking numerous jokes, most memorably one featuring Madonna, and her use of vocal therapy.
After two hours of straight performing Billy Joel finished with arguably his most well known classic: Piano man, while both playing the harmonica and the piano, simultaneously. Joel finally dimmed the lights and walked from the stage, but audience wanted more, demanding an encore with an elaborate display of cell phone lights illuminating the arena like the night sky. Joel, not one to disappoint his fans came back out for a final encore performance to conclude his 8th visit to Tampa, performing hit 1980’s classics, Uptown Girl, We Didn’t Start The Fire, Only The Good Die Young, and It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me. All the while during his performance of We Didn’t Start The Fire Joel paraded the stage both twirling his microphone stand and playing on an electric guitar, making for a memorable night for many fans of his music.
Fans however, can not help but wonder if this will be Joel’s last performance in Tampa as The Entertainer turns seventy this year. Despite his age Joel has made no such announcements of retirement.