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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Don't Go Changin', Billy!

His face was covered with ashen beard, his head almost bare of the once luscious, wavy crown. He surely wasn't the picture of the dapper rock-ballad idol that I knew.

But when his fingers traipsed the piano keyboard, I was convinced it was the same music icon that made a mark in many persons' lives a few decades back. He still plays it like it were a toy. And so he did with the guitar and harmonica.

"Don't go changin', to try and please me ....."

Yup, Billy Joel sang his heart out in Tokyo last night. For good reason: this is one place where he remains a big favorite, still drawing large crowds despite the competition posed by newer pop icons. Not one of the 55,000 seats at the Tokyo Dome seemed vacant (for my Pinoy readers, that means double the size of the Araneta Coliseum).


I was not familiar with most of the up-tempo songs in his repertoire except for My Life and You May Be Right, but I admit I was pushed to emo-mode when he sang Just The Way You Are (my all-time favorite), Honesty, She's Always a Woman and New York State of Mind.

Cameras were not allowed inside the concert hall. Even if I was able to sneak mine in, I shelved the plan to use it when I saw just how strict the ushers were in implementing the rule. So let me just leave you with this old video from You Tube (actually, it looks exactly like the way it was last night).




Side Comments:

1. The concert started the very second the clock struck 7. Hats off!

2. That must have been the most organized/disciplined mammoth crowd I have ever seen. Everyone in the audience stayed on their seats. Only the ushers can be seen patrolling the aisles.

3. When doing nothing, all the ushers face and check the audience, totally oblivious of the happenings on-stage. And at the end of the concert, the ushers blocked certain sections to ensure that not everyone goes to the exit at the same time.

4. The Japanese doesn't seem to get tired clapping to the beat of the music. But only a few would stand on their feet to sway or dance to the faster tunes (if it were in the Philippines, the audience must be grooving already). Some shouted, but I did not hear any irritating scream, no irreverent whistling. Just the way I wanted.

(Note: Thanks to Hiro and Zhy for the free ticket! )

27 comments:

BlogusVox said...

I got all his greatest songs (I think) in one bundle of 3CDs. My favorites are "newyork state of mind" and "piano man".

Everlito (ever) Villacruz said...

bajit bawal ang video..sayang!

buti ka pa pards may pagkakataon na makanuod ng concert..dito wala..

carlotta said...

wow billy joel! gusto ko yung mga kanta nya :D

siguro kung dito yang concert mga isang oras pa hihintayin niyo para mag-umpisa.

Sidney said...

Billy Joel is a great artist !
Lucky you !

Mariale said...

Hmmm... I want to hear you sing your faves from him :p Nosebleed!!!

totomai said...

was able to watch a concert here japan three years ago and i agree with you, the crowd are very disciplined. i sneaked in my camera and tried to use it but the marshal was way too fast. lol

di na naman nagyaya o. tsk tsk. sabagay kaboses mo naman. bawi ka na lang sa videoke haha

Abou said...

ha ha binabasa ko to, yung isip ko kumakanta ng dont go changing to try and please me...hmmm hmmm.

ok pala ang concert scene dyan

Gina said...

'Just the Way You Are'---always been one of my favorite songs too!

He sang Uptown Girl , didn't he? Was it included in the repertoire?

Gypsy said...

I so so so LOVE Billy Joel!!! I wish he would come out with a new album! I still keep some of my old BJ cassettes like Glass House. :)Inggit ako sa yo...

Ray said...

He's on his way to Seoul too.

I contemplated going... but it was a little ridiculously over priced.

Hope you enjoyed yourself!

:)

Turismoboi said...

would love to see that tokyo dome

the donG said...

billy joel is one of the coolest during his time. and it looks like he has retained that energy.

Mys Lyke Meeh said...

That was cool. Billy Joel---? Goshh---so jealous!

Take care---

r-yo said...

blogusvox: he did sing piano man, but i'm not really into it. :-)

r-yo said...

ever: ewan ko ba sa mga ito. sabi ko nga, iimbe-imbento kayo ng mga gadgets tapos ayaw niyong ipagamit? bwisit! he he

r-yo said...

carlotta: galing nga e. akala nga kasi namin madedelay dahil marami pang pumapasok habang papalapit ang 7 o' clock. pero eksakto, pag patak ng 7, ratsada agad!

r-yo said...

sidney: i was actually twice as lucky coz the tickets came free. hehe

r-yo said...

mariale: uy parehas ka na ke totomai na laging nosebleed. baka sakit na yan ha. i'm worried. bwehehehe

r-yo said...

Totomai: Sobrang higpit talaga ng marshalls. Nilabas ko nga yung maliit kong cam a few seconds bago matapos ang encore, as in nakatayo na yung iba palabas, pero sinita pa rin ako! nainglesan tuloy siya ng katakot-takot. he he

r-yo said...

abou: karaoke boy ka rin pala. :-)

r-yo said...

Gina: I was also expecting Uptown Girl, pero wala e.

r-yo said...

Gypsy: Puro tour yata siya ngayon kaya wala munang bagong album

r-yo said...

Ray: I think he was in Seoul last November 15. Truth is, I didn't know how much the tickets were. I was just lucky to have a free ride. :-)

r-yo said...

Dong: the voice has gone a little raspy but the energy remained the same. he was actually very playful on stage.

r-yo said...

turismo: funny thing was, i've been in tokyo for months but it was also my first time to visit the tokyo dome. it was huge. i plan to come back and watch a baseball game.

r-yo said...

ms lyke meeh: yup, that was cooooool! malamig din kasi sa labas, he eheh

acey said...

cool! gotta love the zen. hehe.

i love this guy, too! you lucky, lucky you :D